Letters to the Editor

No question: Buildings need to be replaced | Letters | Oct. 23

In response to James Olsen’s latest nay-saying campaign, I cannot sit idle this time. Not when our kids’ education, health and security are at stake. I don’t recall electing Mr. Olsen, yet he imparts his (unique) opinion on every issue. His favorite method is to plaster the place with cryptic nonsensical signs, the general message is to obstruct positive solutions to every problem.

How easy it is to sit on the sidelines and assume those in charge are wrong. I am impressed at the level of untold research and care given to this issue by the board of education. It’s not an easy job, and it’s a thankless one at that. This school bond is vital to our community for it not only rebuilds Wilkes Elementary, it also repairs and renovates the other neglected schools on the island.

Wilkes is falling apart – literally. It leaks everywhere and in this climate, that leads to toxic molds. Also, it was built in a time before school security was an issue. The building is impossible to secure from (God-forbid) someone exercising his precious Second Amendment rights. Contrary to Olsen’s statement, there is not enough room for the students, especially as class sizes increase.

The current building is so insufficient, the school has for years resorted to permanent use of “temporary” prefab buildings.

The current structure lacks common space – something the entire community can utilize. As it stands, the poor kids have to eat lunch in their classrooms. None of this is acceptable.

Throwing the $42 million figure around as Olsen has done, is an obvious scare tactic. Construction of a facility of this kind costs what it costs, the estimate is par, and there are unique challenges in this case. In particular, there is the need to relocate and switch the placement of the buildings and playing fields. The board has been forthright and accurate in presenting a real budget.

So what is the bottom line? There will be no increase of property taxes! Period. Bonds are a tax always in flux, and other bonds are retiring soon, so there won’t be any increase in property taxes with passage of this bond. Read the specifics at http://www.bainbridge.wednet.edu/node/829.

The quality of our public schools is renown. This sustains property values. But the buildings themselves are antiquated and dilapidated, which will have the opposite effect. It’s a problem that needs to be solved, It will only get more expensive the longer we wait.

To our neighbors without school-age kids, I repeat, there will be no tax increase. If we simply do this for the obvious right reasons, the answer is simple. Please vote yes for the kids’ sake. It’s time.

Keith Brofsky

Bainbridge Island

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