Guest opinion: RFSD will use bond money well
I believe we are blessed to live in the most beautiful place on Earth, and it is beautiful not just because of the wonderful mountains and rivers and valleys, but because of the people — who they are, what they value and what they do for each other.
One area of pride is engagement in our schools. Over the last several years, you have been asked to be involved in the school district’s strategic planning process and you responded overwhelmingly. We had many evenings of standing room-only participation in each community, and the ideas were innovative and brilliant and had the student as the focus.
You were asked again to be involved in our facility master planning process and you responded by giving significant amounts of time and effort to envisioning what is needed and possible in our communities for our children.
Now it’s time to see those visions realized, to modernize our schools, implementing best designs for safety, replacing buildings that are sorely out of date and even building a new school to relieve enrollment pressure in our elementary schools, and finding housing solutions throughout our district to attract and retain the best teachers and more.
This will require a large commitment to support the district in raising money to get these necessary and worthy projects completed. It is not without significant thought and deliberation that we come to our community and ask for your help. We are asking for $122 million to cover all that is needed in our communities for our schools. This translates into approximately $23 per month per $500,000 of residential home value. We recognize the sacrifice this is, and will ensure that any dollars raised are for school district construction and capital improvements alone.
Four years ago you were asked for and supported the mill levy override; one of only a very few districts in Colorado to do so. At that time I was opposed to the override primarily on the basis that the money was for general expenditure and not bound by resolution to the needed expenses. The campaign, however, focused on several areas of need, all of them worthy of our attention.
Now having been on the board for these last four years I can tell you without reservation or a single qualification that those dollars have been spent only on items promised in the campaign. In fact, every time an issue came before the board where we would possibly draw upon those override funds, the board would pull the language from the campaign and ballot and ask, “Are we being true to the promises made?”
In this case, the money needed and asked for is solely for these capital improvement and construction projects that will remain valuable assets owned by the district. These funds are not for general operating expenses. As always, the money would be spent only in accordance with the ballot initiative.
Again, we recognize this is a heavy ask and you have given so much. We have before us a great opportunity to restore and build the world-class facilities that are worthy of this most beautiful place that will only strengthen our ability to provide exceptional learning for our children.
Please join me in supporting this bond initiative.
Daniel E. Biggs is president of the Roaring Fork School District Board
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