Letters to the Editor

Here’s my take on the school bond measure | Letter

I’m not a huge fan of blanket statements — I think they’re dangerous and too simplistic. For example, “If you’re not for the war, you’re against our troops.” That statement doesn’t begin to take into account the broad range of feelings on the subjects of war, violence, foreign policy, etc.

The latest hot-button issue in our community is the Lake Washington School District bond measure that just went before voters and was defeated. It would be easy to say, “If you’re not for the bond, you’re against kids,” but again, that’s probably too broad and doesn’t begin to capture the range of reasons people might vote against this measure.

I understand that some people may feel that the school district hasn’t spent its money wisely in the past (and as a result, shouldn’t get more). I also understand that some may feel the district hasn’t done all it can to figure out the overcrowding issues, or that they’re not creative in finding other ways before asking the voters to open their checkbooks.

That’s fine…

But, we’ve done this to ourselves — we’re the victims of our own success. Communities in the school district boundaries are such desirable places to live that more and more people are moving in, many of them with school-age children, and builders are rushing to keep up with the demand.

Whether you have school-age children in Lake Washington or not, you too live in this community and reap the rewards of a larger tax base (provided by more residents and businesses). All of us have made these communities grow and thrive and all of us share (or should share) the rewards and burdens.

If you voted “no” on the bond measure, thinking you’re sending a message, I would encourage you to find other ways to say it that won’t directly impact our children. If the school district hasn’t spent wisely in the past, hold them accountable and ask for more oversight, but don’t withhold money thinking that the problems will go away. If the district isn’t being as creative as possible, join the PTSA and make your voice heard — lay out your version of an alternative solution.

You/we (the voters) hold the power to make or break this school district and to influence the direction of our communities for years to come. How many people will move into our communities when the schools are ridiculously overcrowded? How far will our tax base drop when workers and businesses move out of our area? This may seem far-fetched, but if we dodge this issue too many times, it won’t be.

Tim Waters, Redmond

 

 

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