Letter to the Editor: School District maneuvered the Museum

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To the Editor,

By simply looking at outcomes, the way it looks is that the School District very skillfully maneuvered the Museum into endorsing the bond with a vague agreement they had no intention of helping to facilitate. Because Shoreline voters want the high schools rebuilt and trusted that a solution for the Museum was in place, the $150 million bond was approved. Without the Museum Board’s endorsement, the bond would have failed. Now it turns out, the land to which the Ronald School Building was to be moved was never really available.

Recently, the SSD has issued statements describing the Museum’s “failure” to acquire the land by July 1, means that now they (SSD) simply must take the community’s landmark building and gut it for some as yet unknown purpose for Shorewood. Translation: “Time’s up, we win, everyone else loses.”

Wouldn’t it have been nice for the voters to know that there was an arbitrary deadline of July 1 to acquire land that wasn’t available? Land purchases take time, even when the property exists. Oh, those pesky details.

Jan Stewart


Anonymous,  July 22, 2010 at 6:35 PM  

I am saddened at the continued implication by this writer (and others to this blog) that good people, well meaning public servants, would intentionally mislead or dupe each other in the issue of the Shoreline Historical Museum's tenancy at the Ronald School. I've looked back to see who served and collaborated in the development of the agreement, and I cannot accept that any of the many folks on this list that I know would engage in the type of skullduggery asserted by a few writers to this blog. It is frankly shameful to assume that any of these community members, from each side represented - Michael P. Jacobs, David Wilson, Victoria Stiles, Henry J. Reed, Robert Phelps, Ken Noreen, Robert L. Olander - would possibly either intentionally mislead the other side, or, be naive and ill informed as to be duped into an empty agreement. These are smart, decent, honorable community leaders and problem solvers. It saddens me as a community member to hear the latest twist in the story characterized as something disreputable and dishonorable.

I cannot believe that the district would enact "a vague agreement they had no intention of helping to facilitate." Nor can I accept the idea that this "community’s landmark building" is somehow being unceremoniously ripped from our community. Finally, I reject the rhetoric that so easily (and snidely) blames the district for a lack of disclosure: "Wouldn’t it have been nice for the voters to know that there was an arbitrary deadline of July 1 to acquire land that wasn’t available?"

A deal was struck between a number of our community leaders. Sadly, it has not worked out. I think we are best served by seeking other, new solutions in support of the district and the Historical Museum, rather than continually demonizing one or the other.

Anonymous,  July 22, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

Hear Hear!! I only wish that comments are seen as prominently on the Shoreline Area News website as the original "Letter to Editor." If someone chooses to look, there are a lot of great rebuttals.

Anonymous,  July 23, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

Failure to provide public notice to museum of its SEPA notice is bad faith and hardly honorable of the school district, then to characterize it as bad faith by the museum for the museum to appeal the SEPA determination (which is their legal right) is even more dishonorable. To compound these dishonorable activities, it becomes serially dishonorable to tie it into the agreement in principle, which makes no mention of the SEPA process. I call it lying out of both sides of your mouth by the school district, otherwise known as scurrilous and disreputable behavior.

Janet Way July 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

Right on to Anonymous #3!!! The SSD needs to stop speaking "out of both sides of its mouth" and just be up front about how their actions as a hostile takeover of the Museum.

And to Anonymous #2 - if you want to be featured in the Letter to the Editor or in headlines, then you need to step up and give your name and identify your associations. You can't expect to be as credible as those who give their names. There may be good reasons for some to remain anonymous, but don't expect to to then be "prominent" if you don't identify yourself.

For instance, those who take the time and stand up in front of the City Council on TV, have great courage and are not afraid to be seen stepping up for what they believe in. Likewise, those who run for public office and then sit ON the Council or volunteer to serve on the Planning Commission also show political courage just by speaking on the record.

Jan Stewart,  July 23, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

If the School District truly supported the concept in the so-called agreement in principle, they would have come to terms with the Museum and the community long before the 11th hour when they were afraid of losing the bond. In fact, they would have included the Museum in the planning from the beginning, which they clearly did not.

Julie Houff,  July 24, 2010 at 12:07 AM  

Anonymous 1: It sure would have been considerate if the SSD would have promptly communicated to the Museum and the rest of the City what it's true intent or interest was for the Ronald Building.

It would have been nice to have over a year to toss about options as to school design plans that could have included leaving an intact Museum.

It would be nice if the Museum had the use of millions of tax dollars at their disposal to play with in working towards a result they preferred.

Out of these missteps, it's clear that there now is an extreme time crunch to seek out other new solutions to a what has grown into a bigger controversy than was necessary.

When crisis situation are created such as this, there will be emotions and strong language to reflect the situation. That's the reality.

Now lets chat about some solutions that you have for this emergency where the Museum is about to be disposed of per the SSD's original hidden agenda. Better yet, get up some courage and speak in front of the City ASAP or write to local Editors. Your support on this issue is needed urgently.

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