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Letter to the Editor: A rejected “Against” statement for bond proposal

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For those who were asking about the “against” statement for the voters pamphlet for the February bond vote, here is the one I sent to the auditors office for the November pamphlet, but was over the required word count and rejected. I did edit it as well but it still had too many words.

It is not really an against statement, but a why:

I believe citizens will make up their own minds, without mine or others opinion, when it comes to any vote, especially the upcoming Ferndale School District bond vote. All we need is information about the bond – cost, what will be done with the money, tax impact, … If it is a reasonable, common sense issue, no great campaign or “sell” is necessary. There is a hard working group of people trying to sell (oversell?) this bond. Why? History. The 2014 bond failed with a 70% NO vote. Too much, too soon, too much happening in the months before the decision to run a bond for the high school only, wanting to tear down the whole high school, distrust due to past decisions. And to find out why the citizens of Ferndale could not be manipulated into voting for this bond, the district held (paid for) meetings, surveys, whatever, to find out. They said they heard loud and clear.

Now after all of this knowledge and information, this district is putting out a similar bond based on the recommendations from the majority of a bond task force – minus one, me.

The district administration brought to the task force several ideas. One being the remodel of a beautiful North Bellingham elementary for around 8 million. Much discussion centered on this. Decision was made to not include it in this bond. I am still trying to figure that out. I believe it would have helped to “sell” this bond and no extreme effort would be necessary. We were told during task force meetings that our purpose was to make a recommendation only and the school board had the final decision – as it should. After all that went on 4 years ago and the board hearing loud and clear, they did not do the one thing that might prove they are listening – override the decision by the task force and help put a school back in the N. Bell. community, which has been promised for over ten years and is in their own “mission statement”. But you can bet that if Windward High School was still operating, this bond would include a remodel of either N. Bell or Mt. View for a beautiful Windward. I have attended meetings over the last few years where this remodel for Windward was discussed.

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Oh how 4 years can make you forget what this community said they did and did not want.

This bond will pass. Mainly because people are tired of this and just want something done. The bond also includes some extras that will get a yes vote. But it is still mainly a repeat of 2014. Adding North Bellingham to the package (120 million compared to 112, and 26 more dollars per year in taxes), would have given something back to the Ferndale community that is sorely needed – Trust. This and many, many more experiences and reasoning, is why my vote is still no.

Joey McAlpine
Ferndale resident since 1954
Graduate Ferndale High School 1971
Retired 20-year paraeducator at Ferndale High School
Bond Task Force member

Letters to the Editor submitted to My Ferndale News are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher of My Ferndale News.

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**In an effort to educate the community about the programs of the FCSC, we will be doing a series of weekly posts to highlight each program and share details.**

Week 1: Did you know that the FCSC has a brand new program? The Ferndale Community Utilities Fund launched May 15th, 2020. The purpose of this temporary program is to help neighbors who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 pay their City of Ferndale utility bill.

Neighbors who need help can apply via our website (link is below). Be sure to check out the eligibility requirements and then click the link to the application form. Neighbors who want to help can make a donation via the same link. To date, we have raised an incredible $10,000! Through the generous support of the community and grants from the Whatcom Community Foundation and the Mary H Storer Foundation, we have reached our fundraising goal. We will use these funds to help Ferndale households with their June and August water bills.

Please help us spread the word so we can ease the struggle for some during this challenging time. And THANK YOU for your generous support and care for your fellow Ferndale residents.

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