Opinion

Thank you for supporting schools

Thank you for your support for the Marysville School Levy. The passage of the school levy is a huge support for the schools and students. Your support for the levy prevented months of uncertainty and disruption to classroom learning. Thank you to the campaign committee, hundreds of endorsers and tireless campaign workers. Levies are essential in good times and the more so in difficult times. We still anticipate difficult times ahead as we face further state and local budget cuts. All the more reason why I am so appreciative of your support for our schools and students.

The bond issue won majority support but fell short of the required 60 percent. We will review the final election results with the school board, the citizens planning committee, and the campaign team before deciding whether to re-run the bond issue. Questions: Were we not clear enough about the need? Was it the economy and the news? Were we not clear enough that the bond was not a new tax. Due to the expiration of a previous bond, approval of the levy and bond would still mean lower taxes. I had hoped that with the library winning support for a small $27 increase, the schools could win support for a small $48 decrease in taxes (on a $300,000 home).

My goal is to be a good steward — to make Marysville a great place to live and learn. To do so we have:

• Saved money on every construction project on the 2006 bond.

• Brought in two schools one year early and under budget.

• Worked for two years with a citizens committee to identify critical construction needs.

• Found dozens of creative ways to keep construction costs down.

• Reduced the cost of the 2010 bond to ensure lower taxes than we paid in 2009.

I am not asking voters to trust in empty promises. I am asking voters to look at a solid track record of keeping our promises and good stewardship.

Why does the bond issue matter to Marysville? This bond issue reduces 2009 taxes by $48 per year.

• It is not a new tax or a tax increase.

• It gives new classrooms to nearly 2,000 students.

• It starts the process of replacing nine worn out schools (if we don’t start with these schools now we can’t get to M-P or Totem or Pinewood or Tulalip or Sunnyside …).

• It keeps the pool operating … saving lives and improving community health.

• It provides 100 local jobs.

• It improves property values and makes Marysville a better place to live

This bond issue would save Marysville $10 million to $20 million. Interest rates are low. Construction costs are down 20 percent from recent highs. Our construction team, which brought in two buildings under budget and a year early, can bring those same savings to future projects. Without this bond issue, our aging schools get older and cost more to repair. We layoff a great facilities team and end the advanced planning that has saved us money in the past. If we wait one year to re-run the bond we delay construction by two years. One year to pass the bond and another year to re-hire and restart project teams. The cost of this same bond issue will go up by $10 million to $20 million as construction costs rebound and again start to rise.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can.” — John Wesley. That is my goal — to do the most good for Marysville. I have invested my time — 150 election related meetings — to do all the good I can for Marysville. Thank you to the many, many others who have invested generously of your time. Thank you voters for your support of the levy. It will make a difference for Marysville students.

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