We support Measure S for our local schools! The Valley Women’s Club is a long-standing civic organization based in the SLV with goals of community action, awareness and leadership in environmental, educational, social, and political concerns that affect the health and welfare of the San Lorenzo Valley and our community.

As such, we are writing a letter of support for Measure S, a bond measure focused on improving public school facilities throughout the Valley. Our public-school system is a tremendous resource to our area: it is one of the first things families look at when considering a move to a new location and affects our property values. My daughter and her friends recently graduated out of the SLV schools and they are all doing well in continuing their paths in higher education. VWC recently held a Candidates Forum for our local elections in the new HS Performing Arts theatre (the one you see on 9 with the red moving message display when driving by) and it was an amazing facility to be able to use.

Measure S is a general obligation bond paid back over the next decades. It will keep our school buildings watertight and up to date. Please support and vote YES for this Measure. We do. We support all 3 bond measures that address school modernization and repair: S, 13, and R. Strong schools lead to a strong community.

Roger Wapner

Valley Women’s Club Board

My husband and I are long time teachers and coaches in Santa Cruz County. We are writing today to urge your readers to vote for Jack Gordon, who is running for Superior Court Judge. Through our local work, we know Jack as an exceptional person, who takes his responsibilities as a parent and youth mentor seriously. He is hard working, pragmatic and focused, always showing respect with those whom he works and an open willingness to listen and consider different points of view.  In both his professional and volunteer community work, Jack encourages the best in our children, and keeps their safety and that of our community in mind at all times. Please support Jack Gordon on March 3rd as our new Judge.

Bob and Tami Kittle, Ben Lomond

Please Vote YES on Measure S

San Lorenzo Valley schools are in significant need of major upgrading and repairs, and Measure S is a comprehensive, carefully considered and affordable plan that will ensure that the SLV School District can continue to provide top-quality education to all SLV students in the best learning environment possible.

An exhaustive school facilities study conducted last year recommended dozens of needed District projects; including the construction of a new Science/Engineering and Career Education facility, repairing/replacing leaky roofs, making energy efficiency improvements (including solar), updating inadequate electrical systems, and modernizing/renovating outdated classrooms and facilities.

The desirability of any community is almost always measured by the quality of the community schools. While Measure S asks for a small tax investment by homeowners into our local schools, that investment is virtually certain to result in significantly increased property values and community desirability if Measure S passes.

The Measure O School Bond in 2008 resulted in several new classrooms and a brand new library, among other projects. Thanks to the SLV School District’s careful management of Measure O Bond funds, the District was able to construct a brand new, state of the art Performing Arts Center, instead of merely refurbishing the old and outdated building as was called for in the original Bond. Our community and our students now enjoy a considerably larger and better Performing Arts Center than the one they voted for.

SLV has accomplished a lot, but there’s far more work that needs to be done for the rest of our aging and outdated facilities. Measure S funds will go directly and entirely toward improving classrooms and facilities in support of our SLV students.

Please Vote YES on Measure S!

George Wylie, Brookdale

Dear Editor:

The term “emergency response time” is vague until you need help. I live in a neighborhood with other seniors; and Fire emergency responders are often here for medical reasons. In fact it is 3 am as I write this because a fire truck, crew and ambulance are here to help one of my neighbors. I watch them as they go about their business with compassion and professionalism. It is that way with our Police Officers as well.

In 2011 I moved to Scotts Valley from a hilltop home overlooking the Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz where I had lived for 50 years. I was getting older; and even my Rottweiler Pooh Bear was getting weary of chasing people off of the property. I no longer felt safe. And I am pretty tough.

To hire, keep and support public servants, and to protect our community, we need to guarantee competitive wages and benefits. That is the least we can do for those who care for us and keep us safe. Please vote yes for Measure Z.

Diane Cohan, Scotts Valley

To the editor:

On the March ballot, we will have the opportunity to vote on Measure S, a local bond to support our SLV Public Schools. I hope you will consider many important issues in deciding how to vote. Here is my perspective.

Our children attended SLV schools from kindergarten through high school. They took advantage of AP classes, on-line classes, self-directed-study classes, and other programs. SLV helped them become successful, self-motivated adults, and for that I am grateful.

