Susan Stewart: Why I'm Voting Yes/Yes

On June 11, I will be voting an emphatic Yes/Yes to build the new Arlington High School and to replenish the stabilization fund that will allow us to provide essential town services for years to come. I have lived in Arlington for 24 years. My 3 children have attended Arlington public schools from kindergarten onward. I teach at the Ottoson Middle School. As a teacher, parent, and tax-paying citizen of Arlington, I am excited about the vision and promise embodied in this project. With my vote, I will tell the students of Arlington that I am committed to preparing them for the future they are going to shape. I can provide them the tools and the space to collaborate, learn, grow, risk, and rise to the challenges of an academic landscape that is constantly changing and increasingly demanding.

The High School Building Committee has worked tirelessly, openly, collaboratively and prudently to design a building that serves the educational vision of the school system and creatively serves not only the students and staff, but the entire community. They have secured over 80 million dollars of funding for the project (30% of the cost) that will absolutely be lost if we do not approve the project. It would be pure folly to forfeit this funding and reject all that has been accomplished over the last two years of planning. We would still need to rebuild the high school, without financial assistance from the state, and would end up paying more for a lesser facility.

Yes, my tax bill has increased over the 24 years that we have owned our two-family house in the Center. Yes, my budget is stretched by taxes, college tuition payments and health care costs. Yes, I can see all that we have accomplished with our tax money — renovated schools, fire stations, police headquarters, improved roads, senior services, libraries, recreation facilities. Yes, I want to fund this project even though my children have never attended a newly renovated school and will be out of college when this project is complete. Yes, I will benefit from this project as my property value continues to rise. “Yes” continues to build the Arlington that I am proud to call home.

Susan Stewart