Letter: Fixing Stevens High Benefits All

To the Editor

I am writing to urge Claremont voters to support Articles 2 and 4 on the school district ballot on March 12. These articles are critical for the future economic development of Claremont as well as the financial health of its residents.

I am the parent of a Stevens sophomore. However, I am not writing on her behalf. In fact, I am not writing on behalf of any of the students — though I think we can all agree that consistent climate control, working bathrooms and classrooms free from falling plaster are not unreasonable expectations. Rather, I encourage the residents of Claremont to support these measures because they will directly benefit all.

I am sure many are wondering how paying for these renovations can possibly benefit someone who is not affiliated with the school district. The reality is that not paying for these renovations will have an extremely deleterious impact on property values, business development and economic growth in Claremont.

We must draw new residents and businesses who want to invest their time, talent and treasure in the city. They will provide not only jobs, but the human capital vital to building a great community. An accredited, modern high school is absolutely critical in attracting them — I look forward to the day when a tour of Stevens is standard operating procedure for real estate agents and economic development staff.

I understand that taxes are high; however, they will only get higher if we allow these assets of our community to decline. Business expansion, quality educational facilities and the addition of active and involved citizens will help increase our tax base and boost property values. This is especially important to those living on a fixed income. I recognize that property taxes are a struggle, but remember that a house is generally one’s largest asset. The value of a home is critical if a senior wishes to downsize, enter assisted or long-term care or to finance their retirement via a reverse mortgage.

Claremont cannot allow this opportunity to pass. Articles 2 and 4 represent a moderate, sensible approach to renovating our venerated high school while re-energizing our community. Please vote yes on March 12.

Christine F. Terrell