But even with great teachers and programs, our campuses are old and need significant repairs and upgrades. State funding doesn’t cover such expenses, and the cost of doing this work only gets higher and higher. And of course, when maintenance is deferred, the damage gets even worse, which also adds to the cost of repairs.

I care about the continued education of our community’s children for three reasons: first, because the SLV community cared about my kids when they were students, and I want to continue that tradition for my neighbors, second, because good schools mean good property values, and finally, because providing a quality, safe and healthy education for today’s students means that we’ll be creating another generation of great adults who will be taking over from us one day!

Please lend your support to Measure S to keep our schools safe and our community healthy.

Miriam Guiney, Ben Lomond

In 1998 FEMA gave out grants to Felton Grove homeowners to elevate their homes and have their garages below. Then if it flooded, which it often does, the homes are still OK. All but 3 of the 50 homes took advantage of the grant. I was active then as an Enrolled Agent (EA) and had clients who received those grants.

The problem: Those grants were supposed to be used in their entirety on the project yet they were taxable but there was no additional money to pay the tax.

I went to then Supervisor Mark Stone & explained the unfairness of the situation. He called for a hearing and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo sent a staffer. Her staffer reported back, and Anna wrote a law to deem these grants non-taxable, got it passed, and signed by the President. Anna came through with the help we needed. Let’s reelect Anna Eshoo.

Ronald Sekkel, Ben Lomond

Dear Editor, 

We have noticed the disappearance of some No on Z signs along 

the Granite Creek Road and the Glen Canyon Road rights of way in the past week. Interestingly, the Yes on Z signs have been untouched. I doubt voters have "changed their minds" and taken down their own signs, so this indicates some inappropriate meddling in the campaign process. 

This is unacceptable behavior for grownups. Shame on whoever did this. Scotts Valley is better than this!

Donna Cowan, Scotts Valley

The City’s explanatory letter in last week’s Banner suggests they do not understand the concerns of Proposition Z’s opponents:

1) We do not oppose an increase in sales tax, but the City wants too much. We ask them to return to the table and devise a solution that works at a rate of 9.25 or 9.5 instead of 9.75 percent. There is room for such an approach that begs for further discussion.

2) The City rightly casts our situation as an emergency. And yet they ask us to approve this excessive tax rate for 12 years! A tax increase of 12 years is not an emergency response, it’s an invitation to not solve underlying difficulties, but rather simply throw money at them. I expect that opponents of Prop Z would support a reasonable duration of five or six years. That would put the onus on the City to buckle down and solve this problem.

3) The mailer depicting our Chief of Police beside a greyed-out silhouette was too much - an unacceptable scare tactic - because whatever the outcome of this election, the City is not going to disband our police department - for two reasons:

a) There is a ready solution to our immediate problem. If Prop Z fails, the City can place a revised measure on the ballot for the November election - hopefully developed in response to open consultation with supporters and opponents alike. In the meantime, for immediate financial needs, it could secure a short-term loan, at historically low interest rates.

b) If the City Council did actually disband the police department, they would either be voted out in the next election or immediately recalled.

I say again:

THE CITY IS NOT GOING TO DISBAND THE POLICE DEPARTMENT!

Vote No on Prop Z!

John Cowan, Scotts Valley

 We write to express our strong support for Measure S. SLV schools need the investment, and the proposed bond is the perfect way to finance this work. The project includes basic upgrades like adding air conditioning and fixing leaks. It includes major improvements like new labs for science and technical education. The bond language provides well-justified flexibility to address the many issues sure to come up with buildings built in the 1950s. Incredibly low interest rates makes bond funding efficient for making these investments.

We want to see the annual operating budget supporting instruction, not repairing buildings. Our own kids will graduate soon, but we support Measure S anyway. The children of our community are a great investment.

We are also glad to see Measure S is supported by the Valley Women's Club, the Democratic Central committee of Santa Cruz County, the Democratic Club of North Santa Cruz County, the Democratic Women's Club of Santa Cruz County, and the California Teachers Association.

Sincerely,

Bryan Largay, Vice Chair, San Lorenzo Valley Foundation for Education

Hilde Largay, Educator, SLVE

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