If Spokane Public Schools’ construction bond passes for $288 million, that will create 4,608 jobs. Or, each $1 million creates 16 jobs – on the back of taxpayers.
Finch built in 1904, Hutton in 1921 and Jefferson in 1908 all need renovation. Ferris built in 1962 and Westview in 1955 need replacement. Why do the two newest schools need replacement? Were they not built well, or not maintained well?
Then, we have a “need” for $18.5 million for criminal justice and animal control. Why, with the economic outlook so poor, can we not do some short-term fixes? Does the city have available space to temporarily store overflow? If not, renting an empty building would cost much less. As City Councilman Bob Apple said, is it prudent to ask for more tax dollars in a recession? Or as Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard says, “my concern is taxing out the citizens right now given the economic situation.”
We’ve just come back from Florida, where the economy is in dire straits. Many homes are standing empty.
We need to see what happens. If Spokane’s economy weathers recession well, ask for money later. Consider delaying these expensive projects until the economy is stabilized.