It was very interesting to see the comments coming out of the Jordan District leadership the day after the failure of the bond initiative. The district proposed to bond for nearly a half billion dollars and then the day after the loss commented that it could make do without the money. Did I read that right?
It seems that if the district could make do without the money, perhaps it should never have requested it in the first place. This seems to be an ongoing problem with our government, the insatiable appetite for tax money to spend on nonessential projects.
In my business before we spend any money, we evaluate the necessity of the expense and determine if it is essential. We then evaluate whether we can afford the expense and make a decision based on our evaluations whether we should get the object we want. It seems as though our governmental agencies don't think they need to follow this thought process. They see some pie in the sky that they want and go after it without the slightest concern whether it is judicious or even really needed.
Don't get me wrong, I don't for a moment think that education is not essential or important to our community. What I find appalling is the attitude of these school districts that spend outrageous amounts of money on expensive building projects; money that is our money, not theirs, without a conscious thought as to whether they can make do with what they have. Perhaps a change is in order for our school district leadership.
The times are very hard right now, and we the people of this country are having difficulty making ends meet. When I read about the increase of taxes on my home of $300 to $500, that equates to a rent increase to live in the home that I own, and leads to the question, "Who really owns my home?" If I don't pay my taxes, I get evicted.
Another question that arises in my mind is what happens when we build all of these new schools and then 10 years from now after the initial influx we are left with underused buildings? I believe the use of portables and year-round schools are wise and judicious solutions that handle the needs of today without overbuilding for tomorrow.
Perhaps a change is in order. We need to find people to run our districts who are frugal and actually treat our money as if it were their own money, and not some never-ending source that grows on trees.
Brent Vincent is a resident in the Jordan District and an architect practicing in the Salt Lake area.