Re-1 is keeping promises |

Re-1 is keeping promises

My Side
Bruce Wampler

Last November, almost six out of 10 voters in the Roaring Fork School District voted to approve an $86 million bond issue to remodel, repair, or rebuild nearly every public school building in our three communities. This is impressive support for a tax issue. The citizens of our valley have shown remarkable caring and understanding when it comes to our children’s education.

Now some people want to recall Susan Hakanson and me because they don’t like the Glenwood Springs High School project. Recalling an elected public representative is a serious matter, and should be reserved for grievous misconduct or malfeasance. It should not be based on incorrect information, or used for protest against those who are performing their duty by keeping promises made to the voters.

The decision to expand the GSHS campus was the result of years of study. It involved many public meetings with citizens from our communities, and careful consideration of many possible alternatives. Over and over again, the Board of Education heard from the public that they wanted GSHS to stay where it is. The GSHS project represents the best alternative and the wisest use of public tax dollars that we could devise.

In a small town like ours, the high school serves as a hub for community activity. The new high school will be something that we all can be proud of for the next 50 years. There will be state-of-the-art academic classrooms, with the room and flexibility required for a 21st-century education. The building will include extensive day lighting and energy efficient systems. There will be more space and capacity, including a new auditorium, improved facilities for the arts, a new gym with more seating, new stands for the football field, and more practice fields and parking.

No project of this size can please everyone. One of the most difficult parts of being an elected representative is finding those compromises that meet the greater good. Sometimes that greater good requires sacrifice by a few. The board of education takes this responsibility seriously, and believes that the new GSHS will serve the needs of our community and thousands of students for the next 50 years, just as the old building has for the past 50.

Unfortunately, I don’t have space to answer all the reasons against the GSHS project, many of which are incomplete or inaccurate. I invite you to e-mail me at bwampler@rfsd.k12. if you have questions or comments.

My duty to the public is to do what is best for our students, our school district, our community and our future. I have an obligation to use my best efforts to keep the promises made to the voters last November. If I failed that obligation, there would be reason for a recall. But I am proud of how the board of education has conducted itself, and the careful and responsible way it is overseeing the spending of your tax dollars on construction projects resulting from the passage of the bond.

Bruce Wampler is vice president of the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 Board of Education.

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