Letters to the editor for May 30
Voters within the Lake Tahoe Unified School District: We have a rare opportunity to take advantage of $11 million to $15 million in matching funds from the state if we pass Measure A. If we do not, the matching funds would go to other schools in the state. LTUSD is organized to take full advantage of this rare opportunity.
While some believe that this would not be a wise expenditure of their property tax dollars, I argue differently. An investment of this magnitude would not only promote full- time residency, but it would also create a strong economic foundation to stabilize our local real-estate environment by invigorating our local economy through the creation of construction jobs, improving the local business climate and providing a positive economic outlook for locals.
Currently, all schools within the district are using many portable buildings that are aging, and some have reached the end of their life span for providing a healthy learning environment. These buildings are simply not worth renovating, and something must be done to replace them. While enrollment has declined for the past several years, it is not declining at a rate that would allow the school district to eliminate enough classrooms to decommission the portables without replacement. That leaves our children in poorly insulated buildings that potentially have health issues ranging from mold to structural stability if we do not pass Measure A. Not only is this bad for our children, but the utility costs and deferred maintenance costs associated with these buildings will continue to grow.
We can either invest now and take advantage of $11 million to $15 million in state matching funds, or be stuck with locally footing the entire cost later. Investing in our schools would provide necessary upgrades for the benefit of our children’s education and for the future of the entire greater South Lake Tahoe community. I urge you to learn more for yourself at http://www.tahoeyesonmeasureA.com so that you can make an informed voting decision. See you at the polls on Tuesday.
South Lake Tahoe
Here’s how the proponents of Measure A attack the situation. The technique is as old as politics. It is the Hegelian principle of bringing about change through a three-step process: thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis. The first step (thesis) is to create a problem (school repairs, new buildings, facilities, classroom comfort, etc.). The second step (antithesis) is to generate opposition to the problem (fear, hysteria, poor-kid syndrome, panic). The third step (synthesis) is to offer a solution to the problem created in step one – change that would have been impossible to impose on the people without the psychological conditioning achieved in stages one and two.
This is where we are on Measure A, which is a complete waste of money we don’t have and will continue on for years to come. And you can count on new problems (real or imagined) to have another round of taxation. The state hasn’t got the money, and the Lake Tahoe Unified School District doesn’t have the money, so you know already where it is going to come from – you. Don’t be suckered into this measure. Let’s make our voices heard against the whining and crying of the proponents and with their “in the best interest of the kids” story. We won’t produce one smarter kid with this measure and its millions of dollars to the residents and taxpayers of the district. Vote no.
South Lake Tahoe
We have three children attending three different schools in our district. We have consistently been grateful for the excellence and commitment of my children’s teachers. They have all continued to be committed, caring instructors during the difficult times of the past few years in our district. Now that we have an opportunity to augment this tremendous resource in our district, with up-to-date programs and buildings, we wholeheartedly support the passing of Measure A.
If you question the need for building improvements, please visit the middle school campus. It is in dire need of repair and improvement. We recently attended a dinner in the high school cafeteria, where we shivered as the wind blew through the large gaps below the walls, and where 70 of us filled the room – no wonder many of the 1,300 students at the high school go off campus for lunch.
Of more importance to us, however, are the educational programs that would be added or improved through Measure A. We need vocational programs that provide avenues for further training and/or employment for those students who are not college-bound. Measure A provides these opportunities through its programs in construction, media arts and the automotive academy. Europe has been providing these kinds of vocational options to its students for years. It’s time we did, too.
Please vote yes on Measure A on Tuesday.
Tim and Natalie Johnson
South Lake Tahoe
What Measure A boils down to is this: Do we want better schools in South Lake Tahoe? Do we want better educational facilities? Do we want, do we need more opportunities for our children? Do we deserve these things? Moreover, do our kids deserve any of these things?
Do the kids, ours and those of our friends, family and neighbors who will be born in the coming decades need any of these things?
Do we want our children to be better equipped to get a job when they get out of high school? Do we want to help the bulk of our students learn a usable, employable trade? Do we want to make South Lake Tahoe more of a high-quality, long-term residential community? Do we want to improve upon our current reputation as merely a vacation resort destination and become known as a high-quality, long-term residential community as well?
Are we willing to sacrifice just a little and pay a little money for better schools, better communities a nd increased property values?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, that should translate, I believe, into a yes vote on Measure A.
