A single quarter-page ad against the Oak Harbor Maintenance & Operations (M&O) levy appeared (buried) on page 12 of the Whidbey News-Times’ 26 January edition. Having just left the Oak Harbor School Board as an elected School Board Director, David McCool wasted no time penning a letter-to-the-editor attacking his former constituent  – a reading teacher – and the WNT wasted no time in printing his letter-of-attack. The ad had been bought and paid-for at the Whidbey News-Times by a single individual, a private citizen, using a personal credit card. McCool called the ad “shameful” because, he says, whoever paid for the ad did not “have the courage to take personal ownership”. McCool also purports it to be “political fantasy” that the school levy is in any way connected to teacher TRI-Days. McCool is an outright LIAR.

The person who placed that single, solitary ad against the school levy has informed me that he/she has since been contacted by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) for having failed to file paperwork disclosing his/her personal information to THAT agency PRIOR to having placed the ad in the newspaper. The ad-placer received a phone call from the PDC informing him/her that the PDC had received an email complaining about the subject ad. Having never previously placed such an ad, the ad-placer had been unaware that such prior disclosure was expected or required. When contacted by the PDC about the ad, he/she was also informed that immediate disclosure of the information to the PDC was required in order to avoid a $100 fine for the submission of information in a timely manner.

David McCool could have obtained information about the ad-placer by placing a single phone call to the Whidbey News-Times. Chances are, that’s exactly what he – or someone else closely affiliated with the OHSD – did after first seeing the print ad and then eventually realizing that a PDC filing had not yet been filed about that ad. Calling the Whidbey News-Times for information about the ad-placer is exactly how the PDC found out who paid for the ad against the levy (or, it was relayed to them), as the PDC then used that information to call the ad-placer directly on the telephone to ask for some paperwork.

McCool’s attack-letter includes an attack upon the name “Citizens for Academic Success” (a name which had been stipulated in the print ad). He concluded that anyone who claimed they were interested in “academic improvement” would “provide a much different message”.

McCool is entitled to his opinion, but not to his own facts. The ad-placer is, in fact, a still-working certified reading teacher with decades of experience helping children towards academic improvement. This same teacher previously sent a letter-to-the editor to the Whidbey News-Times about the school levy, but, like dozens of other letters recently sent to the WNT which spoke against the levy, this letter never saw the light of day in the WNT. That letter has, however, appeared here on Island Politics as “A Citizen Comments- Facts and figures are distributed by Oak Harbor School District with little concern for their validity”.

McCool also claimed the “levy campaign funding is provided by private citizens”, but a search at the PDC web site clearly shows that pro-levy contributors to “CIT FOR BETTER SCHOOLS OAK HARBOR” include corporate and government groups such as:


Finally, McCool’s claim that “political fantasy” is the only thing which connects this levy in any way to teacher TRI-Days is an outright LIE. As a former school board director, he KNOWS better. I have delineated, in great detail, how Time, Responsibility and Incentive Days (TRI-Days) are funded by the co-mingling of Federal Impact Aid and local property taxes in the form of Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levies. These facts – not fantasies – are all spelled out in the article “If OHEA Members Believe they “Deserve” TRI-Days Prove it by Running a Separate M&O Levy for All TRI-Days and Nothing Else and Lose All TRI-Days if the Levy Fails”.


Other relevant articles about this proposed school levy include:

See ALL of Island Politics’ articles on the OHSD by clicking HERE