Tensions reach boiling point during Moses Lake school board meeting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Tempers flared at Thursday's Moses Lake school board meeting, as voters and school board members discussed the board's tentative decision not to use the majority-approved February 2017 $135 million dollar bond to build a second high school.

Before public comment, the board presented data that gauged the economic health and growth of the Moses Lake community in hopes of educating attendees before hearing their thoughts.

However, the message from audience members was loud and clear.

"The issue is this and the law is very clear. You made a contract with the voters of this community to build two high schools. It's just plain and simple," said one attendee.

"Wait until we have to build that school (second high school) and not do it on 2018 dollars, but do it on 2030 dollars. Then maybe you won't be in business. We need to do it now," said former Moses Lake School District board member Randy Bruce.

A few of the board members weighed in after public's comments.

"If people do not respect the process that is the foundation of our nation and our community, we are probably going to crumble in the future. Let us do what the voters have asked us to do," said Moses Lake school board member Vicki Groff. 

Shortly after Groff's comment, school board member Elliott Goodrich said that the board realizes that there is a problem and that they are committed to solving that problem. Goodrich was interrupted several times by angry attendees and at one point, a brief, but heated, verbal exchange between two attendees drew the attention of police standing guard. After the spat between the audience members, Goodrich was interrupted again and abruptly stopped speaking.

The board can vote on a new spending plan as early as the next school board meeting on Feb. 8.