Summary of Edgemoor Neighborhood Association Meeting 10.3.2013
We had 2 sets of speakers at our recent meeting, one scheduled in advance and the other added at the last minute.
Dr. Baker, Superintendant of the BellinghamSchool district, and Mark Peterson, Chairman of the Facilities Planning Task Force, explained the school bond issue which will be on the ballot in November and answered questions from our group. Some of the basic information I acquired:
- This vote is for a bond issue, which, by law, can be used only for construction of facilities, unlike a levy issue, which is for basic maintenance and operations.
- The last bond issue was passed in 2006 and used to build the new Shuksan Middle school and do seismic retrofits to other buildings. It will be retired in 2919.
- The task force spent a year investigating everything from building conditions to community input. They approached their task with the “Bellingham Promise” in mind…to provide equitable education for every child in the district. People serving on the committee came from every school area, but their goal was to step back and consider what was best for the district as a whole. Based on that ethos, they came to the following decisions:
- RebuildSehomeHigh School
- Build a new Options High School
- Rebuild Happy Valley Elementary
- Updates to Lowell Elementary
- Build a new district kitchen to provide hot lunches throughout the district
- Build a cafeteria at Parkview
- Update athletic fields at the high schools to allow greater use
- Inprove safety and communication throughout district facilities
- Additional repairs and maintenance
The cost to taxpayers is estimated at 49 cents per $100,000 of assessed property value the first year, declining in each subsequent year. The proposal requires a 60% yes vote to pass, and ballots must be received no later than November 5th.
For official details and videos regarding the individual projects, go to http://bellinghamschools.org/bond. You really should look at the videos…the kids are great!
In addition, two members of the Anti-crime Task Force with the Bellingham Police Department visited. They have someone at almost all our meetings, and this month I emailed Officer Jeremy Harper Thursday afternoon to see if they could come and bring us up to date on our recent crime wave. They had been planning on it, and provided Suspect Photos. In addition, they supplied a clearer photo of the –
Note: this is not a photo of the specific suspect car.
They also provided some insights regarding crime and criminals in general.
- Criminals go after the low hanging fruit – they want what is fast and easy to get. “Crime opportunities attract crime” is the way the officers put it.
- Security systems won’t catch the thief, although a loud siren may scare them away.
- Lock your house.
- Lock you car.
- Don’t leave valuable items in your car.
- Don’t leave your garage door opener in your car.
- Always report suspicious activity.
- A strong neighborhood is the best crime deterrent.
We finished up the meeting with a quick overview of ongoing city issues, most of seem to be pretty quiet at the moment.
John Brown reported the CCFMPD is working on the Interlocal Agreement and the Conservation Easement. In that vein, I received an email notice of a special executive session of the CCRPD this Wednesday to discuss the potential acquisition of property from the City of Bellingham, in the form of a conservation easement. John’s right…they are working on it. Note that special executive meetings are not open to the public.
We did all this and adjourned at 8:45. You might want to think about attending a meeting…
Have a great month!
Lylene Johnson, PresidentEdgemoor, Neighborhood Association