Our kids are worth the money | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Our kids are worth the money

It’s the ninth inning, the score is tied, the bases are loaded and there are two outs.And the pay-off pitch is Tuesday when voters will decide on Measure A.

Years from now, will residents say with relief, “I’m glad I voted for that measure. I shudder to think what would have happened to our schools and the overall health of our community had we voted against it?”

In sports speak, compare this situation to what the Indianapolis Colts faced the night before the 1998 NFL draft: Should they take Peyton Manning with the first pick or Ryan Leaf?

We all know how that one turned out.

As a community we should have a pretty good idea what will happen if Measure A doesn’t pass on June 3. Our schools will continue to become some of the most outdated facilities in the country.

How many communities our size do you know that haven’t built a new school or done a major makeover to one in the past 35 years? That’s a disgrace.

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We’ve fixed up our downtown, modernized some of our athletic facilities, and now it’s long overdue to do something for the students. I’ve seen how the kids’ react when the walk into high schools like Damonte Ranch and North Valleys. The kids become excited and envious in a matter of minutes. They yearn for something better, and that’s probably part of the reason why we have lost a chunk of our enrollment over the past 10 years.

You don’t need to have children in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District to predict what the $87 million facilities improvement bond will do for the overall well-being of our community. Rather than chase families away and contribute to the town’s transiency, I believe it will attract more people, and in turn, stimulate our local economy.

Again, this assumption has a parallel from the sports world. I remember as an Oregon State football fan suffering through decades of futility. About a decade ago the Beavers began turning things around because they modernized their stadium and put some money into their practice and weight lifting facilities. Now, better athletes are attracted to their program, and the Beavers go to a bowl game almost every year.

Home owners do the same thing with their properties. They paint, make improvements and remodel, so one day their original investment doubles or triples in value.

It’s time to make that investment in our town’s future.

Paying a little more in taxes each year is of little consequence when a critical part of the community needs fixing.

Isn’t paying $100 or $200 more a year in taxes worth improving the futures of our children? And if you are picking up this newspaper on a regular basis, the money that you are saving on the free copies should already have those taxes covered.

– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or syingling@tahoedailytribune.com.