Exercise your vote in special election

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2004

If you read the article by Tara Sidor, Tuesday, March 9, 2004, you know the Assembly is waiting until 10 days after the special election to award the bids for the site work at Dimond Park for the new high school. This is just a formality, and an attempt at making it look as though there is a democratic proccess for the initiative. They (the city Assembly) have no intention of stopping the construction of the new school no matter what the vote may be.

Mr. Dave Hanna is correct in his assumption that the final bids will be several millions over the $62.5 million proposed budget due to the complexity of the current round-hub style design for the building. While efficient looking, it is very difficult and expensive to construct any building with a curved or round configuration. Therefore, at some point in the future, after the site work is completed, they will be asking us to approve more money (or bonds) to complete the project that we could not possibly stop (after investing so much already).

While I work in the construction industry, and want all of our children to have a good education, I have noticed that this controversy over the building of the new school is something that cannot be readily supported by myself and apparently enough others to require a special election. I have talked to many teachers about the funding for the new teachers we will need to hire, and neither they nor I can see where the money will come from to pay them or heat and maintain the building without raising either property taxes, or property values. Why are they going to lay off teachers next year? Who will be teaching our students? And this is now. What about in three years when we need to staff the new school? Are we magicaly going to have a new tax base? Doubtful. I don't have all the answers, I wish I did. I hope the taxpayers of this city at least have some of them.

So please, excercise your right to vote at the special election on May 25, 2004, and tell the city assembly what you think of how they are spending our tax dollars.

Troy Bowthorpe

Juneau



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