It’s as simple as that.
Steven J. McHugh
South Lake Tahoe
I would like to put in my two cents on Measure A. Has the school board noticed we are in a serious recession? The general public can hardly afford to keep their home, drive to and from work, and pay for groceries. Have they noticed the trend toward living within our means (given budget)? Times are tough. Get over your thinking of want; need is all anyone can do right now. I do not have children in the local school system now; they have graduated, and I am paying their college tuition. How about no on Measure A and charge the students who are attending a fee to cover whatever needs to be done or volunteer time. Isn’t that a concept: volunteer energy.
My family will have to give up our basic cable or land-line phone or cereal three times a week to cover Measure A. People are losing their homes in my neighborhood of 30 years. Actually, it’s pretty simple – if you use a service, then you pay for that service. Times are tough, people, and are only getting worse. Tighten those belts and purse strings.
Please join me in voting no on Measure A. Enough is enough!
Measure A is about our schools, for our children and, importantly, for our community. Measure A is a well-developed, detailed plan that needs to pass. Thanks to school administrators for looking to the future and planning for improvement.
Our school facilities are outdated, unsafe, depressing and do not provide for optimal learning. Research shows that modern, positive learning environments are conducive to positive learning results. I challenge you to tour our high school and investigate the situation. Does it make you proud to see the deterioration of such an important part of our town? It is no wonder some students prefer to skip school and go elsewhere, creating problems for our town. Good schools have attractive, modern facilities that attract positive energy for learning. This, in turn, attracts positive people who value education and continual improvement. Students will feel more respect for their school, for learning and for our community.
Those appreciating quality schools will choose South Lake Tahoe for their families. Attractive facilities will entice stable families to our town; more stable families to support our local businesses. It is all intertwined for the entire community.
We have this a responsibility to revitalize our schools and respect our community. Be a positive participant, not a complainer. Supporting this bond is the right thing to do for the vitality of our community.
Lee Anne Stigers Genasci
South Lake Tahoe
I have no children, yet under Measure A, I will be charged about $300 per year to support the children in this town. Why would I vote for that? Because someone did the same for me back when I was a child.
My dad worked two jobs, and my mom worked one to provide for our family. The only education available to me was public education. The town I was raised in invested in a new library resource center, an improved math and science wing, and an improved industrial arts wing just before my arrival in ninth grade. As a result, I attended a comprehensive high school that offered college, business, and vocational preparatory courses. I took cooking, math, drafting, physics, architecture, writing, metallurgy, computer programming and woodworking before graduating. Upon graduation, I was ready for the work force or college – my choice. What could be better than that?
Our high school’s industrial education classrooms are antiquated. Our social science and language arts portables are decrepit, poorly laid out and, quite literally, stink. Our cafeteria is small, cold and drafty. Measure A addresses these things and more.
I encourage you to do for the next generation what an earlier generation did for me and others. Provide our children with an education that readies them to (1) join the work force as skilled employees or (2) further their education at technical schools, community colleges or four-year colleges – whatever their choice may be. Vote yes on Measure A.
South Lake Tahoe
STHS math teacher
P.S. Measure A funds cannot be used for administrator or teacher salaries. I will derive no personal benefit from the passing of this measure. However, I will have to pay about $6 per week if it passes.
There you go again, asking us to vote to impose another tax on ourselves. What, did Congress take a day off or something? I keep hearing Measure A proponents blaming Proposition 13 for the shortfall of school funding. If I recall correctly, one of the main reasons for Prop 13 was to try and curb government waste. So much for lofty dreams. Now, it seems our representatives have figured a way around this by offering us $15 million dollars of our own tax money if we tax ourselves another $87 million. That $87 million will probably cost us close to $170 million to pay off the bond debt. Wow, how can I refuse an offer like that?
Vote yes on electing representatives who will work to curb wasteful government spending and provide ample funding for our schools. Vote no on taxes that just attempt to compensate for government waste. Vote no on Measure A.
South Lake Tahoe
For a young man, Steven Bailey Esq. has a breadth of experience to be admired. He is excellent at litigation, with an expertise in criminal and administrative law. His varied background and familiarity with the community has given him insight to everyday life experience. He knows the law and as a judge he will administer the law firmly, fairly, and with compassion. El Dorado County would be fortunate to have Steven Bailey elected to position of judge.
Dave and Bonnie McLane