State Sen. (Andy) Vidak brings up important points, but in citing the conditions of Shafter’s Mable Elementary School and calling for funding for the building’s replacement he leaves unanswered an obvious question. Why was this, and, by safe assumption, so many other school buildings in Kern County, allowed to remain with maintenance issues like Maple's leaky roof for such a time long time it allowed the entire structure to become so compromised it now needs replacement?

The questions involves a big “why” as to the complex and cumbersome procedures required to even get needed ordinary maintenance work done in the first place. Years ago when I worked as an architectural drafter, I saw firsthand of what had the appearance of a lot of make work procedures various crafts and professions went through to justify and implement maintenance and repair projects thereby running up both costs and time. One project I was involved with involved replacing a grammar school’s heating system that had failed for no better reason than over the years, the old one had not been properly serviced and maintained.

What will it take to shine some light on the complex and cumbersome procedures that become effective barriers to needed ongoing maintenance and care of these public assets?

Stephen A. Montgomery