Northwest NEWS

February 7, 2000


Where does it stop?

   All of us would like to see the best school buildings and facilities, more schools, more teachers, brand new buses, new sports fields, new roads, new city halls and fire department facilities, public swimming pools, parks, and so on and so on and so on. Who wouldn't?

   But let's be realistic; it all costs lots of money, and frankly, I am tired of more and more of my money going out the door. Every year, we vote on more and more levies and propositions. I have yet to see one year where they don't ask for money for something.

   Why not come up with alternative ways of financing these projects? How about advertising in the schools? Many people in the area hate to see commercial industry come to the Valley, but realize it helps to generate and keep our tax dollars here in our own community. Instead of traveling outside the area to shop for groceries, clothes or personal items where the tax you pay helps some other community, it would stay here and be utilized in our own community.

   Property taxes do not generate a lot of revenue for general use in a city--most of your property taxes go to the schools. Most cities raised property, water, and sewer taxes before the first of the year because of I-695. They knew they would have a hard time justifying asking for increases if it went to a vote. Does this not tell you something?

   How about the computer technology levy that failed last year. Why? Because we all realized the school district was asking for way too much money. For what they were asking, they could almost have given each student, teacher, teacher assistants, and everyone that worked for the school district their own computer and still had money left over.

   But when you're purchasing something, and the money doesn't come out of your own pocket, being conservative isn't always at the top of the list. And as for buying the best on the market, most of us realize that computers become outdated every six to 12 months.

   In response to "School district employees deserve the best," please tell me why the children had January 3, 2000 off? Do you know? It adds considerable pressure when during the week my child does not attend school (not that I don't or wouldn't like to spend that time with them), but who can watch them?

   If I stay at home, I don't get paid, and we have a loss of income. If I pay to have someone watch my child, it costs me money I don't normally have to spend. If my husband stays at home to watch our child, he has to give up a vacation day.

   And yes, I agree that all the teachers, bus drivers, other staff, and so on, are special. But so is my family. My day doesn't end when I leave work, either. I go from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. to keep my family going. And the work that I bring home doesn't get done until everyone else is asleep.

   I do expect that a school district and teachers union should take into account the normal working hours and days of the normal family, and they should limit the days off during the normal school year.

   I believe we all have to compromise, give and take, to make this a better situation for all of us. I think parents feel with so many days off during the school year that wages are fair. So yes, thank you to all the school district employees who touch my child's life; you do deserve the best you can get, but not at the expense of taking away from my family to give to yours.

K. Smith, Duvall