Monday, March 05, 2012

Vote Yes . . . at your own risk?

Tomorrow, on Super Tuesday, Ohioians participate in their primary. Lots of Republicans will be choosing between Gingrich, Paul, Romney, Santorum, or Other. Democrats will choose Obama. And there are many local politician positions to weigh in on as well.

But I am most interested in the outcome of local Issue 10 in Westerville, where I live and raise my family. Issue 10 is a levy issue that is trying to raise money to help address an existing budgetary shortfall in the Westerville City School budget.

The voters initially voted down a levy last November. Since then people-- dismayed at the dire consequences that massive budget cuts to the schools would do to the schools ability to effectively educate and enrich students--have passed a ballot initiative to place Issue 10 on this ballot.

This afternoon Lynda and the girls made signs and stood on the corner of Schrock and State Roads, encouraging Westervillians to vote yes on Issue 10 tomorrow. (A yes vote is a vote in favor of an increase in property taxes to help address the budget shortfall.) I was at work or I would have been out there with them in the cold. They also shared the sidewalk with people opposed to Issue 10, those unwilling to raise property taxes. In at least two instances, one anti-10 activist showed general rudeness and n unfortunate narrow-mindlessness.

1. It was cold, as I've said, and Lynda was struggling to keep her extremities warm.(We've recently learned that she struggled with a circulatory condition that makes her fingertips and toes go painfully numb if she is out in the cold for a surprisingly short amount of time.) So, she was hopping up and down to try and stay warm. One gentleman on the other side of the Issue apparently made some derisive comment wondering why she was doing that, speculating that she was "dancing around like she had a corncob stuck up her a__." And this was in front of our kids and other local kids as well!


2. There WERE some high school kids there, and a few other kids there with their parents. They were holding signs, trying to protect their school's art classes, their music programs, their gifted education, their after-school sports teams, and the jobs of school support staff and administration support.

Given that, I was so surprised when Lynda told me that an Anti-10 protester wondered aloud "Why we're all these kids out here?"

Was he so narrowly focused on keeping his money that he didn't realize that if this Issue is voted down, kids lives WILL be negatively affected? I fear that is the case.

Lynda and I have been firmly in the Vote YES camp ever since the day that the initial item was voted down last November. We are completely aware that our property taxes will go up if we are successful and we are absolutely and unquestionably okay with that outcome. And it is not just because OUR children are being affected one way or the other. We would vote this way even if we had no children. And I hope that as we age and as our children grow and move away, we will continue to vote for these issues. A healthy community is one that supports its kids and its kid's education.

I hope things go our way tomorrow.

Vote YES on Issue 10!

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