This Has to Be Said
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.
I have enjoyed reading your recent blog entries. Today however, you seemed to just go off the rails. Did you just wake up angry?
I am hoping that the school board is taking their time and thinking! What went wrong? Why did people vote the way they did? What are their options? How do they get the community behind their projects, or some variation of those projects. A knee jerk reaction would be fairly stupid and they certainly aren’t that.
Rather than rooting for them to take an aggressive antagonistic approach, let’s all hope they work with the people who were unhappy and voted against the bond, so that we end up with the right plan at the right time. That’s what the NO campaign was about all along.
I’ll admit I may have been a little tired when I wrote that :-). But yes, I am also angry.
Do I think the right move is to levy a tax. No.
Above all, I really do want the school board and out citizens to go back to the drawing board. I would hope they would use a process similar to what the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission used to redo its General Plan. It was an organic, citizen first process that took years to allow ideas to simmer. It is almost the exact inverse of what happened with the school bond process. In the case of the General Plan, was everyone happy with the outcome? No, but the ideas were vetted.
But back to being angry :-). What I find unacceptable is being lectured and scolded as a citizen that the “school board has decided” and we were “just voting on how to pay for it.” What I find even more perplexing, is that if it wasn’t true, why was it said over and over?
My overall goal with this post, and its over the top nature, was to point out how egregious of an action it was, so it will not happen again. If no one says anything about it, then I’m afraid people will view that course of action as acceptable. I don’t think it is.
It’s much like the County Attorney and charges of electioneering. Do I really want anyone fined for these actions? No. However, do I think charges should be levied, if warranted, in order to prevent it from happening again. Absolutely.
This is just too great of a place, with too many good people, to let it slip. This was my tiny way of saying what happened wasn’t right and it can’t happen again.
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