Dear Editor: Proponents of Referendum 52 claim that the borrowed money for energy upgrades will eventually reduce the state debt by providing savings in energy costs and fewer school replacements.
Yet over the last several years, hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local funds have been spent to completely replace relatively new or otherwise substantially sound older buildings with new schools. This unsustainable practice has required a substantially higher expenditure of public funds and initial energy consumption than if the existing buildings had instead been modernized. The additional cost of this new construction has also seriously depleted funds otherwise available for upgrades to other schools and accommodating the growing housing shortage.
Conversely, no significant amount of money has been provided for small projects such as remodeling for energy conservation or replacement of obsolete mechanical and electrical systems.
Instead of just trying to borrow more money, it seems to me that our state and local officials should be providing better stewardship of our limited resources and more beneficial management of available public funds. Paul Hall
Editor's note: Read more about Referendum 52 at:
Pro: Healthy Schools Now