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Letter: Claremont Kids Deserve Better

To the Editor:

There hasn’t been a more crucial vote in Claremont in a long, long time than the one on Tuesday. Over the last 10 years, even in a struggling economy, the city has been able to move forward and attract new business to town. We have improved our infrastructure, renovated our empty mills and now opened a state-of-the-art community center — all with the goal of growing our city and attracting new business to Claremont.

However, there is one piece we have neglected — our schools. It’s time we begin the task of bringing our educational facilities into the 21st century. Roofs are leaking, floors are shaking, walls are crumbling, and students are freezing or sweating, depending on the season. We wouldn’t let our kids live in this environment, so why do we think it’s OK for them to learn in it?

Most of us have cable TV, Internet access, computers, smartphones, iPads, iPods ... the list goes on and on. These are luxuries that we somehow now regard as necessities. So I ask, “When did our children’s education become a luxury rather than a necessity?”

The added cost to your taxes for renovating our schools amounts to less than your data plan for your iPhone, one month of cable or satellite TV, or one month of Internet access. Which is more important? What is the real cost if we do nothing? The problems we face will not go away. If we do nothing, we get nothing.

Voting against the bonds will not lower your taxes. We have to deal with the issue of our decaying schools, and we have to deal with them now. Ignoring the problem will only make the problem more costly in the long run.

It’s time to stand together for our community, for our city and for our children’s future. They deserve a better learning environment. They deserve a better future.

Please join me in voting yes on articles 2 and 4 to support our children and our schools.

Chris Irish

Claremont City Councilor