Letters to the editor
December 31, 2009
Vote yes for Issaquah schools
On Feb. 9, the Issaquah School District will ask voters to renew three district levies — an operations and maintenance levy, a transportation levy and a technology/capital repairs levy. I support these measures, which are important to maintaining the high learning standards of our local schools.
The operations and maintenance levy is especially critical, because it represents approximately 21 percent of the district’s total budget. Without it, our students would have larger class sizes, we would do without support staff like librarians and counselors, and curriculum choices would disappear. The transportation levy will pay for newer, safer school buses. The value of the technology levy is obvious in an economy shaped by computers and automation.
The district recognized today’s economic climate by not requesting new taxes or construction bonds. Tax rates for these renewal levies will remain the same or lower for the next four years.
It is so important to prepare all children for future employment, citizenship, and participation in an increasingly competitive world. When your ballot arrives in the mail, please take the time to fill out your ballot and return it.
Please join our family in voting yes for Issaquah schools.
Support three school levies
As we face the holiday season this year, the current economic situation seems to come to the forefront of our minds. And the furthest thing from our minds is Election Day 2010.
But Feb. 9, 2010 is coming fast, and for our children, this election is critical. The Issaquah School District is asking voters to renew its commitment to education.
Every four years, our citizens must renew the maintenance and operation, school bus and capital levies for our schools, and this year is another opportunity in that cycle.
As involved parents, we see how vital the levy dollars are to the education of our children. When we see the district’s test scores, hear how educational assistants work with struggling students or watch our teachers use technology to improve student learning, it’s hard to believe the Issaquah School District is one of the lowest-funded schools in Washington state. And with the governor’s new budget proposal to make up for a $2.6 billion deficit, the money our district receives from the state will drop about $5 million.
That is why our levies are critical to the success of our schools. Not only do they pay for the lights, the heat, the copy paper and hundreds of other not-so-glamorous things, but they also pay for about 20 percent of our teachers and other certified staff.
More amazingly, the state does not pay for one bit of technology in our classrooms. If we want our children to continue to have an outstanding education to prepare them for life in the 21st century, it is imperative that we continue funding our schools.
So, if you haven’t yet registered to vote, you have until Jan. 11, 2010. Please register. And if you have registered, please check your mail, fill out your ballot, vote yes on the three levies and mail it in.
Lynne Hepp, president,
Newcastle Elementary School PTSA
Lynn Bisset, VIS representative,
Newcastle Elementary PTSA
Councilwoman Jean Garber thanks supporters, community
I very much regret not being able to attend the Dec. 1 meeting of the Newcastle City Council due to illness. I had intended to make a “farewell” statement, and will do so briefly in this letter to the editor.
First, I want to thank those of you who encouraged me to run, helped with my campaign and voted for me in the November election. I greatly appreciate your support. Thanks also to the many Newcastle residents who engaged me in conversation while I was doorbelling. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you better.
It has been a privilege to serve on the Newcastle City Council for 12 years, and I am proud of the work that the council, staff and community have accomplished together. I wish the newly constituted council wisdom as it leads the city into the future.
Jean Garber, former city councilmember
City needs to re-evaluate 116th Avenue Southeast snow route
To the city:
Thank you for the 2009 winter newsletter, which was sent to our home; we appreciate the information. However, we are concerned about the snow and ice priority routes as outlined on the map. We feel 116th Avenue Southeast needs to have a priority one ranking.
Along with those who live near 116th Avenue Southeast, we depend on this road to access Interstate 405 and services like markets and hospitals. We question why Newcastle Golf Club Road is ranked with a higher priority than 116th Avenue Southeast.
It doesn’t seem like Newcastle Golf Club road is critical in emergency situations. There are many side roads that intersect with 116th Avenue Southeast, and because we are the ones who pay the taxes in this city and need to get to our jobs in a safe manner, I would expect 116th Avenue Southeast to be a priority one route.
Please reconsider the snow and ice priority routes and provide a reply with the reason for making Newcastle Golf Club Road a higher priority than 116th Avenue Southeast.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Dean and Kirie Tsuchida