Thursday, December 18, 2014

What is to come for West Franklin?

5/17/2013

All patrons of West Franklin need to wake up and look at what is happening in their district. Each of us needs to get educated and do our part. We shouldn’t just take a person’s word for it.

Unfortunately, the latest school board election turned into a one-issue vote: the bond. And still, fewer than 30 percent of our district patrons turned out to vote. Those of you who chose not to vote in the school board election, shame on you. To those of you who voted — how many of you really know what you were voting on? It was the school board election, not the bond election. We will get our opportunity to vote on the bond from now until June 4 through the mail-in ballot.

All patrons of West Franklin need to wake up and look at what is happening in their district. Each of us needs to get educated and do our part. We shouldn’t just take a person’s word for it.

Unfortunately, the latest school board election turned into a one-issue vote: the bond. And still, fewer than 30 percent of our district patrons turned out to vote. Those of you who chose not to vote in the school board election, shame on you. To those of you who voted — how many of you really know what you were voting on? It was the school board election, not the bond election. We will get our opportunity to vote on the bond from now until June 4 through the mail-in ballot.

My concern is that we as a district might not realize the ramifications short-term thinking might have down the road. The school board should have been about education, not about how much my taxes are going up. The school board election should have received more consideration. The No. 1 job of the school board is to provide the best education possible to the students of the district. As a board, they need to do whatever they think gives their students the advantage. There could be a wide range of topics likely to face the district in the coming four years, not just one.

As Tommy Felts, The Herald’s managing editor, wrote in an editorial, “West Franklin’s current school board members have stepped up, taken an unpopular position and made a laudable attempt to save their school district for generations to come.” It is our job as patrons of the community to describe how much we are willing to give our students. I hope the four new board members work as hard for our school system and live up to what we as patrons expect and need from them.

Another major role of the school board is to create an annual budget and oversee the school’s financial affairs. I have been doing some research and have discovered some alarming facts. Here is the reality ...

Did you know that three of the four new candidates voted into office have filed bankruptcy within the past 6 years? I sure didn’t. If that wasn’t bad enough, one of the newly elected board members has been convicted of a misdemeanor. It has left me wondering ... is there more?

Even if you don’t support the bond issue, you need to be thinking of what is best for the students of this district and their education down the road. Stop being self-absorbed and thinking only about your feelings and what is best for you. We need to think long term for the children of West Franklin and have a plan.

What will this district look like 10 years from now? I am not going to answer that question for you. It is for you to decide — not your neighbors, not your friends, but you!

Before you mail in your ballot, get educated. Know the facts. Do your homework. Educate yourself. It’s that simple.

And vote! Don’t assume other people will do the right thing.

From a concerned West Franklin patron,

— Debbie Holloway, Baldwin City

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