Large crowd, few questions at levy talk

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SANDPOINT — Final discussions on the Lake Pend Oreille School District supplemental levy ended quietly at the Sandpoint High School auditorium Thursday night.

Despite a solid attendance from high school students, teachers and parents alike, there was very little conversation or questions after LPOSD Superintendent Dick Cvitanich concluded his presentation of the levy. Cvitanich’s speech was the last of more than 30 presentations since  school board trustees finalized the levy proposal.

Throughout the meeting, Cvitanich pitched the levy using facts and a PowerPoint presentation familiar to any who had attended a prior discussion. He highlighted the district’s climbing percentages in reading and math proficiency over the past years its comparatively low local tax rate, mentioning the economic impact of more than 100 district employees losing their jobs. In addition, he responded to levy critics who would rather see the yearly $800,000 spent on athletic and academic extracurricular activities cut from the budget.

“People have a tendency to say, ‘Well, that’s a lot of money and we don’t want to pay that,’” he said. “But talking with students, I know that they really appreciate those options.”

“Both on the field and in the stands, it gives students a good, healthy activity to participate in,” he added regarding sporting events.

Most of the audience members, content with Cvitanich’s presentation, didn’t pose any questions. One of the students, referencing an earlier point in the presentation, asked how LPOSD avoided the long-term indebtedness that burdened other districts. Cvitanich explained that most districts purchased bonds to repay debt at a slower rate, a tactic that LPOSD eschewed to avoid accruing interest.

Many of the high school students in attendance were fulfilling a class requirement. Nevertheless, Cvitanich congratulated them on their attendance. 

“You’ll be well-informed in preparation for the vote on Tuesday,” he said. “If you can’t vote, you’ll still be informed. And that’s always a good thing.” 

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