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CONSIDER THIS: Werner's Take On Cascade School District Bond

January 27, 2011


Leavenworth residents have a decision to approve or deny a large capital construction bond for the Cascade School District, as well as approving a continuing maintenance and operations levy. In this week’s opinion and commentary, Werner Janssen has questions about portions of the bond issue.
Listen, and give your opinion. Agree or disagree? Let your voice be heard.



School Bond and Levy - Response from the Superintendent

At a recent visit to the Senior Citizens' Center this month, one member reminded me of an important fact, we are all owners of the schools and therefore dialogue about important decisions deserves our attention. Werner, thanks for your input. I enjoy your commentaries as they provoke my thinking. Here's some additional considerations... As stewards of your schools, buildings and property you own, the Cascade District has not asked for facility money for twenty years. This month we pay off Icicle River Middle School Debt. This is cause for celebration! As the owners of these schools, you are now being asked to continue investing in order to keep the buildings in good shape as generations have invested in the past. As the previously mentioned senior citizen reminded me as well, "We've invested in our schools in the past during tough times. My parents, grandparents and neighbors provided support and we need to continue to pay forward into the future. It's how we invest in our stability as Americans." As a district that runs the lowest levy and bond rate in our region, we've not asked for bond debt for over twenty years. We enjoy a lower rate because approximately 45% of Cascade property owners that pay taxes, have addresses on the west side of the mountains. It's nice to know these individuals are paying their share when they enjoy property ownership in our community. With this proposed investment there is an increase in taxes. We've not hidden this fact nor played tricks with the numbers. We've asked people and listened to what they feel they could afford, and we've scaled back our program around that feedback. The new bond/levy rate will still remain below the average in the region. Icicle River Middle School debt will retire this year which is cause for celebration and accomplishment for us all. Now we need to decide our next responsibility to provide educational facilities for our kids. I would invite you to stop into the district office hallway and view the pictures of our past history of school development in our community. Buildings have come and gone. They don't last forever. Assessing ourselves taxes to pay for schools has never been easy, but we have a long history of support. No one should be made to feel guilty to vote one way or the other. It simply comes down to the fact that we are the owners of these schools - what can we afford to do? We are paying off one building, what's next? We all understand that strong communities have strong schools. It's now time to vote as the owners of our schools in order to continue the dialogue. Werner, I appreciate your comments and I feel blessed to be part of such a fine community where differing opinions are valued and encouraged.


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