School bond measure makes sense for community |

School bond measure makes sense for community

Thrifty communities, like thrifty people, take good care of their possessions and look for ways that modest investments today will pay larger dividends tomorrow.

This thrifty community, one in which we all share a great interest in exercising stewardship of our resources today to provide a bountiful tomorrow, will demonstrate wisdom when it approves Measure A, the high school bond issue on the ballot Tuesday.

The bond issue would provide $15 million to maintain and protect the community’s substantial investments in Nevada Union High School and Sierra Foothill High School (the old Empire High in Grass Valley). Additionally, the bond issue would allow for the long-promised completion of Bear River High School.

Here’s why this bond issue is a smart investment, both for the community and for each of us who goes to the polls:

— The big Nevada Union High School campus is aging. It needs major mechanical work – heating systems and the like – so it can continue to serve the community. A foolish person would fail to maintain a major asset such as a car. It’s similarly foolish for a community to allow a major asset to decline.

— The Sierra Foothills campus, meanwhile, remains a sturdy example of WPA construction from the 1930s. Unfortunately, WPA projects didn’t meet the standards of this new century. The school, for instance, doesn’t meet federal regulations for accessibility for the disabled. A foolish person would fail to protect himself against a potential legal liability. It’s similarly foolish for a community to ignore a potential liability and fail to do the right thing.

— Bear River High School in the growing southern part of Nevada County hasn’t been finished – a promise unfilled to an important portion of the community. The money will be spent wisely as a performing arts facility and swimming pool will be available for the entire community.

— The $15 million bond issue will allow Nevada Joint Union High School District the opportunity to leverage some $8 million in state funds. The state helps those who help themselves. Would we be so foolish to turn down free money this time around, knowing that we might need to pick up the entire tab ourselves if we delay?

— A strong school system is one of the key components to maintaining a strong economy in western Nevada County. And a strong economy is one of the best ways of ensuring that property owners are able to maintain the value of their property. The bond issue would cost property owners $10 for each $100,000 of assessed valuation. That’s a pittance when compared to the value that could be lost if Nevada County loses its luster – a luster that depends, in part, on excellent schools. Even the most mean-spirited homeowner, one who cared not a whit for the needs of the community’s future, wouldn’t be so foolish as to risk the value of his home against a $20 or $30 annual assessment.

The value of the public school education is well known by all of us who built a successful life on that solid rock. We were able to succeed only because our ancestors had the wisdom to invest in our schooling. The continued strength of our society depends on us – our continued investments in our society’s children and their future.

Make a good investment. Vote yes on Measure A on Tuesday’s ballot.

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