(Editor's note: The following is from Harlan Gallinger of Citizens for Peninsula Schools regarding the proposed $50 million capital projects levy that voters will decide in November)
No one likes new taxes, including the Citizens for Peninsula Schools.
Unfortunately there are critical needs that absolutely need to be addressed now. You can imagine how the needs have grown when the community has only approved ONE capital measure in the past 23 years.
While there are needs across the District, the School Board selected and has focused on only the most essential which include a new elementary school to address severe overcrowding at Purdy Elementary, which is only going to get worse with the explosive continued growth in Gig Harbor north and replacement of Artondale Elementary which has been piece-mealed together and patched up so many times that it has become cost-ineffective for taxpayers for the District to continue to do so. Dozens of families each year in the Artondale area are choosing to send their children to private school, in part, because of the very poor facilities, but what about all the families who cannot afford to make that choice?
In addition the Capital Levy would provide much-needed safety measures at EVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL which are so important to parents of elementary students in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, especially with the remote location of MANY of our schools such as Voyager Elementary and Kopachuck Middle Schools.
It would also fund technology investments in EVERY SCHOOL, which would allow for the District to purchase devices for students to use which would equalize technology access for the schools who do not have PTAs that can raise $80,000 per year, particularly on the Key Peninsula. Finally, the levy would allow the District to replace the turf at Roy Anderson and make turf upgrades to the upper fields at Peninsula High School and the lower field at Gig Harbor High School, by using District funds and matching community grants through strategic partnerships with the area’s youth sports groups, which would benefit EVERY STUDENT AND ATHLETE in the District and community.
The Citizens for Peninsula Schools, urges taxpayers and interested community members to come learn more details about the Capital Levy so that you can understand that this WILL NOT raise your taxes 55% as the NAY campaign is saying. (~10% is the true number). Please visit the campaign Facebook page at “Campaign for Peninsula Students” and please visit the website at www.campaignforpeninsulastudents.org. Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to Harlan Gallinger email@example.com.