Bond Advocates

These active school community members supported passage of the 2016 SUSD Bond & Override.
Scottsdale Parent Council
Governing Board
(read endorsement)

On behalf of the Scottsdale Parent Council Executive Board, we would like to urge you to place both a bond and capital override on the November ballot.

We, as parents, see the needs of our schools and are all too aware of the fact that the state hasn’t funded capital needs in 8 years. While it is your responsibility to ensure our students are attending safe, secure, fully functioning schools, we know and understand the only way to do that in Arizona is to sell bonds.

In addition, as you know, our capital override expired last year and schools are stretching what little, if any, capital funds they have remaining to meet their needs. Every SUSD student utilizes curriculum and software applications every day, and we must renew this critical funding source.

Thank you for your support of our children.

Mark J. Hiegel
President & CEO, Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce
(read endorsement)

Our economy needs a workforce that is career ready. Our local schools play a crucial role in preparing that workforce, and we are blessed by a Scottsdale Unified School District that graduates more than 90 percent of its students and prepares them for college or post­ secondary technical training.

To assure that Scottsdale schools sustain their existing competitive edge, the Chamber of Commerce urges support of $229 million in bonds to update existing facilities and improve security. These resources will extend the life of existing buildings and equipment and assure that our schools are safe and effective.

We also endorse an $8.5 million capital override to provide funding for the classroom. This is a necessary investment to assure that our future workforce is prepared to meet the challenges of a technology-driven economy.

Good schools are an essential part of the economic engine that keeps Scottsdale vital. All funds will be carefully monitored to assure they are used appropriately. All investments are essential to sustaining the quality education that is an essential element in our economic future. We urge voters to say YES to quality schools and a sound economy.

We urge support of the SUSD bond and capital override.

David N. Smith
Scottsdale City Councilman
(read endorsement)

On this year's ballot, each citizen is asked to make an investment in their community by supporting the Scottsdale Unified School District's BOND and CAPITAL OVERRIDE proposals. Like any smart investment, this one will earn a significant return!

The economic return to our community will be enhancement of our property values. A community that supports its local education programs is a community where businesses choose to locate and where others wish to live.

There is an undeniable relationship between the quality of public education and the value of residential real estate.

The social return will be to the youngest citizens of our community, to whom we owe an educational opportunity matching the one our parents and grandparents gave us.

These young citizens cannot vote to protect their own welfare; it is up to us to vote for them. The BOND and CAPITAL OVERRIDE questions on this year's ballot will work together to keep our students safe, buildings secure and schools excelling academically.

I can think of no better investment opportunity for the average Scottsdale homeowner that the proposed $5 per month associated with these educational initiatives.

I urge your support for both SUSD questions.

Greg Stanton
Mayor of Phoenix
(read endorsement)

As the Mayor of Phoenix, I have always been supportive of the Scottsdale Unified School District and its tradition of excellence. We all benefit from good, high-quality schools, which serve as a magnet for well-paying jobs and a stronger economy. When we invest in our education system it improves both the social mobility of our residents and our region's economic future.

On Nov. 8, voters in the Scottsdale Unified School District will be asked to approve a bond issue that will fund a comprehensive program to renovate and restore aging buildings throughout the district. Other buildings at our Elementary schools, some more than 50 years old, will receive badly needed refurbishing.

Nothing is more important to our economic vitality than our education system. Scottsdale has long benefited from wise investments in its school facilities. The bond issue being offered to voters is well within the district's tradition of providing a quality education that benefits friends, neighbors, and the regional economy.

I respectfully urge voters to approve Scottsdale Unified's request to modernize its aging facilities. A yes vote will better prepare the next generation for the challenges of a 21 st Century economy.

Jan Gehler
President, Scottsdale Community College
(read endorsement)

There are no great cities without great schools! Americans have long recognized that􀀁 well-educated citizenry benefits all. The most prosperous communities invest in their!: school systems because they understand the return is far greater than the individual cost.

Conversely, we know what happens when such investment wanes or disappears. Such commitment to a prosperous future has been the Scottsdale tradition -our local 'habit' of paying it forward for future generations. As a former professional urban planner and a life-long educator, I have spent countless hours in partnership with government staff, business owners, non-profit leaders and neighborhood citizens, working to affirm the role education plays in their success. I've seen what happens when it works, and what happens when it doesn't.

