Legislators watching outcome of vote on cocurricular activities

Posted: Friday, March 19, 2004

A special election ballot has been mailed out to all borough voters at great expense to taxpayers. At least the last time, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly had the decency to boost us during a regular election!

Because this special election is costing us so much and could cost us much more, we should all feel compelled to vote and really get our money's worth!

The state Legislature also is watching this election to see how warmly the public might embrace new taxes or permanent fund raids, using the guise of meeting our children's needs. Are all these people using the same "play book"?

Proposition No. 1 asks voters to give the Kenai Peninsula Borough school board and assembly more power and greater taxing authority. Once again they have paraded a bunch of teary-eyed kids before the various boards to beg for more money. This ruse never seems to fail!

Last year, the issue was a new school for Seward. Who, with a clear conscience, could ever vote against a school? Certainly not the school board or the assembly!

Did any member from those bastions of conservatism bother to verify that a new school was really needed? Our school board said the old school was falling down and we needed to build a new one.

No one bothered to mention to the taxpayers that enrollment in Seward has been in steady decline and future projections call for further decline. We were told the middle school needs to be demolished and a new $14.7 million one should be built to replace it. No one mentioned that the two remaining "good" schools in Seward could accommodate all students not only now, but far into the future!

At the Feb. 3 borough assembly meeting, it was decided to keep the old middle school, so borough taxpayers can now support four buildings instead of just the two that could easily meet the community's needs!

Why were the right questions never asked or complete information provided to the voters? Why is more money needed now and how much is enough? How many more extra schools will be built and special elections held before the public finally wakes up and says "Nevermore!"

Mike McBride, North Kenai

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