Editorial

It’s early yet, but I support school bond proposal Nov. 7

ACHTUNG: This is not a fair and balanced story. It is an editorial by the editor.

Not long ago I told readers about my lifetime “first” in voting against school millage requests May 2. Just a little more than a month later, I hereby announce another first — I support the Nov. 7 bond proposal already out of the box.

Just like Groucho looking at his watch and saying, “It’s early yet” to Margaret Dumont’s claim that she’s never been so insulted in all her life, I understand that bad things can happen between now and then.

The Board of Education Monday approved putting a scaled-down proposal before voters Nov. 7, and this time, unlike last time, for what it’s worth, I’m on board. And I’m probably the world’s worst cheerleader. Just ask Wayland coaches.

I still have issues with credibility of school officials, who still have a penchant for the corporate CEO habit of not telling the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth. I’m still skeptical about some of their claims.

But I have to admit they listened intently to what voters said May 2. Lessons learned. Be careful about manufacturing consent, it can put you and your tribe in a surreal box.

Officials and the board took the pool and the new elementary off the table. They were the two most expensive proposals in the package. Though I’ve had political issues with Board President Gary Wood, he was the one who first proposed that necessary move.

I still believe a new swim pool is sorely needed, as is a new elementary down the road. But I’ve been told by people who are in the know that Pine Street Elementary, despite its 76 years and aging physical issues, is too good a facility to abandon just yet. This proposal hopes Pine Street can give the district at least another six years of service. I think it can.

As with any proposal, there are questions, two of which were relayed to me almost as soon as I posted last night’s story.

One is that indeed there will be no millage increase if the bond is passed, but it actually means the levy will continue for a longer period. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. A little truth in taxation here.

Another is that some logistics need to be worked out on the tennis courts. The 12-court facility is supposed to replace a total of 14 courts (six behind the high school and eight behind the middle school) and there are concerns about whether the middle school site alone is large enough to handle the new courts.

There probably are other concerns that should be dealt with as well, but it behooves all with questions to bring them to the board.

One of the biggest problems with the failed May 2 bond proposal, besides overreach, was the lack of negative, but needed public input during the two-year facility needs process.

But from where I sit right now, school officials and the school board have cleaned up that pie in the sky act and gotten down to the business of promoting what is essential for the children now.

I sincerely hope they don’t lapse into that corporate habit of peeing on our shoes and telling us it’s raining. They’ve got a solid proposal here. Let’s keep it that way all the way to Nov. 7.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • ‘No millage increase’ Interesting play on words. How much money are we borrowing and how many years will we be paying this back. How many money/years do we currently owe on the last bond issue that we passed?

    • Administration Office Contacts:

      Norman Taylor, Superintendent
      (269) 792-2181 ext. 3010

      Dawn Stein, Administrative Assistant
      (269) 792-2181 ext. 3001

      Pat Velie, Director of Finance & Operations
      (269) 792-2181 ext. 3011

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