The latter is NOT the Scottsdale we all know and love. Every resident has a personal stake in the success of all students -no matter their age, stage or economic status. Investment in our public schools means so much to our community, neighborhoods, our families and youth.

Scottsdale -an exceptional community -with exceptional public schools. Let's invest in them by saying "YES" to the Capital Override and "YES" to the Bond.

Cindy Bitcon
President, Scottsdale Parent Council
(read endorsement)

The Scottsdale Parent Council supports the Scottsdale Unified School 0istrict bond request to modernize its existing facilities. With classroom buildings that are more than 50 years old, it is time to provide the funds to mitigate existing limitations and accommodate new needs in technology and growth.

Our legacy buildings are badly in need of our attention as a community. The resources we have invested in our existing facilities will be protected by these upgrades. They are a smarter investment that will renew our district and avoid the cost of replacing these facilities.

For whatever reason the state has failed to fund these improvements, leaving it up to local school districts to provide the funding to keep up with its own needs. We need upgrades in to meet the challenges of a 21st Century. Only with these improvements can our students meet the needs to be conversant with their ever-changing demands.

Scottsdale benefits from a world-class school district. The resources already invested in our schools obligate us to protect those resources by accommodating new challenges. Please join us in saying YES to the Scottsdale Unified School District bond program.

Brent Herrington
President & CEO, DMB Associates, Inc.
Thomas J. Sadvary
CEO HonorHealth
(read endorsement)

For all of us who live and work in Scottsdale, our public schools are an essential part of our outstanding quality of life and enviable public service infrastructure. They represent taxpayer investments that have paid extraordinary dividends in the form of one of Arizona's highest graduation rates, as well as the number of students going on to pursue post-secondary education.

This year, voters are being asked to approve a bond issuance to finance a district-wide plan to renovate and modernize buildings that are in urgent need of modifications. This includes some buildings over 50 years old, requiring changes In classroom standards and accommodations.

This bond issuance represents a prudent investment by the citizens of Scottsdale, helping sustain the kind of educational quality that maximizes opportunities for our young people, nurtures property values and keeps our economy strong. To keep up with changing needs, we must also provide funding for improving technology in schools and for replacement of aging equipment. For that reason, we also urge voters to approve an $8.5 million capital override that will finance improvements to classroom technology, athletic facilities, and fine arts.

We urge you to join us in voting YES for both the proposed bond issuance and capital override, as both are good for Scottsdale and make sound fiscal sense. These investments will help ensure that Scottsdale Schools continue to set the standard for quality public education in Arizona.

Barbara Perleberg
(read endorsement)

Our Scottsdale public schools have been valuable assets and a source of pride in our community for generations, but I have never been more excited and optimistic about where our classrooms are headed than right now. With inspiring new leadership currently in place, our schools are revitalized and focused more than ever on high academic expectations and accountability in learning at all levels

A renewed culture dedicated to building trust and confidence within our community has set our District on the right path, and I support investing in and responsibly maintaining these amazing schools that have helped define the wonderful neighborhoods we all live in.

Together we are building a bright future for our children - and for Scottsdale. Please join me in voting "YES" for the Scottsdale Unified School District Bond.

Linda Milhaven
Scottsdale Resident
(read endorsement)

Vote Yes for the SUSD Override and Bond. While the cost is small, the value to our community is immense. As a member of the Scottsdale City Council, our quality of life is one of my key priorities. We know that the quality of our schools has a direct impact on the quality of our community and on our home values.

We can be proud of our award winning school district but we cannot rest on our laurels. The state has cut funding to our schools and the approval of Prop 123 earlier this year only makes up for a portion of the lost funding. The State's School Facilities Board has not provided funding for building maintenance and repair for over six years. We cannot accept this as our new status quo.

We must maintain the quality of our schools. Bond funding is the only way to restore, repair and refurbish facilities.

Override funding will allow us to purchase items that cannot be purchased with bond funds - things like textbooks. We must approve the SUSD Override and Bond to maintain the quality of our schools and our community.

