Letter: RFSD’s war on senior citizens
Senior citizens in the Roaring Fork Valley have for many years supported the Roaring Fork School District by paying yearly taxes and by passing school bond issues when they made sense. Senior citizens represent the heart and the history of the Roaring Fork Valley, however, due to the most recent outrageous tax increases by the school district ( the last school bond issue increased our taxes by about 15 percent) most of us will not be able to retire and remain in the valley. In fact, several of my friends have already moved west to places like Parachute or Grand Junction in order to remain in the state that they love.
The last school bond issue was for $100 million. I believe that it passed mainly because it included funding for both the Basalt and Carbondale schools (the Carbondale Schools really needed it), but did we really need, in a city of only 8,500 plus, a new $41 million high school, which has since had several problems with both its heating and cooling systems, and don’t’forget that, once construction began, they discovered asbestos, which magically appeared and cost us several million dollars more, when most of the Denver/Front Range cities with student enrollments approaching 2,000-3,000 students are having trouble passing a school bond issue due mainly to the economy.
We are just coming out of a major recession where several people have lost homes and jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.
Well hold on to your britches folks, because RFSD is back at it — to the tune of a proposed $122 million bond issue on the November ballot. They hired an architect to come up with a Facility Master Plan or, as I refer to it, their “wish list.” Most Facility Master Plans are for 10-20 years; not just one. Then the school district discretely (not very well published) issued a survey to the parents of the district (it mentioned local residents, but was not directed to them considering only one or two questions concerned them). This survey appeared mainly to rally the troops (the parents) to support a future bond issue (no mention of the cost at that point).
Isn’t it obvious that this survey was not directed to the rest of us? Didn’t our opinions matter? If we pass this bond issue, we will be strapping our senior citizens, and every other resident, with a great tax burden — to the tune of over 15-20 percent more in taxes, and it won’t be going away soon.
None of us needed a new $41 million high school to get a great education. If we truly wanted it, we knew that we needed to work hard to get it. I am all for increasing deserving teacher’s salaries, just as I have always voted for both firefighter or police officer salary bond increases. Good education comes from good teachers; not new buildings. To ask for a $122 million school bond issue in this economy is pure and simple greed by the school district. I, for one, would never support it and I hope that you feel the same.
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