Letter: Vote ‘yes’ Nov. 2 on Portsmouth school facilities bond

Posted 9/20/21

To the editor:

I support the Portsmouth schools facilities bond even though I don’t have children.

I have enjoyed living in Portsmouth for the past 68 years. I live in a neighborhood of …

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Letter: Vote ‘yes’ Nov. 2 on Portsmouth school facilities bond

Posted

To the editor:

I support the Portsmouth schools facilities bond even though I don’t have children.

I have enjoyed living in Portsmouth for the past 68 years. I live in a neighborhood of modest little ranch houses built in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Lately, homes that go up for sale in my neighborhood usually sell for a lot more than ever. And they often sell within a week or two.

New homeowners have told me that the primary reason they moved to Portsmouth is because it is safe and quiet, and they may have kids someday, and they know that Portsmouth schools have a good reputation. 

I will not personally be sending any kids to school in Portsmouth, but it is still important to me that we don’t let the schools fall apart. I care about my town.

Nov. 2, 2021 is “Voting Day” in Portsmouth for a School Department bond issue. The monies would be spent only on repairs and upgrades to the buildings that house Melville and Hathaway Elementary schools, the middle school and the high school. This includes work to make the buildings and bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Repairs would be made to roofs and air handling systems. Asbestos would be removed.

Right now, the State of Rhode Island has a program that will reimburse the town 40 percent of the money we spend on the school buildings. It is not known how long this program will be available.

It is estimated that Portsmouth residents who have a $500,000 home would see their annual taxes go up by $113.40. To me, that seems like a reasonable sum for maintaining the quality of our community. If we hold off on these repairs, we can count on the cost of repairs in the future to grow.

Please find the time to vote. If going to a polling place on Nov. 2 is inconvenient, you can get an application for an absentee ballot on the website of the R.I. Secretary of State: https://vote.sos.ri.gov/Content/Pdfs/Calendar/PortsmouthSpecialReferendumMailBallotApplication1122021web.pdf

Mark J. Katzman

78 Mail Coach Road

Portsmouth

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.