Exhausted taxpayers in 2011 surprised everyone by soundly defeating a $28.5 million bond issue to build a new Middle School. It was one of the few times in Columbus history the time honored, guilt-based “Vote For The Children” campaign failed to produce.
Undaunted, the defeated bond proponents immediately embarked on a new plan — hiring architects and engineers to design new facilities, negotiating real estate transactions, paying professional polling organizations to take community surveys, etc. How much did that all cost anyway?
The end result is they have doubled down — quite literally — and created a whopping $58 million new bond scheme. It’s almost like the 2011 election didn’t happen.
Voters will face this latest assault on taxpayers in the May Primary Election. The traditionally low-voter turnout in primaries would seemingly give bond proponents a better opportunity to game the system by flooding the polls with their supporters, a strategy surely not lost on those selecting the voting date.
Will taxpayers let themselves be steam-rolled for $58 million or will they rise up and be counted again at the ballot box as they were in 2011?
Tim Cumberland is a resident of Columbus.