Letter: Vote no on Iowa City school district bond

I feel fortunate to have attended schools in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). The exemplary education I received from Lincoln, Northwest Junior High and West High set me up for success at the University of Iowa, where I earned numerous scholarships studying accounting and finance.

With my profound gratitude in mind, I will be voting “no” this September on the $191.5 million bond issue. I am deeply disturbed by the discourse occurring in this election. One need not wade beyond local news outlets’ comment sections to see hostile language and fear mongering. This vote is not a one and done situation; Iowa law permits bond referenda every six months.

As stakeholders in this school district, we must advocate for specific bond language — language that ties dollars to schools, and allows for the reconciliation of projections to reality. We also must reject bond language that does not specifically restrict school closings, lest we spiral into suburban sprawl.

Voters should not allow themselves to become rubber stamps for ICCSD leadership. Vote no to show them we demand more than excessively vague promises, veiled in compassion. We all want the best for the schoolchildren of the ICCSD. Signing over $191.5 million (plus tens of millions more in interest) all at once is not the solution.

Joe Henderson

Iowa City

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