My Turn: Good schools critical to quality of life
April 10, 2008
I am lucky enough to work for a conservation organization here in Truckee. We work to protect important natural, recreational, scenic and historic open spaces. We view our work as preserving part of the reason we all live in Truckee our alpine setting, open spaces, and abundant opportunities to enjoy our regions mountains, lakes and rivers. Our work is as much about protecting our quality of life as it is about conserving our regions natural resources.When I first moved to Truckee, it was to ski, climb, and spend time on trails. In a sense, I was no different than the tourist who hustles up Interstate 80 every weekend. But once you have a family, or set down roots here, you understand that Truckee is more than a recreational Mecca. It has a soul. It is a close-knit, proud and thriving community. Its a good place to live and raise a family.Critical to our quality of life are good schools. You cannot have a healthy and sustainable community without good schools. Good schools start with good teachers. My two kids at Truckee Elementary have been blessed with truly outstanding and professional teachers; they deserve our communitys support, gratitude and esteem. Wrapped around good teachers are facilities befitting what our teachers, kids and community members deserve. Facilities that can showcase new technologies. Facilities that encourage our kids to learn vocational skills. Facilities that welcome the community to theater, music and sports events. Facilities that reflect our belief in our childrens potential and the pride we feel in Truckee. And that is why I support Measure L. It is the very same reason I work in conservation; it is about our quality of life.Truckees pride and sense of community is demonstrated in voters passing bond measures used to build Glenshire Elementary and, later, Alder Creek Middle School. While we take great pride in those schools, we can also see the weaknesses and strains showing in Truckee High, built in 1950, and Truckee Elementary, built in 1958. Measure L is a $93 million bond that will be used to substantially upgrade Truckees schools, especially Truckee High. Measure L does not increase the voter-approved property assessments youre currently paying; it simply asks you to continue your commitment to provide our kids and teachers the safe and high-quality learning environment they deserve. There is no other way to pay for these needed improvements. Californias budget is in shambles and we cannot rely on the state; it is up to us to take care of our own.Volunteers look forward to more fully informing you of what Measure L means for our community in the coming weeks. You can also learn more about Measure L at voteforl.org. For me, it is all about the very reason we chose to live here a darn good quality of life.Perry Norris is the executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. He lives at Donner Lake.