Dan Harkins
Owner & CEO, Harkins Theaters
(read endorsement)

As Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." As a local business leader, parent, Scottsdale High Graduate, and proud citizen, I have always been a consistent supporter of our schools because they are good for the community and great for our economy.

My business thrives on a strong community, and communities thrive on good schools.

On Nov. 8, we will be asked to approve a $229 million bond issue to rebuild and repair existing SUSD school facilities. An oversight committee will be created to carefully monitor these funds to ensure they are spent as promised and projects are on budget. The bonds can be financed without raising tax rate, and they represent a smart investment.

The district also needs to invest in new books, upgraded technology, and other classroom needs. To fund this need, the district needs your support for a capital override.

Please join me in supporting quality schools. They're good for the community, good for business, and essential to our way of life.

Adam Driggs
Senator LD 28
Kate Brophy McGee
Representative LD 28
(read endorsement)

We supported Proposition 123 because it was the first step in restoring needed funding for our schools. We now ask you to support two Scottsdale Unified School District measures that will fund vital repairs and renovations.

The first request is for permission to issue $229 million in bonds to rebuild 8 schools and renovate deteriorating facilities.

As a former school board member and former Chair of the Arizona School Facilities Board, Kate knows that maintaining existing facilities is critical, and costs taxpayers less overall. As a parent whose children SUSD schools, Adam believes our students deserve well-maintained facilities.

The second request is for an $8.5 million capital override to fund replacement for outdated texts, software licenses and computer equipment. Our state's recovery from the Great Recession has taken years, and school capital funding has been minimal to none.

We must ensure a quality education for future generations, and we must do so responsibly and accountably. The proposed bond and override requests have been clarified to eliminate unnecessary expenditures, and a citizen's oversight committee will monitor the disbursement of bond funds. These proposals are sound, and we support them.

Julie Cieniawski
President, Scottsdale Education Association
(read endorsement)

The challenges of educating our children in the 21st Century require smart investments in infrastructure. On Nov. 8, voters in the Scottsdale Unified School District will be asked to approve an $8.5 million capital override of state spending limits that will accommodate upgrades in necessary curriculum, technology resources and licensing, investments in furnishings, equipment, and other classroom fixtures, updated athletic facilities and playground equipment, and investing in our fine arts programs.

The state has consistently failed to meet its financial obligations to our local schools. Even with the improvements of Proposition 123, Arizona schools remain woefully under­funded. We can continue to hope the state will do their job and fund our schools, or we can allow our local community to decide our schools and our children are a worthwhile and great investment. An investment in our schools is an investment in our future as a city, state, and nation.

I urge voters to provide our schools with the "soft capital" resources they need to meet the challenges of the future. I urge a YES vote on the SUSD capital override.

Suzanne Klapp
Scottsdale City Councilwoman
(read endorsement)

Investing in our school system is an important positive action we can take to prepare young people to become productive members of the community. As a business owner as well as a homeowner, I know firsthand that the economic vitality of our city is measured by the quality of our educational system.

This is why I support the bond and override for the SUSD. The State has fallen far short for a number of years in providing adequate funding from its budget for capital items as well as for supporting classroom needs.

Even though the City and the Council do not direct the policy decisions impacting schools, as a Councilwoman I know that tax dollars have to be spent wisely to continue funding the District's excelling schools. I also support the District's plan for an oversight committee to ensure all the money is used for intended purposes.

We have a school district with one of the state's highest rates of graduation, and most of those students go on to college. The quality we have created, however, needs to be protected and nurtured.

Please vote YES with me, for both the bonding needs and the override, to continue investing in education.

Kim Hartmann
SUSD Board Member
(read endorsement)

A yes vote on the Scottsdale Unified School Districts (SUSD) special bond will enable us to:

  • Rebuild and renovate deteriorating campuses
  • Provide a 21st century learning environment
  • Improve physical security and student safety
  • Increase energy conservations and reduce energy costs
  • Replace aging student transportation vehicles
  • Improve property values of neighboring homes

Strong schools build strong communities. This bond will provide for our next generation of academic excellence. Please vote and support our community and the SUSD special bond.

