Letter: 'Wake up, South Portland'

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No one ever bought a house based on the quality of the garbage collection. Though most would agree that municipal services such as trash collection, Fire Department responsiveness, adequate police coverage are all essential, when considering a home purchase, people ask about the flagship municipal service: public schools.

A community that neglects its public schools is one that has lost its perspective. Regardless of whether you have children in the school system, the quality of that system has a direct and major impact on your home value. I think it is fair to say that most people count on equity in their homes as the nest egg for retirement and financial security. South Portland homeowners must evaluate the consequences to their home value if our high school is allowed to denigrate further into a substandard municipal institution. That is, what is the impact of the increase tax burden projected as compared to the potential loss of equity? Renewal of the high school also allows the community to leverage its investment in the excellent elementary system put in place eight years ago and to continue to attract new families and businesses to the community.

Wake up, South Portland: protect your No. 1 asset by voting for the school renovation project.

Ellen Clancy
South Portland