Arlington residents will have several opportunities to support their community

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Arlington residents will have a couple of opportunities in the coming months to support their community when they cast their ballots in the Feb. 19 and May 20 elections.
In the February election voters will be asked to support the Arlington School District by approving a four-year replacement School Programs and Operations Levy which will replace an existing levy set to expire at the end of this year. Because state and federal funding do not cover the entire cost of educating our children, districts must go to voters to ask them to approve the Programs and Operations Levy. In Arlington, the funding from the replacement SP&O levy accounts for approximately 18 percent to 20 percent of the districts annual budget and will pay for teachers, para-educators, technology, special education, textbooks, transportation services, music and athletic programs.
The existing SP&O levy currently costs $2.32 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The rate of the proposed replacement levy will decrease each of the four years the levy will be in effect. The replacement levy would be $2.20 per $1,000 in 2009; $2.15 per $1,000 in 2010; $2.12 per $1,000 in 2011 and would drop to $2.03 per $1,000 in 2012.
The funding raised by the levy is critical to the Arlington School District. The levy dollars would pay 100 percent of co-curricular activities such as music, drama, activities and clubs; 90 percent of co-curricular sports; 60 percent of technology; 30 percent of transportation service; 25 percent of school and department budgets and building support. In addition, about half of the districts SP&O levy dollars go to certificated staff such as teachers, counselors and nurses; and classified staff such as school secretaries, custodians and para-educators.
The district, its staff and students deserve the communitys support. When you cast your ballot in the Feb. 19 election, vote Yes for the Arlington School Districts Replacement School Programs and Operations Levy.
Arlington residents will also be able to show their support for their community in the May 20 elections when they are asked to decide the fate of two measures which, if approved, would result in a new community library.
The first thing voters will be asked to approve will be a Library Capital Facilities Area, which includes most of the Arlington School District east of Interstate 5. It would be the Arlington Librarys service area and would become the tax base for funding a new library.
The second measure voters will be asked to decide is an $8.8 million bond for the construction of a new library in Arlington. That measure is similar to the one voted on in 2006 which failed by only 27 votes.
The existing library was built in 1981 and is approximately 5,200-square-feet while the proposed bond, if approved, would pay for the construction of a 20,000-square-foot facility (including a meeting room, study room, public seating for more than 100 and a collection of about 98,000 items) to be located across the street from the existing library on Washington Avenue. While Arlingtons population has grown significantly since the existing library was constructed, the library has not grown to keep pace with the increasing use and demands of the growing population. The proposed facility would meet those demands for years to come.
Both the Library Capital Facilities Area and the $8.8 million bond must be approved by the voters for the new library to be built. When you cast your ballot for the May 20 election, vote Yes on both measures to ensure that Arlington will have the library that it needs and deserves.


To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail forum@premier1.net.

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