Nothing has changed since last school vote

Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I've been called stupid many times in my 70-some years, but this is the first time I've been asked to pay for the insult. I'm referring, of course, to the high school bond issue. I'm really not stupid. I think it is important to seriously review all bond issues. I spent a 40-year career in local government finance management and the last 20 years working for the City and Borough of Juneau; therefore I do have some knowledge to bring to my consideration of issues.

I will not repeat the reasons for the need of a new high school. Others have stated the need more eloquently than I. Financing for the new high school has been approved many times by an overwhelming majority of the voters. What happens when the bonds are again approved? Do the malcontents start another petition drive? With enough effort or money, one could get the required signatures to repeal the law of gravity.

The initiative process in government started with the Progressive Movement early in the last century, to provide relief from the very real corruption and lack of response from state and local governments. However, I do consider this another example of democracy run amok. A recent well-known example of misuse of the process is the recall of the governor of California. The real culprit in California was the misuse of the initiative process creating budgetary mandates over 20 or 30 years that is driving the state to bankruptcy.

I will vote for the bonds once again. Nothing has changed since the last time I voted for them. The high school is still overcrowded and the Legislature is still doing nothing about finances. But I resent being called stupid, especially when it costs me money.

Jim Kennedy


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