Letters to the Editor

Bond benefits kids

Dear Editor,
On Tuesday, Aug. 2, voters will be asked to support an extension of the current 7 mil bond debt to provide necessary improvements to Safety and Security, Facility and Site Improvements, and Educational Technology for the Clarkston Community Schools. This proposal will address all levels of education in our schools.
As a resident and local realtor I know how desired our community is due to the quality of our schools. I have observed in my profession that quality schools equates to increased value in your most important and largest personal asset, your home value. When you support your schools you benefit in this win/win proposal to provide for your communities children and protect the value of your home.
It is estimated that this proposal will extend our current 7 mil bond debt to 2034, at that time continued mils decrease will be seen: 2035 be reduced to 6.60, 2036 1.70 until it is reduced yearly about .50 mils until payoff in 2045. This estimate is extremely conservative as it was calculated prior to the drop off 2011 -6.44% taxable value growth.
Therefore, I see this proposal as a positive way to provide the necessary improvements in the district so that our children can be fully prepared for college and/or the workforce.
Please join me in supporting this bond extension and vote Yes, on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Jacquelyn Hasenfratz
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel-Clarkston

Future calls for bond

Dear Editor,
I am writing in support of our Clarkston Community Schools bond proposal. This bond funds the 10-year master facilities and technology plan and it addresses safety and security needs, technology infrastructure needs, and building, mechanical, and site needs.
During the time this bond addresses those needs, the district will have the ability to save up general fund dollars to take care of capital needs after this 10 year period of time. Furthermore, the district has set up this bond in a way that gives flexibility to address future plans.
We are very fortunate to have a community with rising property values and the most conservative projections have the 7 mils of debt extended from 2029 currently to 2035 and then less than 2 mils until 2045. It is very likely, given Clarkston’s historical performance, even including time when values were decreasing, to predict that our district will be able to beat these projections.
I have found that CCS is always looking to the future to see what needs may be on the horizon and they do a great job planning for these needs.
Contrary to what some people think, and have written, you absolutely cannot bond for items longer than their useful life. If technology items are planned to be in service for 5 to 7 years, then they cannot be financed longer than that term. Treasury will not allow it and it is illegal and nothing in this bond proposal finances something longer than its useful life.
Please vote Yes on Aug. 2 – our strong community and strong home values depend on our strong schools.
Bridget McCormick
Springfield Township

Bond for technology

Dear Editor,
Regarding YES8.2, I feel the need to respond to the technology aspect of this bond extension. I read in the last Clarkston News that some community members may have been misinformed.
Items cannot be bonded longer than their useful life. This includes technology items. The bond has been approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury and, again, you cannot bond or finance items longer than their useful life. I hope this clears up any misinformation.
Thank you.
Jennifer Marsden,
Independence Township

Bond items needed

Dear Editor,
I am writing in support of the Clarkston Community Schools’ bond proposal on the Aug. 2 ballot. On behalf of the district’s teachers, I can say that the items the district is asking for in this proposal are greatly needed in order to help us to better provide the education that the children of this community deserve.
The district is asking for your support in upgrading the safety and security features of all of our school buildings as well as much needed upgrades to facilities that are aging and require maintenance. As a classroom teacher, I can tell you, that our current technology does not allow us to prepare our students for the types of experiences they will encounter when they go to college or into the work force. In addition, the educational technology that this bond will provide will go along way to helping us move our teaching and learning into the 21st century. I could go on and on about each and every item listed in the bond and tell you how important they are in helping us educate the children of Clarkston.
A yes vote is an investment in Clarkston. A yes vote is an investment in your property values. A yes vote is an investment in our children. A yes vote is an investment in the future. I urge you to vote yes on Aug. 2.
Daryl Biallas, president
Clarkston Education Association

Study supports bond

Dear Editor,
On June 28, the Michigan’s Schools Finance Adequacy Study commissioned by legislators was released.
This study was to conduct a data-focused analysis of the revenues and expenditures of school districts in the state.
Well, the results did not surprise anyone in the school community as this report found that the adequate per pupil funding should be $8,667 per student.
This study did not take into consideration: special education needs, career technical education, early college programs, and other nontraditional education services.
Within the context of this study, let it be noted that Clarkston Community Schools was recognized as one of the 58 Notably Successful Districts from 528 districts across the state.
This study directly qualifies that we are efficient with our expenditures and our students have achieved at a high level. Other Notably Successful Districts in Oakland County are Bloomfield ($12,064), Lake Orion ($8,123), Rochester ($8,164) and Troy ($9,015), all which receive significantly more funding per pupil than Clarkston since 1994.
While Clarkston remains at the state minimum foundation allowance per pupil ($7,511 this year), one can see that we have been underfunded since 1994 and we have consistently done more with less.
There is little room in our budget to set aside funds to handle long term capital needs such as those we currently face. Nonetheless, Clarkston’s building and grounds department has done an excellent job often exceeding the manufacturer recommend life expectancy out of our computers, generators, boilers, hot water heaters, chilllers and other necessary equipment throughout the district.
One also needs to understand that over the past 30+ years our student population grew significantly, requiring us to build two elementary buildings, add cafeterias to all elementary schools, a new high school, major renovations to both the old Clarkston High School to make it useful for junior high and renovations to Sashabaw Middle School to bring in all 6th and 7th graders throughout the district.
While we are not seeing additional growth now, I believe we’ll see some positive student growth this year with new subdivisions and building permit application growth.
The facts are quite simple and clear, to maintain our Strong Community Strong Schools, please join me and support the Aug. 2, no millage rate increase, Clarkston Community Schools bond proposal by voting Yes.
Sincerely,
Rodney Christensen
Springfield Township