Jürgen Kuhmann: The immoral $150M gamble | SteamboatToday.com

Jürgen Kuhmann: The immoral $150M gamble

As a parent, I am deeply concerned what ballot measures 4B and 4C are asking us to approve. It is hyper risk, hyper expensive and immoral.

As stated in the recent 2019 Election Forum, 4B and 4C will cost us $150 million total over its lifetime, not the $79.5 million you see posted everywhere. Think loan with interest. 

What is wrong with that? Everything.

A $150 million loan means indebting every resident man, woman and child with $11,000.

All we get is bricks and mortar — nothing that focuses on increasing academic achievement, for example.

If you need some more space in your home, all of us would recommend an add-on. However, 4B and 4C supporters want you to build the add-on but also buy a second house with a brand new 30-year mortgage. Just in case.

Like a dishonest car salesman, supporters of 4B and 4C only talk about the “low monthly payment of $17.01 per $500,000 value.” No mention of the total cost of $150 million. They claim we must “buy the car now” as in “build a school now.” Otherwise, next year, it will just get more expensive.

But what if you do not even need a new car as in “a new school campus?” 
The entire 4B and 4C proposal rests on increasing student population for years to come. However, many of our neighbors have proven the available data does not reasonably support these projections.

I have seen this movie before. In my previous home town of El Dorado Hills, California, in 2013, a new neighborhood of a few hundred houses was being built, including a new school. As student population growth did not materialize, the school district did not want to open the new school. Students were sent to other schools creating additional traffic in those neighborhoods. The brand new school was used for district offices and storage. It never opened.

What is the risk for all of us? 

Our school district will ensure to populate the new Steamboat II school no matter what. Your kids go to nearby Steamboat schools today? You may be forced to drive your kids to the new school in Steamboat II in nightmarish traffic. And I thought the community wanted to reduce its carbon footprint rather than increase it.

A small community like ours should not be asked to engage in a $150 million gamble and ignore future education needs. We have a sensible $27 million expansion proposal on the table that allows tackling future academic achievement needs. 

Vote “no” on the immoral and high risk 4B and 4C ballot measures.

Jürgen Kuhmann

Steamboat Springs

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