Last week, WW issued its endorsements for the May 17 special election. Here again are our recommendations:
Portland Public Schools Measure 26-121: Yes.
What it does: The $548 million construction bond would pay for full rebuilds at nine campuses. It would also pay for significant upgrades, such as new covered playgrounds, improved roofs and seismic retrofits, at all of the remaining 76 campuses.
What we said: "[O]ur schools are too crucial to the health of our city to defer this needed maintenance any longer. Portland is a city that raises taxes for elephants, fireboats and salmon. We ought to be a city that teaches its children in schools that aren't raining ceiling tiles."
Portland Public Schools Measure 26-122: Yes.
What it does: This local-option levy would raise $59 million a year starting this year to pay for teachers' salaries at a time of dwindling state support for public education. It would renew a current levy that generates about $40 million a year.
What we said: "The new levy would protect a total of 600 teaching jobs—or 200 more than the currently levy."
Portland Public Schools Board of Education
Zone 1: Ruth Adkins. A Yale graduate, Adkins works for the Oregon Opportunity Network, an affordable housing group. Painfully quiet in 2007 (when she first won election to the School Board), Adkins speaks more forcefully now. We're glad.
Zone 2: Matt Morton. Morton offers budget experience that will be lacking on the board.
Zone 3: Bobbie Regan. Regan is a knowledgeable board member who deserves another shot.
Portland Community College
Zone 2: Harold Williams. We're sticking with him because of the broad perspective he brings to his duties.
Zone 7: Deanna Palm. She has a stellar reputation in Washington County as the president of Hillsboro's Chamber of Commerce.
Multnomah Education Service District
Position 5: Gary Hollands. A small-business owner who hauls junk.
Position 6: Doug Montgomery. A smart and highly qualified candidate who taught public policy at Portland State University.
Position 7: Kevin Spellman. Spellman has a strong understanding of budgetary issues and policy.