2016-04-15 / Letters

Withdrawing from RSU 21 would be devastating

To the editor:

First of all, it really is very important that you get out to vote Tuesday, June 14. No matter which side you fall on, we need the residents of Arundel to speak loud and clear on this issue of withdrawal from RSU 21. Continuing to go through this again and again will only promote the divisiveness that exists in our community; we need to move on from this once and for all.

I have been an Arundel resident since 2004 and now have two children at the Mildred L. Day School. When we decided to purchase a home in Arundel we were fond of the idea of being able to send our children to TAMS and TA. While I do find the misinformation that was provided to us regarding school choice at the middle school level after the contract with TAMS expired disturbing, I do not think it was done intentionally by the RSU. I have witnessed a wonderful transition at ML Day and I am a proud parent. I think RSU 21 is doing a great job and I think Arundel withdrawing from it will absolutely be devastating to our town and those that live in it; here is why:

1) Property taxes will go up. Based on the previous study the town of Arundel already paid to have done and the additional expenses we know we will incur if we withdraw (including but not limited to; getting back our school, buses, staff (the majority of which have received a 20 percent increase in pay), etc. from RSU 21 plus improvements already made to MLD plus upcoming construction costs) common sense dictates our property taxes will go up. I will not attempt to put a dollar figure or a percentage on this but it will be a considerable increase that we cannot afford.

2) Property values will go down. I am involved in the local real estate market on a daily basis. This is now coming up a lot as I have heard from clients and real estate brokers that buyers will not look in Arundel if we are even thinking about withdrawing from the RSU. Our values have increased over the last 12-18 months but will go down just as fast if we withdraw. People want to move to Arundel because we are part of RSU 21 and the opposite will be true if we are not.

3) The quality of the education at MLD will suffer significantly without the RSU. As I previously mentioned, the improvements at ML Day since the RSU has been in charge are vast and impressive. Our children are getting a great education as well as additional services and programs that we can’t possibly afford to provide at the same level on our own.

While I truly sympathize with families that have a longstanding tradition of attending TA and TAMS we cannot ruin the town for everyone over the hurt feelings and inconvenience of the few, especially when the education they will get in RSU 21 is one of the best in the state.

Ira J. Camp

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