As president of the Springfield Local Schools Board of Education, I want to thank the hundreds of parents and community members who encouraged us to place a "no new taxes" levy on the November ballot. We spent months listening to residents before we chose to ask voters to support this bond levy, and are encouraged that, as we near the Nov. 6 election day, our (Spring)field of dreams might become a reality.
As responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, we were told by our community that it would be irresponsible to Band Aid deteriorating sports facilities at all six schools when, at no additional cost to our constituents, we can upgrade athletic fields and playgrounds and add needed classroom space. If voters fail to approve this bond request, we all lose - taxes will not go down and dollars that could have been used for technology and other academic needs will be required to simply make facilities safe and usable for our athletes without making the necessary improvements.
Before deciding, please find out the facts. We have a unique opportunity to do something really good for our students and the entire Holland-Springfield community - perhaps our only chance to do so.
As a homeowner and taxpayer, I know that community improvements like this help increase the value of all our homes. I'm asking you to join the thousands of our friends and neighbors who agree and vote for our children and our community by voting for Issue 11.
Springfield Board of Education
Academic reputation is more important
Before Springfield Local voters support the bond issue in November, proponents of the issue should explain why they are trying to pass it off as "no new taxes" when the official election notice in the Oct. 16 Blade states that the issue would create a 1.1-mill levy. As I understand it, the board currently plans to avoid the levy at this time by refinancing some existing debt. This shell game will delay the time when the taxes will be due but will vastly increase the interest on the debt.
Also, the unnamed "expert" in their Oct. 21 Readers' Forum letter should have been asked about the "value" and "urgency" of the expenditure for some fancy sports fields when neither Anthony Wayne nor Ottawa Hills have comparable facilities but still get higher ratings from the state than does Springfield.
Springfield's academic reputation is far more important than sports facilities.
It should be obvious to all that $7 million in debt for the school district is not "no additional cost."