It’s important to educate ourselves on upcoming Tahoma levy | Letter to the Editor

I am writing this letter as a father of two children attending school in the Tahoma School District and as a business owner in Maple Valley who supports the Educational Programs and Operations Levy that will be up for a vote on April 24.

When I moved to Maple Valley in 2000, my wife and I had no children but were made sure to point out when purchasing our first home that we were buying in a wonderful school district. At the time we were still five years from our first of two daughters being born so though that sounded nice it didn’t really mean much at the time. Over the next several years it became clear the Tahoma School District was indeed special and that people in the community came here for that very reason. I believe there is nothing more important in a community than having top notch teachers and administrators in a district that cares about giving our kids the best experience possible every day and I am so very happy that we landed in the Tahoma School District. I am fortunate to both live and work in this community and every day I talk with students, parents and teachers who share my love of this place so I was quite surprised that the recent levy votes failed.

Fifteen school districts in King County including our neighbors Kent and Enumclaw had levies on the ballot in the recent election. The Tahoma School District was the only district whose levies did not pass. I understand the concern regarding taxes and I certainly share the frustration that many of us feel about how our hard earned tax dollars are spent. I also believe the leaders of the Tahoma School District now realize after the first vote that people were not clear on how those levy dollars would be used and what exactly they would be doing with our money. I feel they are now doing a great job of clarifying all of those questions with numerous meetings, emails and an informative website that specifically lists what programs are affected by the levy. I encourage anyone in this community who is unsure about what is at stake to attend a meeting or visit the website for information regarding exactly what would be lost if the education levy fails.

The most important thing we can do as citizens is make our voice heard by taking the time to vote. I personally believe a yes vote April 24 on the Educational Programs and Operations Levy is essential to allow the amazing teachers and administrators in the Tahoma School District to continue providing our children with the best education possible.

Bob Neal

Owner, Maple Valley Eye Care Center