Letters to the Editor

Letter | History lesson

In 1990, the Mercer Island School District proposed a bond measure for $49.5M to rebuild Lakeridge Elementary and remodel West Mercer, Island Park, Islander Middle School and Mercer Island High School.

The bond failed, in part due to public sentiment that it was too big and a belief that the project could be done for less money.

In response, the School Board broke up the bond package. From 1993 to 1996, voters approved three separate, smaller bonds for a total of $54.0M. These bonds funded renovating all five schools, but did not rebuild Lakeridge as originally planned.

The net result? Mercer Island residents spent 9 percent more, delayed the benefits and positive impact to education by three to six years, and got less for the spend.

The current bond measure is informed by what we learned in the ’90s. The measure authorizes bond sales over a five to seven-year period that will fund all phases of rebuilding, and result in a predictable, even tax rate over the next 25 years. Having one comprehensive program with phased steps will save money in financing, design and construction, and will take advantage of historically low interest rates.

This is a fiscally sound, responsible proposal. Please join me in voting YES for this measure.

Fred Jarrett

 

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