I attended the BEX IV meeting at Mercer middle school. It was horrible.
There was a presentation followed by questions off cards followed by questions asked aloud. I have no idea why there were two different question methods. It didn't matter. No matter what the question, the answer was gobbledy-gook.
I asked why the District is determined to create 700 additional elementary seats in the McClure service area (200 at Queen Anne and 500 at South Lake Union) when the District's enrollment projections show that the capacity shortfall is only 70 seats. Please remember that this "shortfall" doesn't account for any students who may leave the area for APP or an option program outside the service area. Ms McEvoy, someone I had previously regarded as candid and apolitical, gave me a bizarre and contorted response about - believe it or not - APP. She seemed to say that the District was building the school at South Lake Union for APP. When I asked her if that was what she meant, she said no in very strong terms. I was finally, after way too much effort, able to assist her in saying that the estimate of enrollment demand in the McClure service area was totally wrong. So why didn't she just say that? What are the correct numbers? She doesn't know. They don't have another estimate, but they believe that the current estimate - the one they are presenting - is completely wrong.
Community engagement isn't going to work if the District is so resistant to the possibility that they are wrong about something - especially when they know they are wrong about it.
My question was just one of several in which citizens asked rational questions based in fact and got nonsensical answers from Pegi McEvoy. People asked about the small size of the middle school planned for Meany. People asked why the construction comes before the program planning instead of after it. People asked why the plans to add capacity in the Washington service area also far outstrips the estimated need for capacity. People asked what benefit comes from closing Roxhill. Pegi McEvoy did not offer a rational response to any of these questions. She was a disaster. She could not have damaged the District's credibility more if she tried.