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Real cost of school bond
It is unfortunate that I must withhold my support for the construction bond.
I was elected to the school board in 2001 and resigned in June 2005. Are there necessary repairs needed in the school facilities? YES! Were these needs addressed over the past 20 years? NO.
For years the school board leadership has prided itself on being frugal to a fault. Unrealistic low levies never provided funding for transportation and general maintenance trust reserves. The current campaign for improvements has lacked transparency and total truth. The $154,325,000 promoted by the school board and the Citizens for Sequim Schools has neglected to mentioning interest rate for the bonds plus the underwriting cost.
Actual bond amount total to be approximately $261 million. No mention of the 2016 M&O levy or the 2018 state fully funding education.
The lesson being presented to our student is fiscal discipline and accountability are not important. This is similar to buying a house you can’t afford because you want it.
My suggestions: School violence is a fact of the times — Safety First for schools — secure Helen Haller and the high school NOW with general reserve funds.
Next meet with other school directors with similar facility problems (Port Angeles, Forks, Kitsap), followed by months of Sequim community meetings presenting the facts. Then a board meeting in a school NOT the board room to approve placing a bond on the ballot.
(Schmidt is a former Sequim School Board director)