Monday, December 11, 2023

MY TURN: PF levy needed to keep kids safe in schools

by MICHELLE LIPPERT/Guest opinion
| March 4, 2023 1:00 AM

In the current political atmosphere, there seems to be very little agreement. I dare say that there are two issues where all citizens of Kootenai County would find agreement.

Our children need to be safe in their schools.

Property taxes ought to be controlled.

That’s why I would urge a yes vote for the Post Falls levy.

This levy designates $1,003,551 for security. It is all about keeping our children safe. This money would be used to fund more School Resource Officers. These are members of the Post Falls Police Department assigned to schools. It would also fund campus security at all the elementary schools.

Security dollars would be used to build secure vestibules at our older schools. Currently the entrances to several of our schools open directly into a hallway. Secure vestibules are another way to enhance security and keep intruders out.

Security dollars would also be used for access control in all our schools. Exterior doors would lock automatically when school begins and have sensors so the office is notified if a door was ajar. Our outdated security cameras would be updated. Some of our cameras were installed in 2008. They have reached the end of their usefulness.

These upgrades are essential to enhance school security for the safety of our children.

The passage of this levy is not projected to raise school district taxes for the average Post Falls taxpayer. Let’s look at the facts. In 2020, a house in Post Falls with an assessed value of $345,560 paid $40 a month for the levy. That same house in 2022 was assessed at $680,238 and paid $39 dollars a month. How is that possible? The district levies for a specific amount of money. Given all the growth in Post Falls, there are now more taxpayers paying for the levy. The typical home owner in Post Falls will see no increase in their taxes.

With no projected increase to taxes, the citizens of Post Falls can take a major step in enhancing the security in our buildings. Let’s do this for our children. Vote Yes on March 14.

Michelle Lippert is chair of the Post Falls School District board of trustees.

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