There are several reasons that I am against the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 bond issue:
It is not that I do not want to see schools rebuilt, and I think that paying teachers more is a great idea. I think that Re-1 has some very dedicated and awesome teachers. I do have a problem with the honesty of the school administration in what it is asking for, and how the tax will actually affect the valley:
First, in a bond issue, businesses pay three times as much as a private citizen, but they do not have near the voting power, so businesses are not fairly represented in the vote.
Second, the businesses will have to pass the rise in taxes to the consumer, which is you. So you will be paying more in everyday purchases to support this tax, not just what the school board is telling you for you individual home increase in taxes.
Third, Re-1 just tells you that it is acquiring six acres for Glenwood Springs High School, but does not tell you which six acres. It is six acres of Grand Avenue, which has five businesses and several homes on it. The businesses affected are Glenwood Gymnastics Academy, Defiance Thrift Store, Italian Ice, Valley Refrigeration and True Value Hardware.
Fourth, as far as I know officially, Re-1 has not contacted any of the businesses that they will help with the displacement, and that more than 50 jobs are at stake. These are taxpayers who support the school financially, and this can cause many hardships for people with steady jobs.
Fifth, Fred Wall was quoted in the paper stating that, “A relocation clause that would require the district to help businesses relocate will probably be added.” Well it seems to me if it is not in place now, why would you add this after winning the election?
Sixth, Wall says that Glenwood Springs High School needs to be on 34 acres and with this change it will be on only 20. Does that mean they will need to displace even more homes and businesses in the future?
Seventh, the high school is at a 4 percent growth rate in the past 10 years, and according to their study they will shrink in the next few years. They are not even at optimum levels for their class sizes much less full. This is according to their study, and anyone can get this study on the Internet: board.rfsd.k12.co.us/facilities/fmp/FMP-1003-Contents.htm
Eighth, Grand Avenue is busy enough; do we really want to put the high school on Grand Avenue? I would worry about the safety of the students being right on that particular road.
Ninth, do you really want to purchase the most expensive property, which is not for sale, for a high school?
In conclusion, I feel it is a sad thing to add such a large purchase of property and businesses for a shrinking school, when so much is needed for our schools districtwide. I own Glenwood Gymnastics Academy, and have supported the development of the children in all the schools over the years. I have had students get full scholarships in both gymnastics and cheerleading. I have been coaching in Glenwood for 20 years, and find it hard to believe that Re-1 at this point is being an adversary instead of working not only with me, but also with all those who are at risk of being dispersed in their livelihoods.
Thank you for your time.
Coach Rob Jones is the owner of Glenwood Gymnastics Academy and lives in Glenwood Springs.
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