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As a valued employee of a business here, I urge everyone in Coos Bay to vote yes on the Coos Bay Best Bond, Measure 6-166.

The condition of our schools directly affects all businesses. Good employees are reluctant to come here, or choose to move elsewhere, because of concern about our school buildings. The same is true for other businesses and families with children. Our own best and brightest often move away and never come back. All of this makes it hard to grow or even maintain a business here.

As a business, I know that investment is essential. Starving our schools of the resources they need to get kids ready for the future will only leave us further behind. We will all end up worse off. Construction costs and interest rates will rise along with the number of problems to be fixed. The district will have to continue to waste money every year trying to keep ancient, inefficient buildings working. The matching grant will be lost. And every year our kids will sit in inadequate, unsafe buildings.

Now is the time for this community to stop saying 'no' and vote yes on Measure 6-166.

This election is about 'yes' or 'no' on a lot of questions besides just whether the bond passes. It will answer whether our kids will be safe, secure, warm and dry in their classrooms. It will answer whether we will prepare our kids for the future or leave them stuck in classrooms from the 1950s. It will answer whether we can show people our schools with pride. There shouldn’t be any debate about answering 'yes' to these questions.

One of the opponents of the bond was recently quoted as saying it wasn’t his job to fix the schools. I respectfully disagree. When it comes to school buildings, it is the job of every one of us. Our school buildings are just that —ours. They belong to everyone in the Coos Bay School District. What we choose to do with them will tell everyone, including our kids, what really matters in Coos Bay.

I have seen that the local Republican Committee has taken a stand against the bond. I am a Republican, and I would like everyone to know that I do not share that position. This is not about bureaucrats and career politicians in Salem or Washington taking our tax dollars and redistributing them.

Tom Burdett

North Bend