ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
“No… Read my lips… No new taxes!” — President George Herbert Walker Bush on the campaign trail in 1988
My last article Monday night about the Wayland Union Schools bond issue included the assertion that approving the bond request would not result in new or increased taxes for Wayland residents. At least one reader begged to differ.
Sherry Kuyt, former ace reporter for Ye Olde (but now defunct) Penasee Globe, penned a response in the “comments” section of Townbroadcast, maintaining that taxes actually would go up because it would lengthen the time in which the money would have to be paid.
So actually, this difference comes down to semantics.
Ms. Kuyt made it clear that she understands the need for a new high school swimming pool because it is ancient, out of date and in a state of serious disrepair. However, she sincerely believes it is misleading to suggest taxes will not be increased.
My position, which I will continue to defend, is that residents in the Wayland Union School District are now paying 8.4 mills each year for the 2017 bond issue that was just completed. Voters in November 2017 approved that amount to pay for an addition to the middle school, artificial turf at the football stadium and new tennis courts.
That bond, after five years, has run its course and is being dropped.
So Patricia Velie, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, insisted that the 8.4-mill levy will be continued for the next 25 years if voters approve this new bond request in the August primary election.
So it can be argued that taxes will not go up. However, with approval, they will be extended for different causes.
There can be no argument that the biggest piece of this package is the tearing down of the old high school swimming pool to wake way for a gleaming new and larger pool.
To be sure, a smaller part of the request is for roofing and repairs at other school buildings.
When the dust settles, it becomes clear that both Ms. Kuyt and Ms. Velie are correct in their different assessments.
My added take on this is that Ms. Velie a couple of years ago performed a little magic on the last bond to have the artificial at the football field taken care of at no extra cost, even though it was believed to not be included in what was offered. The assistant superintendent has been a wizard with the local school district’s finances, building the fund balance (or rainy day fun) up to 18 percent during her tenure, and I have no reason to doubt she’ll come up with some way to make this proposal even more palatable in the long run.
It appears the time to strike is now, while the iron is hot.