I offer congratulations over and over again to the voters and citizens of College Place for having the courage and the foresight to pass a school bond that essentially does a makeover of their school system while creating a College Place High School. This is the most important development in secondary education in the 35 years I have lived in Walla Walla.
It is worthwhile to notice the tax rate to pay for the bond for this new high school and redo are about four times as much as the ones that would have been imposed by the recently defeated by minority vote of the Walla Walla High School bond.
I attended the meeting at the School Board office to go over the recent campaign and voting. I deeply sympathize with individuals for whom an increase in taxes would be an intolerable burden.
But certainly there can’t be that many more senior citizens on fixed incomes who do not qualify for an exemption or are otherwise financially strapped in Walla Walla than there are in College Place. In my opinion, the argument that the bond was too big and that the community can’t afford it is invalid.
Four times, my fellow citizens. You can afford to pay a fourth as much as they are now paying in College Place.
The other issue that seemed to still have resonance for the naysayers was a lack of trust of the School Board. Another was that maintenance on the high school was not properly done.
Has it occurred to anybody that probably one of the reasons an earlier School Board took funds left over from the Edison construction, meaning it came in under budget, and distributed them to several other worthy projects at different schools was for maintenance? The Board emphatically did not take the money and run off to Hawaii. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t complain about the lack of maintenance and then criticize the Board for doing some maintenance.
It is possible to carry grudges for decades. On the other hand we are encouraged to believe in a forgiving God. In my opinion it is not good policy to punish new generations of students for the actions of an earlier School Board.
It is time to forgive, and to pony up. Taxes are a privilege assessed upon the citizens for a civilized society. We have a responsible School Board that put forth a reasonable bond. Please support the students and the Board when another bond comes forward.