Letter: Ridgefield resident responds to statement against Ridgefield school bond proposal



Steve May offers his support for ‘Yes’ votes on Proposition 10 and Proposition 11

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com

Regarding the upcoming Ridgefield School District’s bond issue votes. I received the Voters’ Pamphlet and frankly, I was shocked, shocked I say, at the superficiality of Ms Pozzo’s statement against voting in favor of the bond measures. A proper response would take pages — I’ll try to abbreviate this.

Steve May
Steve May

If one is trying to convince voters to vote “no” on a contested issue it might be wise to provide more than the superficial generalities she provided if you want to be taken seriously.

“You get no say in the design.” Well, since all the citizens of Ridgefield are licensed architects or urban planners let’s just have everyone submit their own favorite design, complete with all the required mandated facilities systems. Sounds good. 

“If passed, more bonds will follow.” Duh. We live in the fastest growing town in Washington, so I’m sure in a few years when these newest schools are bursting with newly arrived students, surely no one will want a new school paid for by bonds. I know — Ms Pozzo and her group can fund the next school(s) and save the voters the expense. Thanks!

Who knew — when you take out a mortgage (or bond) you have to pay interest! If Ms Pozzo’s math is correct (I don’t deal in numbers this large) we’ll pay $40 million over 21 years on a $70 million bond. Do you have a mortgage on your house? A $300,000 mortgage (with a $60,000 down payment) requires about $170,000 in interest. Seems kinda, I don’t know, “normal” to me.

Ms Pozzo says the schools don’t “need all the extras for the community.” I would hope most people disagree with this myopic view — there are very few locations in Ridgefield or any other town where “the community” can interact with one another and schools provide the perfect forum. If not the schools — where? Here’s a suggestion Ms Pozzo may like — let’s just provide basketball courts and football fields with no seating or non-student access since they’re just an “extra” for “the community.”

There could be many more of these — I’ll close with one more. “New roofs? . . . Why not through regular maintenance? Contrary to what Ms Pozzo says almost 1,400 new students have arrived in the past six years. The district is struggling to accommodate them, and some maintenance has been deferred. Perhaps Ms Pozzo will invite all of us over to her house so we can observe how to immaculately care for a home while staying on top of every conceivable household system.

This might be overly aggressive and too long, but if people are going to argue we should not pass good faith bond proposals that benefit our children, they owe us specifics and not hollow statements offering nothing but “No.”

Steve May
Ridgefield


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11 Comments

  1. Richard Rylander

    Interesting comments from Mr. May. While he says he disagrees with the fact statements he doesn’t refute them. I fully support his right to his opinion. I would hope that voters take the time to read the pro and con statements and explore the myriad of articles published before deciding. The facts don’t lie…

    Reply
    1. Steve May

      There are only four “facts” presented in the “no” statement, and there is no reason to “refute” any of them. They are:
      1. The dollar amount of the bonds.
      2. Asking for new 5-8 school.
      3. Asking for H.S. wrestling room.
      4. Interest will add to the initial cost of the bonds.
      One almost fact—the 5-8 school is only 10% over capacity (I have it on reliable authority it’s actually a bit more than that). Nevertheless, at the rate Ridgefield and its schools are growing, many (most?) of us would say prudence suggests we should prepare for the future.
      So, Mr Rylander, you’re right. I don’t refute the facts. They are, after all, “facts”: I agree with the facts.

      Reply
  2. Fox

    This was the worst refute I’ve ever seen. When Ridgefield designs schools that cost 56% more than Evergreen school district, that’s why people want a say in a design because we need to build multiple schools, not one extravagant one. I wish people did more homework than this guy. There’s definitely a class clash going on in Ridgefield. Those who can afford it and those who can’t.

    Reply
    1. Sally

      Show us the sources to your “56% more” claim. Did you do your homework?

      So what you are saying is the architectural firm and the district employees working to build new schools are rich folks, and all the poor folks are just going to get the benefit of enjoying these buildings? Or….? What’s your definition of class clash? I’d love to hear it.

