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Opinion

Proposed civic center property a plum for the city

a plum for the city Mr. Gilmore and Mr. Walgamott are opposed to the City of Woodinville acquiring the Sorenson School for use as a community complex. I cannot resist stating the facts about the ownership of the Sorenson School site.
   The site belongs to the Northshore School District. The Northshore School District is all of the Northshore School District--not just the taxpayers thereof that reside in the City of Woodinville.
   The residents of the City of Bothell, the town of Kenmore, the areas of Moorlands, Canyon Park, Cottage Lake, parts of Juanita, Hollywood Hill, parts of Kingsgate--all those people also own the Sorenson complex.
   I don't think it would be very satisfactory to the taxpayers in Woodinville if the Northshore School District gave a school site in Bothell to the taxpayers of that city, and furthermore, they are precluded by law from doing so.
   Mr. Walgamott and Mr. Gilmore are trying to cloud the issue by convincing you, the taxpayers, that you already own the Sorenson School site. In effect you do, but as a taxpayer of the Northshore School District--not as a taxpayer of the City of Woodinville. Therefore, you must reimburse all the other taxpayers of the Northshore School District for their site.
   Now, if the situation was turned around and the Northshore School District wanted a site in the City of Woodinville that the taxpayers of the city owned, wouldn't you be expected to want reimbursement for it? If the taxpayers in the City of Woodinville had paid for it, wouldn't they expect all the taxpayers of the Northshore School District to reimburse them?
   You think about it--and if the bonds are on the ballot again this fall, you do the only rational thing the City of Woodinville can do and that is acquire that complex while they still can. No other city I can think of has ever had the opportunity to aquire such a plum right in the center of the city for a Civic Complex.
   And don't listen to naysayer Mr. Dixon, either. Those buildings are not ready to be torn down. The only thing wrong with the old school is that the wiring and the plumbing are inadequate--but aren't we all grateful that Jim and Rosemary McAuliffe didn't tear their old schoolhouse down?
   The Sorenson School could never be replaced for the cost it is being sold for. That building is almost maintenance free, has movable interior walls and will serve the city with adequate office space for decades to come. I know, because my husband was on the School Board when the site was selected and then worked for the School District and helped plan and supervise the construction of the school.
   I would personally be the first in line to vote for this bond issue, but, you see, I can't. I don't live in the City of Woodinville. So I think the city should acquire this property and then charge all of us that weren't bright enough to be in the city a fee to use it!
   Since the School District has declared the site surplus, they will have to put it on the market within a reasonable time and sell it to the highest bidder. Urge your city councilperson to support putting it back on the ballot this fall and then get out and get everyone you can to vote for it!

Donna DeYoung, Hollywood Hill