Dear Editor,

I would like to urge Westfield residents to vote YES on Proposals #1 and #2 to fund repairs and improvements to our schools. If the bonds are approved by the voters, the state of New Jersey will fund 40 precent of ALL of the projects in both proposals, because the state recognizes the importance and validity of these projects. This funding might not be available to us in the future, so let’s get it while we can!

After decades of use, the condition of the school buildings has deteriorated, requiring replacement of floors, electric wiring, alarms and other changes required to comply with laws on handicap accessibility, all of which are included in Proposal #1.

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Furthermore, the middle school auditoriums, where scores of assemblies, meetings, lectures, plays and concerts, take place every year, are in dire need of improvement.  I have sat in Roosevelt auditorium on a sweltering June night, attending a concert, while audience members desperately fanned themselves with their programs. It was pretty awful. 

I realized then that our children sit in that same auditorium during even hotter daytime hours in spring and fall, with temperatures well into the 90s. My children tell me that the heat is sometimes unbearable. The installation of air conditioning in the auditoriums is one of several, very necessary, improvements that would be made if Proposal #2 is funded.

Just as we homeowners periodically invest in maintaining our property and our homes, so, too, must we invest in maintaining our schools, where the town’s children spend so much of their lives. The school district is the backbone of our community.  Its excellent reputation attracts new home buyers and sustains our property values.  Please vote YES to Proposals #1 and #2 on Tuesday, Jan. 26.