Letters to the Editor

Reasons to support bond issue

Why in the world would I vote for the Sequim school bonds? I’m in my seventies and have no children or grandchildren in the Sequim schools. If the bond issue wins, my property taxes go up. Does it make sense for me to support the school bonds?

Still, I thought I’d do some research to be sure the facts support my decision.

The first thing I discovered is that many of the school facilities are falling apart and are outdated. In the long run, rising maintenance and rental costs likely are to exceed the amortized cost of the bonds.

Second, some of the facilities are overcrowded. There is only space for half-day kindergarten classes. The problem is the state has mandated full-time classes by 2018 while leaving it to local districts to find the space.

Third, the current facilities are unsafe. The elementary schools have dozens of doors that open outward and it is virtually impossible to prevent intruders from entering classrooms. A second danger is the potential for a massive earthquake to hit the area. Should such a quake occur while the schools are in session, can you imagine the tragedy that would result if the school facilities are not updated and make earthquake resistant?

Let’s talk dollars and cents. Now is the ideal time to pass a bond issue. Interest rates are low, but are likely to rise in the future. Construction costs also will go up. With the state constantly mandating facilities upgrades, it makes sense to act today to take advantage of this window of low costs.

One final point. Each of us is faced with a question: In what type of community do we want to live? To a large extent our schools define our community. Those districts that take pride in their schools and provide adequate financing to ensure their children have broad educational opportunities, enjoy many benefits. They attract young professionals such as physicians and managers.

New business firms are attracted to the area and property values rise. Beyond these advantages there is a shared feeling of pride in the community that is reflected in our attitudes and sense of well-being.

After reviewing the facts, I am convinced it would be foolish not to vote for the Sequim school bonds. I hope you will join me in supporting our schools.

Wylie Walthall

Sequim

 

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