Letter: ‘It’s time to invest in our children’s future’

Ridgefield resident Matthew White addresses the school bond proposal for the April 23 special election

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

As a coach of youth sports in Ridgefield for the past four years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of teamwork, planning, and leadership. In light of recent opposition to the upcoming school bond propositions, I want to address a few misconceptions and emphasize the urgent need for action.

Matthew White
Matthew White

Contrary to claims made in a recent opinion piece, the decision to build the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC) where it is was a prudent one, benefiting both the city and the school district. The city funded the complex and parking lots, but the district maintained ownership of the land, which has ensured priority field usage for our student athletes — a win-win for our community.

It was also suggested that this decision has prevented the district from building portables to deal with excess capacity. Nobody plans a school that includes portable farms like we’ve crammed into our existing schools, and nobody wants that. They’re more expensive to maintain in the long run, offer an inferior classroom experience, and are just plain unsightly. They should be treated as short-term band-aids, not long-term capacity solutions.

I have seen firsthand in my coaching experience how easy it is to be a critic on the sidelines who questions every detail of every plan and decision. What’s exponentially more difficult is to be a leader that initiates and implements solutions to big problems. A measure of skepticism is healthy for public discourse but we are well past the point of indecision and incessant criticism. We need leadership that can provide our community with new schools to deal with the pressing enrollment growth and infrastructure challenges we face, and I believe the current leadership of Ridgefield School District is doing just that.

The plans in the bonds we are voting on have been discussed for years and have undergone thorough scrutiny. They also have received unanimous support from the school board and city council. Now is not the time for hesitation or second-guessing. It’s time to invest in our children’s future and provide the educational resources they deserve.

Let’s rally together as a community to support the bond measure. It’s time to act — our children are counting on us. Vote ‘Yes’ on Propositions 10 and 11 and let’s pave the way for excellence in education in Ridgefield.

Matthew White

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