LETTER: Vote ‘no’ for ISD 197 bond

To the Editor:

After a successful football season in 2013, ISD 197 wanted $5 million for a new football stadium. In 2014, the voters overwhelmingly rejected funding a new football stadium but did approve funding security and technology upgrades the district requested on the other two of three separate referendum questions.  

In May 2018, the district will ask its voters to give the district $117 million. Yes, you read that correctly: one hundred seventeen million dollars! This will pay for a new football stadium, pool, remodeling at all the schools including more athletic fields and gyms, and other improvements such as traffic flow and entrance retrofits that may undo some of the security upgrades voters recently approved and paid for.  

Having learned in 2014 that district voters are judicious about how to invest their hard-earned tax dollars, the district is only allowing voters to say yes or no to the entire $117 million package. The district doesn’t trust that voters would approve the right pieces of this magnanimous request — so it is giving all district families some improvements at each school in order to get everything it really wants. 

But in doing so, it is telling voters that it does not trust that you will approve the things it really needs so you have to give the district all of this money to get anything. Don’t be fooled by the safety/security rhetoric. We recently approved security upgrades in the district. Vote “NO” to tell the district that voters should decide which projects to fund.

Alan Bormann, West St. Paul

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