To the editor:

The Leavenworth Times article (March 10-11) about the possibility of a USD 453 school bond issue being put before voters said that bonds from an earlier bond issue were “scheduled to be paid off next year …” That would be in 2019. But when the new bond issue was first discussed in the Times in November 2017, the time given for the earlier bonds to be paid off was said to be in 2018. The school board should give the Times an exact date for that bond to retire.

Further down in the column was the statement that “the estimated cost for the overall bond issue …” is $38.3 million. Is this the dollar figure of importance to taxpayers or just the amount important to the contractor? Does it include the significant amount of interest on the bond which would be paid by the taxpayers? Transparency please.

If $38.3 million is not truly the “overall” cost, taxpayers should be given the best estimate of the cost for which they would be on the hook. The total amount of the bond issue that will soon sunset was known before the vote. It was buried at the end of the legal notice published in the paper. Now voters want more transparency.

School board member Doug Darling thinks the interest on school bonds doesn’t need to be disclosed unless interest on a home mortgage is required to be stated. Darling overlooks the huge difference between a private citizen deciding to pay interest and when government requires the taxpayers to pay it.