LETTER: Former Burien Councilmember on School Bond in Voter’s Pamphlet


[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The White Center Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Friends,

I sat down today to fill out my ballot. I knew I needed time because this ballot is long, very long. I first read the King County Voter’s Pamphlet. Whoa!! I had to read the Highline Bond to Reconstruct Schools twice and then had to reflect. It looked funny so I munched my M & Ms and figured out why. It looks like I am an author on the pro statement for the bond as well as an author of the con rebuttal to the pro statement. My head was spinning. But after looking carefully I think it is just a matter of understanding that the authors are listed in the text boxes and that the con side is quoting me on one important issue – “it needs to be logical and affordable to us.” It is a statement that the CFAC took to heart right down to the very last minute. That quote from a video along with all of the data CFAC studies is available on the Highline District website.

The technology on this bond is only for safety measures: electronically controlled doors, to lock classrooms down during an emergency situation. The total cost of this technology is $2.5 M and will last for years. These measures even decreases the costs of security on an annual basis. As we try to follow emerging advice about making our homes safer how can we deny that safety to our kids and teachers at school? That’s one of the reasons Sheriff Urquhart endorsed the bond.

There is only one bond that we are voting on not a series. The CFAC, made up of your neighbors, were charged with studying the professional engineering studies of each of our schools and recommend a process to improve them. CFAC developed a fiscally responsible long term plan that spreads our school district’s needs over 20 years to make it affordable for the taxpayers. Since the state does not fund capital improvements, voter approved bonds are the only way to fund school construction and renovation. All districts must ask voters to invest in schools periodically, just as you must invest in maintenance and repairs on your home every few years.

We are lucky in this Highline community to have people step up and say “I will help work to find a way forward to make all of our schools safe and education friendly.” A future committee of Highline folks will put the finishing touches on that future bond when the economy is right. This community does put children first.

My kids and grandkids are all grown and out of school. But as an empty nester I know that my responsibilities to our community’s children is not over. I admire the WWII generation that built schools for us and our children to attend – schools that now need to be replaced. The Highline schools bond addresses our most urgent needs, including overcrowding and safety issues while keeping costs to taxpayers low.

Please join me and many of your neighbors in voting Yes for Highline/Prop 1 on the second page of your ballot.

– Rose Clark
Capital Facilities Advisory Committee member
Yes for Highline campaign volunteer, Highline Public Schools
Former Burien City Councilmember

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