Bonds are a tricky situation for politicians. It is standard practice for Republicans to adamantly oppose bonds no matter the issue. I believe that bonds can be good or bad but need to be examined closely to see if they are worth the cost. Let's take a minute to talk about bonds in general and take a deeper look at the Merrell bond being requested for the November ballot.
What is a bond?
A bond issue as it applies to ballots is when a state government, or a local unit of government (city, county, school district), places a question before the voters as a ballot measure, asking them to approve or deny additional proposed spending. (Ballotpedia)
Where do I stand on bonds?
The Republican party, as a whole, is adamantly against bonds. It's another spending measure that asks for more money to build, expand, or refurbish buildings without a plan on how to pay it back later. The Democrats, on the other hand, are less united on the issue. Personally, I believe bonds have merit if they're being used for good causes. I don't believe bond issues should be used to build a new Sheriff's Department or jail, but when it comes to schools, our spending is lacking so far behind where it should be that bond issues must be considered.
What is the issue at hand?
The UCPS Board is asking the Board of County Commissioners to add a $150 million bond to the November ballot. This money will go to replacement schools, repurposing buildings, and additions. Some of these costs may be offset by a grant request from the state.
I would absolutely support this bond measure. I do find the fact that a Republican school board and Republican BOCC would be for bond measures at all, especially since they brag about how good our school system is without money, but I'm all for anything that improves our school system.
One of the biggest failings I've seen in politics over the last decade and a half was a collection of leaders who won't support an issue because it was proposed by the other side. If elected, I plan to evaluate any issue brought before me on the merits, not partisan political shenanigans (see: BOE vote of confidence).
This is good for the county and I am supporting the Merrell Bond issue 100%!
A special thank you to Steve Martin (Steve4UCPS.com) for his assistance on this project.