Fiscally sensible, from a banker's standpoint

Oct. 19, 2010

Public Forum:

This letter is my opinion as a private citizen and is not meant to be representative of the School Board.

We are being asked to vote on a plan that will drastically update our aging elementary facilities and the safety and security of two other schools.

In my professional life, I am a banker responsible for helping businesses, nonprofits and municipalities with their cash flow and cash management needs, so I wanted to approach this from a fiscal side. From a financial perspective, there will likely never be a better time for this project.

Bond rates for financing are at a low period in recent history and very attractive - especially since our district maintains one of the best bond ratings available because of sound fiscal management.

The construction and trade industry are looking for work, so costs are low and bids are very competitive.

The School Board worked diligently to take a $65 million proposal, pull out the most urgent needs and brought forward a $39 million plan to address these needs. The district has also committed to utilizing $5 million of fund balance, or a rainy day fund, to lower the borrowing needs to $34 million.

Perhaps the best part is that we would be able to begin construction next summer, be in the schools by Sept. 1, 2012 and we would not see an increase to our tax bills to pay for this until December 2011.

Please join me in supporting our schools and our financial future Nov. 2. Vote "yes."

Jim Schaefer


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