October 16, 2000
Voters must live up to their end of the bargain
Hopefully by now many readers in the Riverview School District have heard of the "Physical Education (PE) and Athletic Field & Track Bond", which will be on the November 7th election ballot. The 00-01 Cedarcrest PTSA formally endorses and fully supports this measure, which seeks to remedy the current inequities afflicting the quality of educational and extracurricular programs offered to students at Cedarcrest and to expand opportunities for organized field sports for Tolt Middle School.
Would anyone care to explain the school's inability to test PE students in running or many field events? Can someone justify why the track and cross country athletes must resort to running around through neighborhoods and are forced to risk long term bone and joint damage commonly caused by running on concrete surfaces? How do you console the football and soccer players, who are repeatedly confronted with forfeiting their home field advantage when competitors refuse to come play, due to safety issues directly linked to the substandard and overused conditions of the Tolt field? Once is embarrassing, twice is demoralizing, and the third time is utterly pathetic. Add to that the increased travel hours negatively impacting time spent on academics and time time. The list continues. . .
Equally significant is that even for the most outstanding faculty and motivated students, it is humanly impossible to overcome the consequences resulting from the absence of adequate on-site athletic facilities. This is a classic case of "matter over mind".
Furthermore, track and field should not remain the only field sport available to our elementary students from Stillwater, Carnation, and Cherry Valley upon their arrival at the middle school. Since Cedarcrest and other organized community sports place maximum allowable stress on the already fragile Tolt field, Tolt has no choice but to cope with restricted access for its own students.
This bond is drastically scaled down from the previous proposal ($2.995 million vs. $6.5 million, $.13 per $1000 assessed value vs. $.38, $26 per year vs. $78 for a home valued at $200,000) and will fund an all-season field and track with modest necessities (rest rooms, coaches box, bleachers, & concession stand), while marking a healthy start to a complete athletic complex at Cedarcrest. It should be emphasized that expiring bonds enable the overall average tax rate for school levies and bonds in this district to be maintained at or below $5 per $1000 assessed value.
The time to "even the playing field" for our children and the community support to make it a reality is long overdue. Our kids are putting forth their best effort to reach their potential and to become productive citizens. Shouldn't we live up to our end of the bargain by giving them our best? Thank you, in advance, for your support! Remember, "Not Voting" serves at a "No" vote.
Helen Mellor, 00-01 CHS PTSA President.