Today is the day Rye City residents will cast their votes on a $19.9 million dollar bond referendum.
Members of the school board have argued that there is an acute need for additional classrooms and updated facilities at the middle and high school building, though some members were concerned about the timing and size of the bond request fearing the community may be in a belt-tightening mindset at this time.
Many parents, especially those with students in oversized elementary classes at Osborn and Milton schools are in support of the bond to ensure the teacher-student ratio does not continue to grow and that their children will have use of updated classrooms and equipment.
For many residents, with or without children, there is trepidation about whether the structure and timing of the bond issue will have an unreasonable impact on their property tax burden.
An unscientific poll on Rye Patch revealed respondents were almost equally split on the issue amd all planned to cast their vote today.
Here's a sample of some residents comments:
P. Stephen Lamont: "From what I saw in the before and after images (re: the science labs), I will be voting for the bond. From our vantage point, it is education first. On the other hand, and as far as the other items in the bond, had they been separated out, I would have voted against. Why? I am very close to a former President of the Osborn School's Teacher Association, and she feels that a reallocation of space (classrooms) would accomodate the enrollment. For those fellow Rye residents who do not have, or no longer have, children in the RCSD, I feel your pain!"
Chris: "This whole thing is ridiculous. The tax increases to fund this cosmetic upgrade are unacceptable. The school is one of the most beautiful in the area and while these changes may be desired they are not necessary for delivering a quality education. Vote NO."
Joan Sullivan: "The bond should pass! The reputation of Rye is that it is a family friendly community with excellent public schools. We need to maintain that high standard thru investing in the infrastructure of the school. In the near term it will increase our taxes, but investing in our schools will help to maintain the standard of education Rye is know for and continue to make Rye a desirable community to raise and educate children. In the long run it will only help to increase home values."