LETTER: Frustrated by those planning to vote ‘no’

To the Editor:

I am both curious about, and frustrated by, those planning to vote against the school referendum.

I’m curious about your reasons for not supporting our schools and our students. Is it because you don’t want your taxes raised? Well, here’s the thing: your taxes will go up either way. If you vote “No,” they will go up more than half of what your “Yes” vote would raise them. But instead of getting a stronger school district, a stronger community, and higher property values, your tax increase will fund only critical repairs and moth-balling or tearing down the middle school. In addition, your “No” vote will cause our district to not receive $6,000,000 from the state to help finance our improvements.

Only 2 of the items on the list of repairs and improvements will get done for your additional tax dollars. We’ll lose students as a result of a failed referendum, and their school tax dollars go with them. This will cause remaining households to pay more to fund the weakening school district. Financially it just doesn’t add up to defeat this referendum unless you support getting the minimum bang your tax bucks. In essence, we will see only a negative impact from our tax increase.

I’m frustrated by the fact that some keep throwing out the same old excuses for not supporting a referendum. We hear them claim that the school district could use their money more wisely and get by. But our district has won awards for good financial stewardship, and spends less on administrative costs than most. We hear some say they no longer have students in the district or plan to move in the near future. But your property value is directly affected by your school’s reputation. And failed referendums definitely hurt a district’s reputation.

Yes, your “Yes” vote will increase your taxes by a little more than your “No” vote. But all of the items on the repair and improve list will get done. You will each get to witness your tax dollars accomplishing big things at the local level. Your community and your school district will be stronger and more attractive, your property values will be preserved or improve, and most importantly, our students will know we believe in them and support their futures.

David Swanson