Northwest NEWS

October 30, 2000

Editorial

Issue won't go away because there is a need

This is going to be great. I am very excited to learn that the Riverview Physical Education and Athletic Field Bond will be on the ballot for this Nov. 7 election. We have the opportunity to make this need a reality. I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the controversy that surrounds this extremely important issues.
   First, I would like to speak directly to those who want to know why this issue has been placed on the ballot again. I have heard comments such as "we have already said no four times. Why don't they get it?" One word explains why this issue won't go away - need. This is not a matter of a community merely wishing for better facilities. Our district (like it or not) has become larger and shows no sign of slowing.
   This population increase greatly impacts the school district and its ability to meet the needs of the growing student population. Physical Education is part of any good school's curriculum. The facilities that currently exist are antiquated, in extremely poor condition, and put plainly and honestly, potentially dangerous to our students who have no choice (gym class) but to use what is there.
   Just in case someone may think it is an exaggeration to use the word "dangerous" as a description, I speak from personal experience. My child was badly injured using the track facility at Tolt in her freshman year. She underwent surgery as a result of the injury she sustained, and to this day, (five years later) continues to have problems directly related to having to use Tolt's poor quality facility.
   In the Seattle Times a few weeks ago, there was an article stating that the City of Seattle had to place a measure on the ballot four times before the Metro Bus System was finally passed in 1971.
   This was not a matter of wishes either. Sometimes it takes time before the recognition of true need catches on. This explains why this bond issue has not gone away. I also would like to address several segments of the population here in the valley who may not see how they will benefit directly from having this measure pass. I believe all members of our community will be better off when this new facility becomes a reality.
   To the merchants of Duvall and Carnation: Having this new facility will add to your bottom line - I can't imagine any storeowner having an issue with more sales. People from other communities have to drive through our towns to get to events. More people coming through our town to attend more games and meets translates into more business. Here's a great reason to support this measure.
   To the senior citizen community members who may not have a direct student connection to any of the schools: Your physical presence at the events tells our youth that what happens to them and what they are trying to achieve matters to all ages of our community. It is important to have parents cheering them on, but when our Seniors attend, it tells our students that an entire community cares enough to show their support.
   Additionally, these events provide another opportunity for seniors to stay active in our community, as a social function and an atmosphere of mentoring and support for our young people. Our youth are only as good as the role models they have around them.
   In our society as a whole, we are forgetting the importance of including the wisdom and guidence of our elders who can help pass down values and knowledge to the next generation. It's a win-win situation to have our Senior Citizens with us. To those community members who don't have students in this district: This facility will be available for everyone's use. What a great incentive to come out in support of our up and coming athletes, and to work on your own physical health - a complex right in our neighborhood. In addition, just talk to anyone who lives in a community, and a true sense of camaraderie with our fellow neighbors are all invaluable attributes that will come from passing this bond. One more benefit is having some place constructive for our young people to be after school. A place where they can focus on improving themselves. These accomplishments can not be measured in terms of dollars.
   The final issue I wish to address is the negative aspect regarding this entire matter. After careful consideration, I can only come up with one. The funding for this desperately needed complex is not available without the passage of this bond. Taxes are an inevitable part of life. The money for schools has to come from somewhere. The good news is that this bond replaces ones that will expire. Essentially, the amount we are all being asked to agree to will not substantially increase the amount we already pay. The numbers available amount to approximately $0.13 (thirteen cents) per $1000 assessment of one's home. For a $200,000 house value, is $26 a year too much to come up with to trade for all the benefits our community will reap when this bond passes? (How often do we spend that amount on an occasional night out?) For this amount, can we afford not to improve our community? Just for the record, this measure did pass the last time, but did not have the super majority needed to make it official. (Not enough voters turned out). This time around, let's join together to answer this question with a resounding yes, we will make it so. Vote yes for proposition 1. Say yes to our schools and our community. This is going to be great.
   Beth Goodman, Duvall