It is unconscionable for me to vote yes on Measure L at this time until the contract negotiations of our wonderful teachers are settled with deserving respect, dignity and a pay increase.
As taxpayers are currently paying $34.30 per $100,000 of assessed value for Measure C. This was passed in 1999 and, as it stands, will continue until the year 2025. Measure L, if passed, will "up" this amount and see our taxes go to $48 per $100,000 and will continue to be paid until 2051 with a 2 percent increase every year.
In addition, our school district has collected an average of $3.5 million per year over the past several years in builder fees alone. These revenues along with our current Measure C amount to a huge amount of money now and in the future.
We already have had many improvements to our Truckee schools over the years including a new elementary school, new middle school, expansion and improvements at Truckee Elementary and, most recently, a beautiful new gym and cafeteria at the high school. These are all wonderful but I have one son graduating from college and one son heading off to college this fall. I have our teachers to thank for that, not new buildings.
Measure L, if it does not pass on June 3, can be put back on the ballot in two years. Before we are asked to spend one more hard earned dollar in taxes, I say enough is enough until our teachers get a fair deal. Until that happens, I am voting no on Measure L.
Having been involved more than 25 years with the youth in our area, we would like to urge your support on Measure L. Nothing is more important to the future of our community and our nation than the health and education of our youth. All are conscious of how we spend our money as the economy puts the squeeze on. Still, this is an investment of a tank or two of gas per year.
Some of the community have chosen to educate their children in private schools in Reno, usually citing quality. We educated our four children here and are proud of our schools. They deserve to be kept safe, equipped with current technology and have a variety of pathways that satisfy the needs of both college-bound and vocational bound students.
This measure is entirely separate from the issue of teacher pay. We support the teachers as well. Please give our children the chance to compete in a tech-savvy world. Please give our community schools consistent with the motto "Truckee Pride". The sacrifice is well worth it.
Chris Arth MD
Chris Miller Arth
In a recent "My Turn" I asked the voters to just say no to Measure L. I gave my perspective and since then the issues have gotten worse.
Have you wondered like I have where all the money for pro Measure L came from? I have researched where the Measure L folks are getting their money. I am appalled and you should be too.
As of May 17, 2008 the Measure L campaign L folks had a cash balance of $15,839.36. This is public information from the Registrar of Voters. You should know where this money comes from. Everywhere! Contributions came from a capital management company in Denver, $9,000; a roofing and pavement management company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, $500; a law firm in El Cerrito, $700; plus more money from Phoenix and Sonoma, just to name a few.
There is only one recognizable local name and that is the Glenshire Parent Teacher Organization, $1,000. Should the Glenshire parents wonder why this money went to the Measure L campaign instead of Glenshire programs?
Why are the folks behind Measure L soliciting such large sums of money from outside the school district? Who is it that will really benefit from Measure L's $93 million? This doesn't seem right. Again, I am asking you to vote no on Measure L.
From a business perspective, there are many reasons to support Measure L. If approved, Measure L would expand vocational education facilities for all students and offer training and skill development for students not planning to attend college. These skills will help train students to meet the needs of our local labor market. Measure L would improve facilities with modern technologies for educating children in the 21st century and increase the desirability of Truckee for new businesses and permanent residents.
Schools are the center of a thriving community and reach farther than just the children who attend them. Truckee schools serve many local organizations and provide critical emergency shelters to residents and tourists in the event of natural disasters.
Truckee High School is on the western gateway to Truckee. Improving the buildings and grounds will improve the overall impression of Truckee as a destination. Currently, the Town of Truckee has designated this area as an area for redevelopment. Good schools are also critical to a community's quality of life. You cannot have a healthy and sustainable community without good schools. Measure L will contribute to a sustainable, vital and stable, family oriented community.
Being an owner of a local business and having served on the Board of Directors for the Truckee-Donner Chamber of Commerce for six years, our local business community faces many challenges. Please consider Measure L as an investment, an investment in our community, an investment for our future. Vote yes.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of supporting higher taxes for education. After all, "it's for the children." People need to understand homeowners put tax money into the education system every year, and every year along comes another measure asking for more. I believe most honest, hard-working taxpayers don't mind supporting our schools. But when is enough enough?
