February 12, 2001
Communities need to unite
Prompted by the genuine passion expressed in all the letters recently published on the issue surrounding the absence of adequate P.E. and athletic facilities at Cedarcrest High School, I feel compelled to acknowledge the contrasting emotions and views. Having personally orchestrated the bond campaign last fall, my assessment is based on facts rather than emotions.
By no means should the cherished memories of Tolt High School as an integral part of the Carnation culture be considered any less valid than the emerging emphasis on the exigency of adjusting to changes. While the tendency to attempt to identify the culprit may be natural and reasonable when something significantly meaningful fails to materialize, the time has come for all of us to shift the focus from mutual assignment of blame to cultivation and promotion of Riverview spirit and pride. The bottom line is that our children count on all of us to give our best and watch out for their best interests, as should be the community's responsibility.
In spite of all the negative scrutiny placed on Carnation, the campaign results revealed that there were undoubtedly 20 additional Yes votes to be gained right in Duvall, had more neighborhoods been canvassed and in a timely manner.
I urge you not to overlook the overwhelming evidence of the existing community support which culminated in a mere 20 vote deficit at 59.73 percent for the bond.
This might be an apt moment to look inward and ask ourselves how many neighbors each of us personally informed about the bond proposal, or whether any effort was made to encourage our middle and high school students to canvass our own neighborhoods by knocking on doors and passing out promotional literature.
As the person who directed the campaign by dedicating myself to the cause while neglecting my own priorities such as my husband and kids, I relied on the prospective beneficiaries to participate. Fruitful outcome was within our grasp only if the plan could have been executed fully. Instead, it was sabotaged by those who were "too busy." My assumption is that most of the teachers and coaches at all our schools, along with administrators, PTSA leadership and members must have also been "too busy" with other priorities more pressing than passage of the bond.
On whose shoulders should the responsibility of producing success rest? If everyone leaves the burden to someone else, failure becomes inevitable. In addition to my personal disappointment in the election results, it pains me to witness the persistent polarization between Duvall and Carnation when the real solution is at our disposal. It simply isn't rational to hold the entire town of Carnation accountable for 20 votes, since those votes could have easily been obtained in Duvall alone as well.
Heartfelt appreciation goes to the Carnation voters who established an unprecedented level of support in November and to all the supporters in Duvall. I share your devastation. I extend my infinite gratitude to the Cedarcrest student volunteers whose impressive commitment generated positive effects.
Lastly, I am supremely indebted to Kate Miller and all the parent volunteers who tirelessly and willingly contributed to the campaign process on behalf of all our children. Our collective efforts were not in vain.
There will be another P.E. and Athletic Facilities Bond in the near future, as the depth of the need to even the playing field for Riverview students continues to grow. Let us unite as one community with pride and purpose and rise together. Only then can we do our wonderful children justice.
Anyone interested in participating or contributing to the next campaign should contact me at 788-8920. I can also be reached at Cedarcrest at 844-4800 during my daily visits. Meanwhile, start talking to your kids and neighbors, especially those without children attending schools in Riverview.
Helen Mellor, CHS PTSA president