I thought Iíd been keeping up pretty well with West Franklin Superintendant Dotson Bradburyís so-called vision for the school district ó not the vision of West Franklin 287, but his own vision.
Now I am completely puzzled at what he wants. First, he starts out by proposing a $25-million bond issue that he surely knew wouldnít fly because of our lack of valuation in this district. Now he has changed his mind and has this vision on lots of different issues. This is going to ó yes, you guessed it ó take a bond issue to raise enough money to do his visions (which, by the way, Iím sure hardly any of the West Franklin patrons got a copy of because they are only sent to his vision committee and maybe school personnel).
As of yet, the farmers, homeowners and business people whom Iíve talked to donít have a clue what he or the board are really asking for. There are lots of examples in the West Franklin flyer, but nothing anyone can understand as far as how much per acre, or what the final cost to each of us is going to be.
I guess itís old news by now that the West Franklin patrons have told the superintendant and the board they donít want more taxes to pay for new buildings, tracks, gyms and on and on. What we want to do is what should have already been done: Itís called maintenance and to keep what we have.
When a business goes into a bank to ask for a loan, the first thing the bank asks is how much the business needs, what the money will be spent on and when and how will it be paid back. The banker might also ask why a business that has gone downhill in production for the past several years is asking for money to buy new things if it isnít going to grow and produce more.
This is exactly the position in which West Franklin finds itself: A loss of 229 students in five or six years with more to come. With an economy in this area that is losing ground for most of us, more taxes being imposed on us by our governments, and now a person and a school board that is trying to build new buildings, why should we be taxed for something that probably wonít exist in the near future anyway? Guess who gets to pay for new empty buildings?
You know, I think we all have a vision to be able to give our kids a good education, to get along with each other as one large community, to maintain what we have and live a good, productive life.
I guess I canít see this happening if our patrons, especially those on fixed incomes, our farmers and business people who pay the big brunt of the money raised for taxes, are continually worrying about where the money is going to come from to pay for a bunch of new buildings that arenít really needed at this point to be a successful school district.
When considering this issue, just take a minute and think about your own personal vision, and for the financial destiny of your business, along with what is really needed, and what is best for our community and our kids.
Vote no on this bond issue for new buildings, tracks, etc., along with other wasteful spending of your hard-earned tax dollars.
ó Larry Milliken,