By Karen Wilson of Liberal
Many of us have been following the information provided by the Leader & Times regarding the overcrowding problem facing our school system. No doubt, any parent or citizen that is involved with students in USD No. 480 recognizes this is a legitimate problem.
Herein lies the problem we now face.
So far this year, we’ve been told the mill levy has been increased by USD 480, the college, the city and the county. I expect most property owners are very uncomfortable even thinking about what their property taxes will be in the upcoming year.
As we try to digest this news, we are also trying to figure out what to do about our health insurance premiums and medical bills.
Meetings have been set to give the public an opportunity to ask questions and, hopefully, offer opinions. While this is a good thing, it would appear the meeting schedule is not very conductive to giving all citizens who would like to attend ample opportunities to do so. If you have to get children off to school or get to work yourself and can’t get off and across town before 6 p.m., too bad for you.
My understanding from the Leader & Times is has been approved to have a vote for a 1/2-cent sales tax to help with the overcrowding problems. It would also appear an architect has already been retained, and advertising is now on-going searching for a contractor.
It looks to me as if this is going to happen regardless of the results of the vote. I’m sure if I’m mistaken, someone will correct me on that.
Our current school board is aware they do not have a great deal of trust from the citizens of Liberal. The last time we voted on this issue, it was voted down. Although a portion of the vote was related to a new track and artificial turf at Redskin Field, those things happened against the wishes of the voters.
After the vote, the school board spent money surveying voters to find out why they voted no. I’m not sure if they followed through with the survey, but I’m pretty sure many citizens responded they would have voted to work on the schools if they had left the portion regarding Redskin Field off the bond.
Instead, we now have a new field that does nothing to solve the overcrowding problem, and I can’t even say that it turned our football team into winners.
Apparently, at the time of the last election, the district had plenty of money to spend with or without the election.
Today, they tell us we are extremely short on funds, and we need to pass this vote. My question to the board is, regardless of the results of the election, how do we, as citizens of Liberal, know what you are going to spend out money on?
The administration seems to act independently of the board, and the board seems to act independently of the wishes of the people.
I guess it’s politics as usual in Liberal. As long as it’s not your money, feel free to spend it however you choose.