I share my observations of the school bond battle from a perspective I gained over the past nine years resolving protracted legal disputes. Time and again, I have seen how due to a strong desire to always be right and a tremendously keen ability to figure out what is wrong with the other person or situation, people dig their heels in so deep that there is no way out. They become closed off to meaningful analysis and debate. Attempts to discuss issues quickly degenerate into shouting matches and personal attacks. A constructive exchange of ideas becomes impossible. There is no willingness to even make the effort to see the world from a new perspective. What is most amazing, is that in many cases, there is really nothing to fight about. The parties share many of the same interests and goals.
When it comes to the school bond issue, it seems to me that the vociferous board minority duo need to re-examine their motives, behavior and perspective. Much is made of the size of the bond. They make it seem like we each have to pony up $87 million to make it happen. Their scare tactics unnecessarily instill fear into many in our community, particularly those on fixed incomes. The truth is that the cost for an average homeowner is only $40 per month or $1.33 a day. Moreover, even they concede that substantial work is required to bring our schools to an acceptable level. Therefore, what are they really fighting over, a few cents a day? Are the children of Port Washington not worth our investment?
No one is insensitive to the financial concerns of those taxpayers to whom the increase will create a real burden. Yet, is it not Port's top school system that has significantly contributed to the sharp increase in property values for those same taxpayers? If affordability is really an issue, can these people afford to see their home value drop in the event Port's schools become second rate? Most significantly, can we afford to not support our children with excellent schools?
Thankfully, our school board has risen to the great challenge facing us. They have presented us with a golden opportunity to help secure a golden future for our children for only $1.33 a day. Please, let us take advantage of their extraordinary work. Vote yes for our children. Vote yes for the school bond.