Living in the bucolic hills west of Petaluma is both a blessing and a curse. On scorching summer days, when Petaluma and the rest of Sonoma County are baking under oppressive heat, Tomales is typically 20 degrees cooler, thanks to the breezy ocean air.
But that salty wind can also create a corrosive climate that is terribly unforgiving on buildings.
This is the problem that officials in the Shoreline Unified School District are dealing with. The district’s five weathered schools have much deferred maintenance, most of it due to the incessant wind. District officials this election are seeking $19.5 million in bonds to tackle some of the most pressing needs, and voters should support them by voting yes on Measure I.
Measure I is a modest bond issue, which would only fund half of the estimated $40 million in repairs to school windows, roofs and portable classrooms. Officials have said they will seek grant funding to take care of the rest of the maintenance. It would add $39 to a property owner’s tax bill per $100,000 of assessed value.
The district last asked voters to issue bonds in 2009 with a $9.3 million measure. With that money, the district was able to modernize Tomales High School, which was built in the 1970s, Raines said.
Like most school bonds, Measure I would create a committee to oversee the spending. There is no public opposition to the measure, and the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association said it is not opposing school bonds this year.
Shorline is a vast district in a sparsely populated area of west Marin and Sonoma counties. It spans from Bodega Bay to Pt. Reyes, and educates 510 students.
District residents know the challenges of living with the ocean breeze. They also know that their school district accomplishes a lot with the resources it has. But these repair projects shouldn’t be put off any longer, and duct tape won’t hold up well in the coastal air.
To help fix the weathered Shoreline schools, the Argus-Courier recommends voting yes on Measure I.