I am tired of the premise that if you don't support Measure L, somehow you don't understand or appreciate the importance of education. Just because you are against new taxes doesn't mean you don't care about our children, the education system or society as a whole. Many people just feel that given the current state of our public school system, and with declining enrollment, no new taxes should be required. What about next year? Will it be Measure P, Q, R?
Frankly I think the school district needs to be more efficient in the job they are paid for " educating our children. What about the old middle school just sitting there? What is the value of that real estate?
It's good to be home. It's good to be back where people value their community and take responsibility for it. We were fortunate enough to recently move back to Truckee after having moved away last June. Our son spent the first six months of this school year in one of the most troubled public school districts conceivable. We were appalled at the lack of community involvement and the total lack of ownership for their public school system. The vast majority of people there have abandoned the public schools all together.
Imagine how delighted we were to return to Truckee mid-school year and be welcomed back as family to Donner Trail Elementary. You can also imagine how happy and relieved we were to find this community working so hard to improve the school facilities here through Measure L. People here just seem to get it.
Our public schools are just another community asset for which we as a community are responsible. Look at our track record. We can be proud of how our tax dollars were used at Glenshire, Alder Creek, and the improvements to date at Truckee High and Truckee Elementary. We also use our school facilities for so much more than school functions. Can you imagine this community without those facilities?
Voting no will only postpone the inevitable and increase the cost, because schools are, after all, deteriorating assets. Is this the last school bond you'll ever see? No. This is the only way under state law to provide funds for facilities and to qualify for state matching funds. I wish Measure L could solve all our district's problems, but it simply can't. What it can solve is the condition of our facilities at the same rate of tax we agreed to in 1999.
I was impressed with Ms. Phebus' comments last week to parents of up and coming sixth graders about ACMS. She mentioned how much better the learning conditions were at the new middle school with improved lighting and air circulation, among other things, and how that has resulted in higher test scores. She then told us to look around. They've been in the new school for over three years now and it still looks brand new. That's because the students are proud of their school. They've been told how their parents and the rest of the community paid for the school with their tax dollars and now it's their responsibility to keep it like they found it. Looks like our kids just seem to get it, too.
I carefully consider support for measures that appear on our ballots. The majority of which, I dispense with a "no" vote. I do however, support Measure L and recommend you do so as well. This is about our kids.
This is not a new tax, this is not a tax increase, this is a measure that extends the life of Measure C that we passed in 1999. Measure L, at the same rate of assessment we currently support, will enable our kids to have the school experience, environment and educational benefit that will equip them for the world they will face in this 21st century. Many of our current educational facilities were built halfway through the last century. This is about our kids.
Schools say much about a community. They represent vibrancy, pride, spirit and ambassadorship. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and for my comfort, I'd feel better if the world had more of our kids out there doing the leading. This place is different and has a sense of community unmatched in my travels, our children will carry that their entire lives even if they don't know it yet. We must set the example by providing them every opportunity to be competitive through a complete educational environment. This is about our kids.
Are we really unique? Truckee voters are among the most community minded you'll ever come across in California. Since Truckee officially became a "town" in 1993, her citizens have considered weighty issues at the ballot box that have shaped the community as we know it today.
Past examples being support for enhanced road maintenance, health care, Sierra College and of course our schools through the original Measure C. Truckee folks pick up trash on Truckee Day, graciously labor on trail building, and we spend a Sunday each October restoring our watershed on Truckee River Day.
We are not in the habit of waiting for someone else to meet our needs. I would submit to you that no one is gallantly riding a white horse up the west slope from Sacramento to save the day for our rural schools. We must do it. This is about our kids.
I see the signs of opposition. I know the teachers are engaged in their efforts with the district and I understand that. However, that is an adult dialogue between the board and the teachers and this is a facilities bond that can't be used for salaries. Measure L is about our kids.
Respectfully, please vote "Yes" on Measure L.
Ted Owens is the District 5 Nevada County supervisor