Support for the bond | Letter

About 15 years ago I was on the library board in Arlington. We tried repeatedly to pass a bond to build a new library. It never happened. Their library is still the same grossly inadequate tiny building. Why wouldn’t it pass? Maybe people had new SUVs and needed to make their car payments? I may be bitter on this subject. Libraries mean a lot to me. So do schools.

My husband and I had nine acres in Arlington. We didn’t make much money. We drove beater cars. We voted for every library, school, or fire department or whatever thing that showed up in our ballots. The population swelled with people coming from elsewhere. They didn’t vote for the library.

This is how I feel.  We all make lifestyle choices.  We may save to take a vacation in winter, or buy a newer car, but we need to prioritize our choices.  Essential services like libraries and schools should be right there near the top of the list.

Somebody told me the other day that I had a lot of nerve speaking out in favor of the school bond, since I don’t own property. Please. I contribute to my landlord’s taxes through my rent. My landlord says if you have a problem with this concept, come talk to him.

I’m at Lopez School more than eight hours a day. I work with kids and I do janitorial also. I’m here to tell you that our school is EXCEPTIONAL. The building is seriously deteriorating, but the students and staff are amazing. Over the last 35 years I’ve worked in many different schools and believe me, I know. It’s not easy to run a quality program with such a small school population, but that’s what we do here. I’m grateful every day that Lopez School took me in and that I can live here.

Spend a day with me at Lopez School. I’ll buy you a school lunch.  I will show you all that is broken and needs fixing, and I will also show you our students and staff.  You will see amazing in action.

Cheryl Harlan

Lopez Island