I’d like to share at least one of my reasons (there are many) for supporting the Petition to the RI Department of Education being circulated among South Kingstown residents, asking RIDE to reject the plan before them Petition Letter to RIDE (jotform.com).
Supporters of the Stage II school facilities application, as has been submitted to RIDE, often speak of the “guarantees”. The only “guarantee” in this current plan that I see is that the District/Town will be needing tens of millions more in yet another bond ask within the next ten years or so to update the elementary school buildings that are being ignored in this short-sighted plan. This is only the first bond, there will logically need to be more bonds and large tax increases to finish the work that this inequitable plan fails to complete. At this price, $85,000,000.00+, which is the maximum that the Town can reasonably afford to bond, and constricts the Town from any other sizable bonding for the next 20 years, this plan needed to be a one-and-done rehab of all of the school buildings.
We signed this Petition to RIDE with no apprehension. The current plan is overpriced, over-promised, over-imagined, and fails to remedy the basic premise of getting all of the buildings updated and renovated to ready them for another 30+ years without having to engage in further large, costly construction projects. That was supposed to be the whole point originally. Instead, we will be left with 30+ years of additional bond asks, divisive rhetoric and feuding, and yet more exorbitant tax increases for generations to come, which increases will, and already do, exclude current students from owning their future homes here.
Contrary to the labels being thrown at supporters of this Petition, we are not “misguided”, “the opposition”, “anti-schools”, “anti-education”, or “anti-tax-increase people”. Supporters of the Petition come from all different stages in life. They are residents, parents, grandparents, retirees, taxpayers, and business owners who think for themselves, and in the best interest of their family and the Town as a whole. We use foresight, and our foresight is different than some, that’s all. We see trouble ahead, and are asking RIDE to fully consider all of the issues and ramifications concerning this plan.
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