      Reply
      1. Fox

        In 2018, Ridgefield’s Elementary was proposed for $56m, the same design used today. Evergreen had 2 elementary schools built for $36m. The same firm designed both districts, when talking with the project management at the community meetings.

        I always wondered why and no one ever answered why. Now it makes sense after reading a recent article in Clark County Today. Go check it out.

        If you can afford an extra $1000 a year, and additional levy increases coming next year, then you’re likely not phased by inflation. That’s a clash of classes.

        Reply
  3. Citizen Infinity

    If these nonsense garbage bonds pass the citizens of Ridgefield will be paying approx. $6 per $1,000 of assessed value to the schools. Almost $4 to Ridgefield and $2+ to state schools. The assessed values for property taxes are through the roof already. Anyone who owns any land larger than a postage stamp is already assessed at an outrageous amount and the property taxes are through the roof, and are unsustainable. I thought I would die in my home in Ridgefield but at the current trajectory I will be forced out of my home and off my land long before I die and it will be the property taxes that will do it. It’s sad. It’s quickly becoming completely unaffordable. Meanwhile Costco gets a total exemption of taxes and fees and the citizens get asked for more and more. Give me a break with this nonsense.

    These schools are nothing more than look at me architecture and filled with unnecessary wants and not needs. No one wants to help pay for schools that make the cover of architectural digest. It’s the quality of education. The teachers. That’s what makes a difference. No kid ever remembers a school, or a room, but I guarantee you every kid remembers a teacher.

    Reply
    1. Sally

      What is every district around us, in every neighboring town, paying? Curious if they are similar, because I bet they are. News flash- everything is going up in price.

      Reply
      1. Citizen Infinity

        Well the fact that you don’t even know this yet are blindly willing to just “trust me bro” and vote yes and pay tells me everything I need to know. This will put Ridgefield higher than any school in the area and this will only be the start. Wait until the levies come to run these schools. I’ve read that if this passes the cost per student will be the highest in the state. One publication stated the cost per student will be higher than Washington State University.

        “New flash everything is going up in price.” You serious Clark? So inflation is at a record high. Gas, groceries everything is through the roof. So let’s just add more burden on everyone’s shoulders for 21 years? What kind of mental gymnastics does one have to go through to see that as not being a problem?

        So Sally what do you want to tell my generational neighbors in Ridgefield who already are barely able to afford the outrageous property taxes as they are?
        Certainly you have something more insightful than “News flash everything is going up in price”.

        Enlighten us.

        Reply
        1. Sally

          You didn’t even answer the question. What are neighboring districts paying? Where are your sources? Give us some facts, bro. Print some numbers.

          Reply
          1. Citizen Infinity

            Well Sally we are not bros and since you are obviously too lazy to do your own research here you go.

            From Ridgefieldsd.org you will be paying $3.89 per $1000 assessed per year for 21 years. Have fun with that. Wonder what your house will be worth in year 15 at the current trajectory of assessed values which seems to increase 10-25% a year?
            Think it may be close to $800k in 15 years? Maybe million bucks? That’s $6k a year in combined taxes just to the schools and that’s before additional levies they will need to run these schools. Better hope for some raises!!!

            How does that compare?
            Washougal $3.64
            Evergreen $3.57
            Vancouver $3.22
            Hockinson $3.07
            LaCenter $3.05
            Green Mountain $2.84
            Battleground $2.14

            I can tell you didn’t bother to read the con statement on the voter pamphlet because if you would have you would have seen http://www.swweducation.org

            I know you won’t bother even looking into that website but if you need some more info you can find it at nobond.com and schooldataproject.com.

            So now answer my question.

            What do you want to tell my generational neighbors in Ridgefield who already are barely able to afford the outrageous property taxes as they are?

          2. Fox

            Ridgefield will have the highest rate most of your property tax paying for schools. It’s literally cheaper to pay WSU tuition at $11k vs $18k at Ridgefield.

            Ridgefield will have the highest debt per student in the state. Lots of information can be found here.
            https://swweducation.org/

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