Letters to the Editor

School bond: Base remodel on school needs

In response to Mr. Fisher’s 15 March letter in the Whidbey News-Times, what facts were not explained and where is the misinformation in our statements? On Feb. 18, Mr. Hornung and I made a formal presentation to the Oak Harbor City Council explaining our positions and facts. That presentation was broadcast on local TV, and a copy of that presentation was/is placed in the local library for review.

We are willing to meet with Mr. Fisher or anyone else about the city council presentation, Voters Guide statements, or any letters or columns written to the newspaper by us. We encourage the public’s full understanding of all points, from both sides, related to a high school bond proposal.

The fact that I supported a $0.40 per thousand high school remodel bond in 2000 and opposed a $1.69 per thousand high school remodel bond in 2003 should need no further explanation. Based on OHSD budget documents, the renovation has grown from an estimated $20 million “needs” project to the latest $57 million “wants” project.

Oak Harbor voters (and property owners) do support our schools. Since 1996: a new middle school has been built, a middle school and elementary schools have been remodeled, and both a general levy and a lunch program levy have been passed. All are being paid for, primarily, by local property owners.

Let’s all focus on developing a bond proposal and remodel plan that continues to earn community support.

Bill Burnett

Oak Harbor

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