Chamber of commerce endorses school bond

Members of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce announced unanimous support of the proposed $18 million school bond in this week's business meeting.

The bond, explained to chamber members by school officials last month, will go to make general repairs to renovate or upgrade existing facilities.

"Much of this work has been deferred over the years because of a lack of funds," said Pam Robinson, chamber president. "The council and the board of directors felt that much of those required upgrades could no longer be put off."

School board member Stacie Wilke said she was pleased to hear of the endorsement.

"That's great," she said. "It shows that the businesses are behind it. They understand the need for maintenance and upkeep of our schools."

The bond will also go to improve safety within the schools. New lock and keying systems will be installed as well as an upgraded intercom and telephone system.

"Unfortunately, the need for these safety features has gained greater significance in recent years," Robinson said. "These features to protect our students and their teachers should be implemented as quickly as possible."

Robinson said she also supports the proposed new science labs at the high school and middle school.

"Increased efforts in science and math curriculum is critical, particularly in view of the lagging performance of students nationally in those subjects," she said.

Wilke is optomistic the public will follow suit in support of the bond.

"I would hope we've been able to get out the word that this is a maintenance bond and not a building bond," she said. "They also need to understand this bond will not raise taxes."

The bond is not expected to raise taxes but if it does not pass, the tax rate collected by the school district would possibly go down. The cost of the bond is about $39 annually for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Wilke said she hopes the bond will not be confused with the income tax initiative proposed by the teachers' union.

Robinson said it is important to keep the two issues separate.

"The income tax initiative will only provide more money to the teachers' union, not for these local school needs," she said. "Local school districts will continue to have monetary needs that will require them to seek local funding."


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