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My view: Vote for Granite Community Bond

By Mayor Cherie Wood

Published: Friday, Nov. 4 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

On Nov. 8, voters in South Salt Lake will make an important decision about the future of our community. As you know, the Granite Community Bond would authorize the city to purchase the Granite High campus and buildings, keeping them in community hands.

This bond would seismically reinforce the buildings at Granite and reuse them for community arts, recreation, education and senior programming. But it is about much more than that; this election is about the future of South Salt Lake, both for ourselves and for future generations.

Our community may never again have a chance to take a century-old landmark and create a vital 21st century asset that can bring both private and public investment for the benefit of our citizens. These improvements are essential for attracting long-term residents and businesses, which in turn helps to reduce crime and make our community safer. This campus will allow significant opportunities like after school programs, arts, recreation and public computer labs for all ages. It will help reshape our image and is an important cornerstone for our city on the move.

If the bond does not pass, South Salt Lake's current lease agreement with Granite School District will be terminated, and the district will sell the property to another buyer, likely for development. In that case, South Salt Lake residents will have no control over who purchases the property and what gets built there. Letting outsiders make decisions and develop the city land has happened many times before and is rarely in our best interest.

There is never an easy time to bond, and I fully understand the difficulty of paying property taxes, especially in these tough economic times. I am a homeowner myself, a lifelong South Salt Lake resident and a mother of three. I care deeply about the future, both for my children and for all of South Salt Lake.

I believe this monthly investment of $7 will encourage families to move to and stay in South Salt Lake and improve the community we leave for our children and grandchildren. I believe we need the Granite Community Project to be the catalyst so that more families will be proud to live here. If South Salt Lake does not invest in the future by bonding for Granite, we may continue to see families and jobs moving to other parts of the valley and the state.

On Nov. 8, you will make a decision about the future of South Salt Lake. I encourage you to think about what this decision means for our city's future and legacy. As you go to the polls, I hope you join me in voting yes for the Granite Community Bond.

Cherie Wood, Mayor of South Salt Lake City.

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