In response to my Letter to the Editor letter regarding If Levy 4 fails, what do we tell our students, I received an anonymous letter that reads “Easy for you to vote yes when you don’t have to pay!” Well, in actuality, this is untrue.
The anonymous writer does not know that I am still working and plan to continue. Granted I work part-time as a substitute teacher in the Wauseon Schools, so the same percentage tax will be deducted from my pay if the levy passes. But I want to make a point here. My wife and I have been homeowners in Wauseon since 1974. And we currently own two properties in town. We have paid real-estate taxes supporting our schools for 47 years and counting.
So my message to Mr. or Mrs. anonymous letter writer, don’t tell me we haven’t been paying and supporting our schools all along, we have contributed thousands of dollars and helped untold numbers of children have good experiences here within our schools. Yes, if the levy passes we may not contribute quite as much as you may with the earned income tax, but we have paid our share over the years and there may be a chance we have been paying taxes more years than you have been alive! And think of all of the people of my generation that have done the same, paid their taxes and supported our young people for many years. So now, all of a sudden, we aren’t going to adequately fund our schools while neighboring districts continue doing so? And the chatter is instead of funding our own schools, some are hoping the levy fails and then send their kids to neighboring schools, where their residents ARE funding their schools at higher levels than we fund ours, which seems insane to me. The time and expense of sending kids out to other schools seems very complicated and expensive, as well as OHSAA rules for sitting out of high school sports when transferring. By the way, do your kids want to transfer to other schools? Are they happy about that prospect? Are they looking forward to leaving their friends?
And make no mistake about it, if the levy fails, Wauseon as a city will take on the reputation as second class. Don’t try to sell your house; there will be a very limited market for it. People will not want to move here. Businesses will not open here and likely not expand here. Some may even leave. It will begin a downward spiral. There will be negative economic growth locally.
As a substitute teacher in the Wauseon Schools I have had the opportunity to get to know the administration, faculty, support staff, and students. The wealth of knowledge and dedication working with and supporting our youth is outstanding. If we want that to continue and to maintain a positive learning environment, vote YES. If we want to demoralize the entire system, especially the students, vote no. Believe me, at the end of the day, the students will benefit from or be the victims of the result of the election.