Iím writing in response to Mary Ann Lavelle. She was not able to attend the meetings on the Smith Valley School bond so she voiced some questions, concerns and false information. The school is open and there are lovely, knowledgeable, helpful ladies in the office that can answer all questions. Because these avenues were not taken, did the voter want to be informed and have questions answers?
Mary Ann starts out naming the people who are being asked to pay for the bond ó hardworking, underpaid, jobless, retired, seniors, empty nesters. These people and their children once went to school. It was the taxpayers of that time that paid for their schooling. Maybe had these people had a nice school, a bright spot in their lives and a caring community they would not be underpaid and jobless. Education lays the ground work for a prosperous life.
We all want to be mad at the fact that we taxpayers are supporting students whose parents pay no taxes. This is not the fault of the school or the students. This is the fault of the people we have put in office. Instead of taking our anger out on the children, letís call our elected officials and bring attention to our tax and bond issues. Is it right for the students of West Valley to have a $15 million school because Costco and Loweís are in the tax district and Smith Valley students try to learn with 32 students in a small old room?
Children are our gifts from God. We adults are responsible for giving them a solid base to build their lives. This does not include the latest and greatest. All this bond is asking for is room for the students to be able to learn and be safe. Itís hard to not elbow the student next to you when they are two inches from you all day long. Itís hard to learn when your classmates are so close you can feel and smell their breath. Itís hard to listen to your teacher when you can hear three other teachers. We want them to be respectful, but are we showing them respect by keeping them stuffed in rooms that are not safe and adequate for learning?
Smith Valley School principal Laili Kamemda has spent countless hours trying to get the most for the least. Not because she has nothing else to do! Because she loves the children, knows their needs and every bone in her body is conservative. She also is a taxpayer. Laili knows we taxpayers donít like paying taxes, much less high taxes! Along with the school board, teachers, community and architects, Laili has put together a plan to give students the room they need in a safe building that will be a bright spot in the community. The bond is asking for not one extra. Mary Ann stated the school is asking for money because the students need to change rooms for different classes. This is false. There will be no sod and a small amount of paved parking. If we want grass we will have to donate it and plant it. The bond will cover the needs of the school for 20 years. Taking that into account, $6 million is a small amount!
Will my taxes go up? Yes! A lot! How is my family going to find the money? We already donít eat out to save money. We already donít get fluffy coffees at the coffee shops to save money. We already pack lunch everyday to save money. We will vote for the children and find one more way to save. If we cast our vote in the right spirit, God will provide.
My passion for the passing of this bond does not come from my childrenís needs. My children have a safe, warm home with two parents and plenty of food, love and respect. I want this for the children who donít have a kitchen table to do homework on and someone there to help with that homework. I want this for the children that have no bright spot in their life and need a place to feel loved and respected. Right now there is not room for the Smith Valley students to have adequate time to eat lunch. This is some childrenís only full meal. Letís not be angry at the way things are. Letís feel good about helping the helpless and making a bright spot in the community.
Tonjum is a Smith Valley resident.