Editorial: Don’t overlook your right to vote, starting this TuesdayIn 2012 there will be local elections in spring, likely a governor’s recall election in summer and the presidential election in fall.
In 2012 there will be local elections in spring, likely a governor’s recall election in summer and the presidential election in fall.
Expect to be saturated with media coverage during these election campaigns, especially for the state and nationals ones. While these are important elections, none is more important than the school referendum levy for River Falls voters on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The quality of local public schools affects the education our children receive. It also affects the amount of property taxes we pay and, by connection, the values of our properties. Like a magnet, a reputable school system like River Falls draws people here, which in turn props up property values.
Our school board and supporters argue that this referendum is essential to maintain and advance the academic excellence that defines our schools.
Practically speaking, it’s argued that referendum projects will save money in the long run by minimizing the need for costly repairs, boosting safety and security, plus lowering future energy costs.
Those who say we shouldn’t have a second levy referendum seven months after the first one was voted down have a point.
Those who say we shouldn’t have another costly referendum in the midst of a bad economy have a point.
However, by now we all know that the second referendum is divided into parts. If you’re worried by how much you can afford, Question No. 1 is the one school officials say is vital to pass.
No. 1 addresses bus and car drop-off zones for student safety, corroded plumbing, energy efficiencies, handicapped accessibility, secure building entrances and more.
Passing Question No. 1 will cost an extra $30 a year on a $100,000 home and an extra $90 a year for a $300,000 home.
Questions 2 and 3 propose to renovate, reconfigure and expand the various schools. Passage of the second referendum question would allow Westside Elementary School to finally dump the so-called temporary classrooms that have become permanent.
Most of us would pay between $77 and $231 in extra school taxes if all three referendum questions pass.
Our school board has responded to the majority who voted no on the April 5 levy referendum. Board members still believe in the overall aim of the first referendum to extend the lifespan of our schools by decades, but they have crafted the Nov. 8 levy referendum so that constituents can pick and choose what they prefer and what they can afford.
So consider all the variables, do the math and please express yourself by voting.
The Journal online poll question this week asked: Do you feel safer with the enactment of Wisconsin’s new concealed carry gun law?
NO, 40.7%; Yes, 37.1%; INDIFFERENT, 22.2%.
Add your voice by going to www.riverfallsjournal.com.