I urge my fellow property owners in the Mount Vernon School District to vote no on the $15.9 million school bond issue on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The issue is accountability to the taxpayers and the need for such a grandiose high school endeavor that almost rivals the University of Iowa’s new Hancher Auditorium, with its suggested amenities and grandeur.
Within the proposed bonding is a new multi activity athletic field with parking and limited road access. I’m told, the very same type of venue was offered to the school system at little cost to the school by Cornell College, and only a few blocks from the proposed school site. It’s said the offer was rejected, which could have saved the taxpayers, hundreds of thousands of dollars in hard earned tax dollars. The proposed athletic field and parking area is not only in an area of concern for flooding, but with limited access due to the proposed single lane road that will inflate traffic through the residential area.
The remainder of the bond request is much of the same, ill conceived, over planned with extravagant amenities that make one’s eyes water, and gasp for breathe due to the hypocrisy of this request.
Additionally, I understand the Mount Vernon student population increased less than one percent over the past five years. This does not justify the burden we’re asked to carry for the next 20 years, making Mount Vernon one of the highest taxing districts in the state, and thanks to our city council, without any commercial property tax base to help defray the burden on residential property owners.