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School board postpones vote on bond measure for high school renovation

The Vashon Island school board voted 3-2 last week to put off a proposed bond measure for a far-reaching renovation and building project at Vashon High School.

The $47 million proposal was slated to come before Vashon voters in November. After considerable discussion, the board on Thursday voted to amend its decision and put the measure before voters in February 2011.

Laura Wishik, who chairs the board, said she decided it made sense to postpone the vote after Superintendent Michael Soltman told her and other board members he believes many Islanders are confused about the district’s financial situation.

Soltman has talked to many Islanders in recent weeks as part of an ambitious fundraising effort to close the shortfall in the district’s upcoming operating budget.

“What he has heard is a fair amount of confusion about what the situation is around the schools. He felt we needed more time to clarify what’s going on with the schools,” Wishik said.

But Bob Hennessey, who voted against the proposal, said he believes it makes little sense to wait — especially since a February election will cost the district far more money than a November one.

“We’ve been at this going on six years now, and I’d like to move beyond analysis paralysis,” he said.

Voting with Hennessey was Kathy Jones. Dan Chasan and Steve Ellison voted to postpone the vote.

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