Letters to the Editor

Wise investment, carefully weighed | Letters

This fall I had the opportunity to be a member of the facilities review committee which vetted projects proposed for the Feb. 14, 2012, school district capital and technology levy.

The committee met for eight weeks, culminating with a presentation and recommendation to the school board.

We toured sites and reviewed documents — all of which are posted on the district’s website www.sjisd.wednet.edu. The group was diverse, being made up of parents, educators, general contractors, civil engineers, network administrators, building material experts, social services providers, district administrators, coaches and interested community members.

Each committee member took the responsibility of understanding the needs of the district very personally.

The committee as a whole carefully considered the trade-offs of reinvesting and maintaining the district’s assets, against what the recommended projects would mean in terms of a taxable amount to this community.

Every meeting included a discussion of how the dollar value of the projects would translate to real tax dollars, and could our community afford this amount given the challenging economic conditions?

The renewal of this levy does ask for more dollars than in previous years.

In studying all the sites it became apparent the district has been underfunded in past cycles to address the issues at the elementary school, and all other sites.

Just like our homes, we need to continue to do maintenance to ensure they stay safe and livable.

If we ignore the necessary repairs required for the elementary school, we will certainly be faced with higher taxes in the form of a bond to completely rebuild this facility in the not so distant future.

If voters approve this levy, the necessary repairs to our facilities will be made now to ensure their continued use by the students, teachers and all the other community groups who utilize these assets.

I urge you to vote “Yes” for the proposed capital and technology levy by Feb. 14 to preserve our existing assets and keep our future taxes low.

June Arnold

San Juan Island

— Editor’s note: June. Arnold is chairwoman of the capital facilities/technology review committee



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