Lisa Hurst
President & CEO, The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale
(read endorsement)

My time in Scottsdale has shown that this is a vibrant community that treasures its youth and enjoys a promising future in which knowledge plays a crucial role. This is a community that invests in its future and supports the tools that ensure the next generation is prepared for the challenges of a new century.

We will be asked to support a bond to modernize school facilities. We are also being asked to authorize an $8.5 million override of spending limits on capital investments to permit the purchase of new classroom technologies, athletic equipment and library resources, among other needs. Scottsdale is a great community because it invests in the future. Despite our commitment to quality, some classroom buildings have been in use for more than a half-century. They need modernization to accommodate changes in the community's needs.

Because we are a prudent community, these investments will be carefully monitored to ensure that all funds are properly spent. The money must be used appropriately and spent wisely.

I believe in smart infrastructure spending, that spending smartly makes good sense. This is why I support the bond and the override, and I urge my fellow residents to do the same.

Eric Meyer M. D.
House Minority Leader LD 28
(read endorsement)

This fall, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard on the importance of public education to the life of our community.

SUSD asks voters to approve a bond issue that will allow the district to rebuild and repair existing facilities, improve security and replace outdated equipment. These bonds can be financed without a property tax rate increase.

The district also asks for an override for spending on so-called "soft capital," which includes textbooks, licensing and technology. The $8.5 million capital override will cost the average Scottsdale homeowner about 17 cents per day.

I urge you to vote yes.

I have served as both a member of the SUSD Governing Board and State Representative. I know from experience how the state's budget cuts have impacted Scottsdale's public schools.

The state has cut 85% of capital funding for our schools, and for now, bonds and overrides remain our only means for providing critical support for K-12 students attending our public schools. Our community has benefited greatly from a quality school district that ranks among Arizona's finest. This boosts property values and attracts new jobs. Let's continue that level of success by supporting the bond issue and approving the capita! override.

Barry Graham
(read endorsement)

For the past several years, the State Legislature has not adequately funded school buildings and facilities.

Passing the bond and capital override will help make up for some of the funding required by law that has been lacking for the Scottsdale Unified School District to properly maintain school structures.

What about Proposition 123?

SUSD is receiving approximately $5 million from Prop 123. Those funds are designated for classrooms and teachers. I support that decision because, as a certified public accountant, I know that long range capital expenditures on school buildings and facilities would not be the most prudent or efficient use of those funds.

As a product of Scottsdale public schools and current resident of Scottsdale, I'm proud of our education system. I also know its value in preparing students to be college and workforce-ready. Ultimately, that will help attract more companies and more high-quality jobs to Scottsdale. In turn, that will improve our city's economy.

I will be voting "yes" on the bond and override proposals - and encourage you to do the same.

Bonnie Sneed
(read endorsement)

The Scottsdale Unified School District has demonstrated that it takes very seriously its duty to provide ail children in the community with safe and efficient learning environments. In years past, much of the responsibility for building renewal and repairs was shouldered by the state. Since 2009, however, the funding for those legislatively approved renewal and repairs has fallen to the current amount of only 16% appropriation.

It is apparent that the legislature's intent is for local school districts and municipalities to shoulder the responsibility for facility maintenance in the future. After seven years of valiantly doing everything possible to keep buildings - some of them sixty years old - from falling into disrepair and costing the taxpayer even more, SUSD has a plan to rebuild and refurbish school facilities without increasing the tax rate. This investment offers our voters the opportunity to demonstrate the same civic dedication to a thriving future for our community as those who initially approved these buildings sixty years ago.

I thank the past generations of citizenry for their foresight, commitment, and willingness to invest in the betterment of their community. I ask that we, as citizens, make the same commitment to the next generations.

Sasha Weller
President, Scottsdale Firefighter Association
(read endorsement)

As Scottsdale Firefighters, our number one priority is to keep our community safe -and that includes schools. Families need to be confident that their children are learning in safe environments, no matter what their grade or which school they attend.

The members of the Scottsdale Firefighters Association are supporting the bond and override on this November's ballot because we know how important it is to have schools that enable students to grow, learn and contribute to our community. Some of them may even grow up to be our city's next generation of Firefighters.

