Letter to the Editor: Spend some of that school levy money on landscape maintenance


Dear Editor,

After walking and driving past our local Edmonds Schools I find the landscape condition and maintenance appalling. I ask the question how can this be with passages of two recent levies and record payments to the Edmonds School District, in our case, $2800 per year?
The answer is, there is no excuse for the grounds to be in this poor condition. There are many examples to choose from, but Meadowdale Middle School comes to mind. This school was completely redone at great tax payer expense with new landscaping only to let the new beds become overgrown with weeds, lawn not mowed and full of clover.

In my opinion, part of the educational experience teaches pride and appearance in your school. The district is currently failing miserably in this criteria.

Please do not tell me that the money comes from another “pot” that is empty. That is not acceptable, just fix it. Maintenance and appearance must be a priority for the total educational experience and taxpayer dollars spent.

Mike Murdock


  1. Mike, you said it well. Thank you. I too couldn’t believe the grounds condition at Meadowdale High and Middle. My daughter is an MHS 2013 graduate so I don’t go to the school much any longer. But I recently drove by and I sure didn’t get that warm nostalgia feeling. MHS in particular relies on parents year after year to weed and spread mulch, plus countless other work that paid employees aren’t doing.

    I myself was responsible for getting recycling bins put in at the tennis courts after being fed up with the overflowing garbage cans. Enough of this. Levies need to start failing. Nick Brossoit needs to get more involved if he’s still the Superintendent. I realize teachers salaries are important. They take precedent over everything it seems, but where is the accountability, especially in asking and receiving more money every time your hand is out? It’s obvious the pride is lacking. The taxpayers are noticing. It’s past time for the Districts excuses.

  2. So what are proposing to cut? Funding for: technology, smaller class size, building maintenance, arts, music, athletics…
    It is irresponsible and intellectually dishonest to advocate increases in spending without identifying the revenue. Further, state law prohibits capital (levy) funds from being used for operating expenses such as maintenance. Before advancing simple solutions, do some research.

  3. Cut the bloated school administrators salaries and benefits. Get rid of the management pork in the school systems and magically you will have the funds…

    Then you won’t have to harass the voter annually, or even twice a year, with poor mouth Education levies…

  4. What an “easy fix” for someone to claim bloated salaries, etc. School employees salaries are not truly competitive with the private sector, even (and especially) in administration. The public envisions schools with Cadillac results on a VW budget. There is no more “waste” in school budgets than in business. It’s just easy to badmouth … one person’s “waste” is another person’s job.

    Let’s demand that our legislators fully fund schools, and let’s give them the authority to raise the appropriate revenues. That beats whining any day!

  5. I think there’s a necessary balance to this issue. Yes, to adequate funding for program, operations, staff; an obvious point. The other side of the coin is that the schools, especially high schools, have a large footprint in our neighborhoods. Like any business, if the buildings and campus run down, the neighborhood sees it and can be associated with the condition, affecting value and the like. I’ve had the same experience as others where the campus of our local high school (one block away) gets cluttered with garbage and unkempt landscaping, to the extent that a few of us have done some cleaning-up of the worst areas. I see the District landscaping crew maybe twice a year. The school board should consider the neighborhoods in which their schools reside, and ensure that the grounds and buildings are maintained well.

  6. #firstworldproblems It may just be me but it sure seems at times there is alot of complaining about various things in and around Edmonds. Every day, EVERY day, I appreciate being able to live in one of the nicest places in America. Whether we got here by hard work, genetics, or luck, we the people who get to live in this town sometimes lose perspective that most of the other people on earth would happily come live here and be appreciative of what a terrific, clean and wonderful place this is. When I was growing up in a much less affluent, educated and entitled place, people saw something simple that needed taking care of, they pitched in and helped their neighbor. Taxes don’t fix everything. Sometimes the citizens of a town pitch in and get it done. #community

  7. I believe we in this area average $50k per year in income. I would like to see how maintenance workers’ salaries, on up to top administrators, compare to the local average salary, taking in consideration all the time off the District has. That’s not private info, is it? Putting landscaping on the backs of students, parents and the Community is not how it should be handled. But I bet other less affluent, less fortunate areas may know a better solution.


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