Better to compare apples to applesTo the Forum:

Recently, a few simplistic comments have been made regarding the state’s

acquisition of No. 1 Capitol District, formerly known as the Hemmeter building.

Detractors have juxtaposed this purchase against the need to improve

schools, such as Maili Elementary. The fact is that the administration

requested $5.4 million for Maili, and ultimately the legislature appropriated

$3.2 million.

Further, over the next three years we’ll be devoting more

than $135 million to the repair and maintenance of schools.

The logic

behind the Hemmeter building acquisition is rock solid. Why should taxpayers

continue to rent space, when for the same cost we can own it and pass it on to

our children?

The current owners paid $80 million. We can pick it up for

$22 million. If the State were to pass on this opportunity, we would be in the

vulnerable position of having to deal with escalating rents, or the costly

proposition of vacating the building. And its close proximity to the Capitol

cannot be duplicated.

We need to bring Maili and other deficient schools

up to par. We also need to make prudent fiscal decisions in the many other

areas of government. To pit the two against each other does all of us a

disservice.

Jackie Kido

Director of Communications

Office of the

Governor

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