Sometimes you choose to write because you are excited about a topic and want to scream about it at the top of your lungs. This isn’t one of those times…
We are now a few days out from our School Bond Election. The public voted and the bond was rejected. Yet, what were we voting for? What were we voting against? Judging from the outcome, it appears most people were voting on the ideas inherent in the process. In this case, the ideas were struck down.
However, I think back to the days and weeks preceding the election, and many prominent people in our community told us that we weren’t voting on the idea, we were voting on HOW TO PAY FOR THE IDEA. “Do you want to pay for schools via bond or via tax?” was the cry. “Either way the school board is going forward with their plan.” Now three days on, I haven’t heard anyone in power (i.e., the school board) say they are going to go forward and levy a tax (perhaps it’s still coming). That lack of action just provides fodder for those who said a tax was just a threat designed to push people toward voting for the bond.
The problem is, that what seems now was just an idle threat, was propagated by some of the most prominent members of our community as fact. Some of these people were even elected officials.
More importantly, if it turns out to have just been a threat, it seems like a tactic designed to, at best, mislead people and, at worst, coerce people.
Most importantly, for those who said that, how do we have trust in what you say going forward?
This bond was one of the defining moments of the next decade and those who said we were simply voting on “how to pay for it” appear to be have been wrong, duped themselves, or were flat-out lying. Regardless, we can’t let that action get shoved under the carpet, never to be heard again. One just can’t say those things and hope no one remembers it when the tide goes against him or her.
I almost wish the school board would go through with it and levy their $500 a household tax for the next three years. At least then they would be putting OUR money where THEIR mouth was. At least then I would know that they were going to do what they said they were going to do. At least then I could look at many of community leaders and think they actually knew what they were talking about.
Instead, it appears that it was just words. Words designed to try and influence the outcome of an election. Words designed to manipulate our residents. Words that ultimately may have backfired.
If the school board doesn’t ultimately carry through with those words, many of us will never look at some of the people who emphatically uttered that phrase the same ever again.
And that’s really unfortunate.