Letter: West Richland council needed to help with school siting decisions

November 26, 2013 

Good schools in close proximity to our homes are a huge factor in our great quality of life. That's why I read with interest the story in the Nov. 19 Tri-City Herald regarding citizen complaints about the last Richland bond issue.

I can tell you from experience, that without city councilmember participation in the bond committees, West Richland will lose out to Richland for quality schools in our city. A decade ago, landing Enterprise Middle School in West Richland was a battle against locating that school in North Richland, which would have required transporting 650 West Richland students eight miles or more.

Through councilmember presence on the bond committee, the Richland School Board heard and responded favorably to the facts. About two decades ago, there was similar councilmember presence on the successful bond that brought us Wiley Elementary School.

I know that it takes 20 hours per week to correctly do a city council job. That includes regular city council duties, plus the additional time outside of the council chambers for other community interests. One duty is to sit on bond committees, do the research and prepare the analysis to ensure that our best interests are adequately considered. Apparently, that time is not being effectively allocated.

KEN DOBBIN, West Richland

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