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Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 12:01 a.m.

Supporting schools won’t raise your taxes

If you drove through Marysville last weekend, you may have seen groups of citizens erecting large red and white signs with the statement at the bottom indicating, “School Election February 9, 2010.” You may also have seen groups of young people from the local swim team hammering in yard signs or handing out signs for business owners announcing three major reasons why voters in the Marysville School District should vote “yes” on the Feb. 9 bond and levy measures.
Four years ago, Superintendent Larry Nyland led the Marysville School District through a daunting task: convincing voters that a vote for the bond measure was a vote for a better education for our children. Voters were a bit uneasy after 12 years of not passing a bond, but they did recognize the need for additional schools, not to mention funding for technology, health and safety, smaller projects in many other Marysville schools, and the purchase of land for future school sites in a city where viable space was very limited.
The 2006 bond passed by eight votes, but it passed!
Four years later, the citizens of Marysville have much to be proud of with their school district. They now recognize that when Dr. Nyland and the school district make promises, they keep them! Grove Elementary School was completed on time and under budget. Marysville Getchell High School is slated to be completed one year early and once again, under budget! Savings from both projects were used to purchase land for future school sites at really low prices. Savings will be used in 2010 to replace the track and field at Quil Ceda Stadium (M-P). Technology has delivered more than promised at less expense. Talk about being fiscally responsible!
Marysville will present two tax measures on the Feb. 9 ballot, which you will receive soon in the mail if you haven’t already. The levy — for learning — provides $21 million for daily educational support, replacing the expiring four-year levy. The levy pays for things that the state does not pay for: transportation, utilities, special education, athletics, and textbooks, for example. The bond measure — for building construction — provides $78 million to replace three of the district’s oldest and most obsolete schools. Liberty and Cascade Elementaries, along with Marysville Middle School, no longer can be held together with duct tape and fresh paint. The safety and well-being of the students at these schools are, and should be, a primary concern for all voters. Simply repairing these schools is no longer an option.
The great news here is that we in the Marysville School District can accomplish all this, and balance the critical needs of our students with the needs of our voters in these challenging economic times by lowering taxes, not increasing them! You read that correctly. The total cost of the combined levy and bond will actually lower taxes for the next five years. Imagine that — savings for our homeowners and improved educational needs of our students — much more for less!
Mark your ballot and mail it in. Our children deserve your “yes” vote.

Chris Sampley is principal at Tulalip Elementary School.

On the ballot

Snohomish County school districts with 4-year replacement levies on the Feb. 9 ballot: Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Mukilteo, Northshore, Snohomish and Sultan.

Everett, Lake Stevens, Mukilteo and Northshore also have special levies for other critical needs. Marysville and Northshore also have bond measures for school construction.

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