|Why I voted "yes" on the school bond poll|
Here's why I voted (a tentative) "yes" in the HMB Review school bond poll:
1) Much of the proposed bond seems to be not for immediate maintenance needs but to form a sort of endowment for maintenance needs. Am I reading that correctly? The goal here seems to be two-fold. First, it would shield some of the school's budget from the State's efforts to suck money out of local districts. Two, it would free up the general fund of the school from these routine expenses. I don't know if the amounts are reasonable but the general principle being followed here seems smart and forward-thinking.
2) Astro-turf. There are a lot of issues here. The claim has been made that this will save water--though I don't recall seeing any watering, ever, on most of these fields. I also wonder if they are planning to do schools like Farallone View. If so we need to have a discussion about the lovely residents who use the school field as a dog "walk" area after school and on weekends. How does that get cleaned up? If we are talking about Smith Field and the football field we need to hear from parents in terms of private fundraising. But I'm willing to listen.
3) Swimming pool. I do understand that the school's pool puts them at a disadvantage in terms of competitiveness with other schools. I do understand that a number of parents are especially interested in competitive swimming. But I'm a little leery of this given the complicated "pool politics" in the community--and I remember a summer or two ago when they canceled open swim during the summer. Makes me think twice about any promises of "community use" for this pool. Perhaps something set up as an independant institution might be interesting, something that aims to make a profile or at least break even? This will be an uphill climb for me--seems like a nice idea but a very expensive luxury, unless it will serve the community more widely than the current pool does.
4) Performing Arts center. This is probably the most expensive single item on the list but also one of the most intriguing. Again, will it be primarily a building for use by the school or will it be focused on the wider community? Half Moon Bay is desperately short of culture and cultural institutions, even for a community as small as ours. Something exciting is possible here. Something dull is also possible. We will see.