As Mariner football and soccer parents, past, present and future, we urge our neighbors and friends to get out and vote Oct. 1 in the borough election and support the school bond, which includes a turf athletic field for Homer High. Our football and soccer programs — both for high school and summer youth — deserve to be brought up to the standards that now prevail in the rest of railbelt Alaska.
The turf field’s cost is less than 10 percent of the $23 million total for the school bond, which will mostly pay for repairing old and leaky school roofs in Kenai, Soldotna, Tustumena and Homer (borough voters approved similar repairs three years ago for schools in Seward, Ninilchik, Sterling and Cooper Landing). And just like last time, if the voters say yes, the state will reimburse the Kenai Peninsula Borough for 70 percent of the total.
That’s not quite as sweet as the full funding that Kenai and Soldotna got from the Legislature for their new turf fields. But it’s a very good deal — and it’s the best we’re going to get in Homer, our elected officials tell us. Turf is safer, cheaper to maintain and extends the playing seasons. This is our one shot to get our kids out of the mud, joining Palmer, Wasilla, Colony, Houston, Kenai, Soldotna and all the Anchorage schools in the modern age.
If you care about this long-sought project, don’t leave it for someone else to take care of. There’s a certain number of voters who will always vote against school bonds. We need a strong Homer turnout on election day, Oct. 1. Get your friends out, too, and remember you can vote early if you’ll be out of town. Our kids will thank us.
Tom Kizzia, Katie Watson, Tracy Sumption,
Lisa Zatz and Ginny Espenshade