Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19, 2016

Camas mayor supports school bond

When I was in the third grade at Lacamas Heights Elementary, a new school, Dorothy Fox, opened in Camas. At that time and age, I didn’t realize how that all came about. But now, as I look back on it as an adult, I know exactly what happened – the people of Camas invested in me.

They invested in the students of Camas then and now. It’s humbling to think that a group of people, most of whom had no idea who I was, thought that my educational success was important enough to build a new school.

But it didn’t stop there; when asked again and again, Camas citizens kept reinvesting through the years in children that they didn’t know, and may not ever know. Every time they responded overwhelmingly by saying yes to Camas schools. Due to their foresight, we now have one of the best school districts in the state. If you are one of those people, I say, “Thank you.”

Now I, we, have been presented with that question once again. Will you invest in the lives of others and this community? Will you rise to the occasion and pay it forward as those who went before you did?

Voting for schools has laid a foundation for our safe, family-friendly city, for businesses that locate in this first-class district and attract quality employees who too have chosen to live here in order to send their kids to our schools. Kids who are currently being trained and will grow to be a part of a future and valuable workforce that will, like me, look back and one day say, “Wow, thank you.”

Voting for schools is a true investment into people’s lives. But the greater investment is realized in our own neighborhoods, community, and this city, both now and in the future.

I’m committed to choosing to step up and keep it going — I’m going to vote yes. Please consider joining me in voting yes for Camas Schools on Feb. 9.

Scott Higgins, Camas

Why is illegal parking allowed?

A thought about the Camas School District bond story and picture on the front page of the Jan. 12 Post-Record.

Why are the cars allowed to double park on the street and not be ticketed for illegal parking? Are taxpaying citizens allowed to do that on the Camas streets?

Give out some tickets and I bet the students would find other places to park. Hey, how about the buses the taxpayers pay for? Maybe they don’t need a new bond, but to use the money they have more wisely.

Bill Case, Camas

A new comprehensive high school is not feasible now

One recurring question I and others have heard asked about the Camas School District’s upcoming bond is: “Why isn’t the district looking to build a second comprehensive high school?”

It makes sense why parents and community members are asking this question. Camas High School has grown considerably over the past few years and it is projected that our district’s grade 9-12 population will continue to grow in the future.

The decision comes down to three factors: Land, money and students. The district does not have the land for a large high school, it does not have the bonding capacity, nor does it have the student enrollment to make another comprehensive high school a viable option — yet.

A large high school requires 50 to 70 acres of property for its campus. While we do not currently own such a piece of property, the district will purchase one should this bond be approved. Additionally, an adequate infrastructure for utilities and access does not exist in the north urban growth area of our district, where parcels of land would likely be purchased for such a campus.

The estimated land and construction costs for such a campus nearly equals the amount of this entire bond. So devoting this bond to another large high school would prevent us from addressing all of the other critical needs that make up this measure.

The “high growth” enrollment projection estimates that in five years there will be 2,540 high school students in our district. 2021 is also the year when our district will pay off a significant amount of its existing bonds, which would give us sufficient bonding capacity to build a comprehensive high school of comparable size and programing to CHS.

While adding another comprehensive high school is not feasible now, it will be soon. As our community continues to grow and develop over the next few years, so will the vision and conditions needed to build another high-quality high school for future generations of Camas students.

Steven Marshall, Camas