To the Editor:
I believe the controversy surrounding the Clay Community School improvement projects centers around trust.
As for me, I trust our school administrators and elected school board. This is not an unsubstantiated trust but is based on observation and simple reasoning.
Personally, I do not have the time to visit the schools and determine what needs to be repaired, improved, etc. Nor do I see a need to do so. That is what our tax dollars are paying school administrators to do, to use their expertise to maintain and improve our schools in a fiscally responsible manner.
Our school administrators are experts in their respective areas and are qualified to make these decisions on our behalf. I suppose if there was evidence that one of them had a self-interest in these improvements, it would cast doubt in my mind as to the need for these improvements.
However, I know of no such realities. Once again, this is a matter of trust.
I have read allegations that we will see an increase in taxes. This is contrary to the fact that we have been continually reassured by school officials that the bond issuance can be repaid with current revenue streams. This means that the projects will not result in an increase in taxes. Once again, I trust them and why shouldn't I? Everyone realizes that they will be held accountable for this promise after the project is complete. Therefore, my trust in them is not a blind faith but is based upon carefully weighing the evidence and applying simple logic.
At other times, I have read that we can save money by suspending the projects indefinitely. This is not logical. It is clear that we can start the projects now or we will pay a higher price in the future. With the rising cost of material, it is paramount to begin these projects as soon as possible.
If we suspend the projects, they will be waiting to be completed at a later date with a high price tag.
Anyone who maintains a house or car understands that preventive maintenance saves money. Sooner or later, we will have to make this investment. The problem with the later is that the cost will be greater.
A more sobering risk associated with forgoing these needed improvements is the possibility of an accident. If we lose a child to a natural disaster or an armed individual showing up at a school, the rationale for stopping these projects being espoused by the opponents will seem trivial. The enhanced safety associated with these improvements makes the decision to approve them that much easier. Gambling our student's safety is unconscionable.
Others claim that this is not the best expenditure of funds and that the money should be invested in our school system in a different manner. Most of these alternatives come in the form of statements masked as questions. Upon first glance, these seem plausible but upon closer inspection, the flaws become apparent. There is no clear plan as to how they would accomplish these alternative projects. They appear to be seeds of distrust spread in an attempt to negatively influence citizens. Those types of poorly defined projects by unqualified individuals are the ones that cause me concern. The individuals suggesting these alternatives are merely observers peering into the school system and have little if any experience in school administration. This all highlights that they are not qualified to lead the community in this capacity. I do not see the logic of buying into their ideas when they have no credentials to back up their claims and the suggested alternatives are ill defined.
In closing, we have no greater blessing in this county than our children. They are a treasure that we should closely guard. As they succeed or fail in life, so do we as a community. In a world that can be cold hearted and cruel, I want our community to send them a message that they are worth every penny of this investment. At this time, we must lock arms and stand opposed to those who would risk the education and safety of the children of Clay County under the misguided belief that unqualified school administrators are misleading us.
I ask you whom do you trust? Your trust is well placed in our administrators and school board. When it is your time to sign a petition, I ask that you say "yes" to the projects and thereby to the students of Clay County.