Letter to the Editor

NEVC bond discussion needs more civility

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dear Editor,

As we near election day regarding the NEVC Proposition S question, it would seem to me that all citizens of the Northeast Vernon County School District need to stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and give some thought to just what we've seen and heard in the last few months.

To be clear, I'm for Proposition S and make no secret about it, but I think it's time to have a bit more civility and sanity on both sides of the question. I alternate between humor and disgust at some of the things I've heard and seen written about this issue. The situation regarding the closing of the Kansas City schools for example. Those who tell you about that issue fail to mention the enrollment of the KC schools has dropped from 75,000 in the mid '60s, to just about 18,000 today. Seems like something one should mention. We've also heard concerns about kids not being able to walk to school, accusations of not having taken care of the 80 year old buildings we have, and on and on and on.

Most disturbing to me lately are some letters I've seen taking personal shots at individuals supporting Proposition S. To be fair, there might be some out there taking shots at opponents and that's not right either.

And then ... as always, it's about the money.

NOBODY has ever kidded anyone that this project will not raise taxes. For some, not much, for some much more. That's a fact.

And so the trend now with those against Proposition S is to cite the poor economy, the new Health Care Bill in Washington, Missouri budget problems and just about any other negative thing one can think of. To hear the doom and gloom sayers, I'm surprised any of us even bother to get out of bed.

Even though the country was heading into the Great Depression, which makes this economic thing we've just gone through look like a picnic, northeast Vernon County voters approved the construction of new schools in Schell City and Walker. My great-grandparents lost every dime they had when the Schell City bank folded and I can't imagine the times those folks lived through. But you know what they did? They voted to build those schools. They ignored the doom sayers, they looked at the facts, and they did what they thought was right. You see, my grandparents and yours recognized that in all the stuff we deal with in life, one of the most important things is our children. As parents, and even as just adults with no children in school, one of our jobs as adults is to make sure that things are a bit better for those that come after us. Even if WE have to sacrifice a bit.

I hear great things about Nevada schools, El Dorado Springs and others. You know what? Good for them, but I don't live there. I'm a Schell City Bear, always will be. You may be a Walker Pirate. Good for you! We had some great times and we all miss them. But my kids and their friends are Northeast Vernon County Knights. Just as you and I had a decent school to call our own, it's time for us to step up just like our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents did and provide them with their own identity and a modern school. We're rural Missourians and Americans and we don't hide from sacrifice and tough times. Especially when it comes to our youth.

I urge you to vote Yes on Proposition S. However you vote, remember, in talking to your neighbor about this and any other issue that they ARE your neighbor and will continue to be so even after Tuesday.

John Hoagland

Schell City