One of the major benefits of voting YES on the bond proposal is that it will provide the resources to rebuild eight elementary schools, most of which are past their prime. Here is a list of the eight schools and the year they were built: Kiva (1957),Tonalea (1958), Navajo (1958), Hohokam (1960), Hopi (1961), Cherokee (1966) and Pueblo (1971).

Our more than 200 members are also supporting a YES vote on the capital override proposal. The capital override's main focus is on providing the funding for classroom technology and infrastructure.

Scottsdale Firefighters urge you and your family to vote YES-YES.

Virginia Korte
Honorary Chair, Yes To Children
(read endorsement)

Quality Schools Create Quality Communities. Strong academic schools not only increase our property values, they also enhance surrounding neighborhoods.

The two proposals on the ballot, the bond and the capital override, work together to keep our students safe, buildings secure and schools excelling academically.

There is no tax increase connected to the bond. The capital override will cost the owner of an average-priced home $5 per month. When voters approve the bond and override proposals, all funds generated by both measures will stay in the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Because the safety of our students is critical, the primary purpose of the bond proposal is to rebuild eight elementary schools, some of which are more than 50 years old, and to update security systems. The primary purpose of the capital override proposal is to improve classroom technology and infrastructure, which is a priority to provide students with the resources they need to learn and succeed.

I ask you to join me in voting YES twice this fall. Vote YES for the bond proposal and YES for the capital override.

George Jackson
SUSD Board Member
(read endorsement)

What do we get for the money we invest in the Scottsdale Unified School District?

  • 96 percent of our students graduate, and 92 percent of those graduates go on to post-secondary education, including college.
  • Five students earned perfect scores on the ACT and two scored perfect SAT tests. Scottsdale Unified's Class of 2016 earned $55.6 million dollars in scholarships.
  • Our schools consistently ranked among the top in the nation.
  • We consistently rank among the highest-achieving districts in Arizona.

These are just a few of the reasons why we need to sustain the quality programs in SUSD. On November 8th you will be asked to approve a $229 million bond and an $8.5 million capital override to invest in upgrading existing technologies.

We get so much from our schools. Higher property values are just a start. We also make our community more attractive to business, which creates jobs. We enjoy a lower crime rate and a stronger community because of our excelling schools. Good schools are the heart of good neighborhoods.

The bonds can be financed without a tax hike. The override will cost just $5 a month for the average homeowner in Scottsdale.

These are the reasons why we should say YES and YES to our schools on November 8th

Gary Shapiro
(read endorsement)

As a Scottsdale area real estate broker for the past 45 years, I've had the privilege of working with countless buyers. With few exceptions, all of the buyers want to know about our public schools. It doesn't matter if they have children attending our schools. Why? They know and understand the universal truth that strong schools equal a great community.

They also know and understand that the community's support of our public schools will translate into increased property values and higher buyer demand when it's time to sell.

How do we support our schools and assure the success of our neighborhoods and our community? By supporting the capital override election. Under state law, passing an override is how we support our schools by strategically investing necessary funds that are not provided by any other means.

The monthly cost for a typical homeowner in Scottsdale is less than we pay for one lunch at a fast food restaurant. The wisdom of investing in our community is overwhelming. Support of the capital override election equates to strong neighborhoods and enhanced property values. Please join me in supporting the capital override election for the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Pam Kirby
(read endorsement)

My home, in the SUSD boundary, was built in 1979 and is newer than over one-third of SUSD schools. In the past 15 years, I've:

  • Installed new flooring in 75% of the home
  • Repainted the exterior twice and the interior multiple times
  • Resealed the roof three times
  • Replaced all bathroom fixtures
  • Replaced all doors, windows, and related hardware
  • Replaced the security system
  • Purchased a handful of new air conditioning units and water heaters
  • Tackled the emergencies that arise (e.g., slab leak, monsoon damage, etc.)

Our schools are like our homes. We take pride in our homes and maintain the livability, functionality and respect of neighbors by investing in preventive maintenance, repairs, and aesthetics. Our schools currently need and will need attention over the next 7-10 years to withstand the wear and tear delivered by the elements and the 24,000 students, teachers and staff who walk through the door. Please join me in voting yes to maintain the learning environments for our children.