Opposition to school plan is a matter of economics
Since I have been confronted and scolded by a school board member for not supporting the new school, I feel compelled to explain my position. I am a retired senior citizen living in a modest home, receiving a modest pension. Also, I reside in the 1st Ward, which is made up of modest homes like mine and very expensive homes in the $200,000 to $500,000 range. Driving through this neighborhood and seeing all of the yard signs supporting the levy, one can assume they are supporting the levy because of their income level, which they can probably well afford. Also, it would be much less expensive to pay the increased taxes and send their children to a new public school, rather than attend a private school. I can understand their feelings on the issue.
Unfortunately, the city of Girard consists of a great many retirees and senior citizens at the lower income level who cannot continue or afford to pay more taxes. I just happen to be one of the residents who fall into this limited income bracket and feel very strongly on defending my position on this issue. It appears that if a person disagrees with the economics or feasibility of this project, they are accused of not caring about the young people of our community and of depriving them of a proper education. There is nothing further from the truth. It is simply a matter of economics, which is something the politicians and school officials don't seem to or want to understand. They want to place the blame on the people.
I believe the board of education and school officials should roll up their sleeves and develop a plan that is much more economically feasible, utilizing the current school property. In this plan, the auditorium, the two gymnasiums and football stadium would remain intact, with no additional expenditures for these facilities. I believe the residents of Girard would be more receptive to considering this approach, which would save millions over building new facilities at a different location. I strongly suggest that the board of education, school officials and their supporters stop placing the blame on the residents of the city and do their homework, which they were elected to do.
In any event, however you feel on this issue, please vote on Aug. 2.
Shocked, but not in awe
After two years of Mr. Bush's "shock and awe" debacle in Iraq, the carnage continues unabated. At the same time, the war in Afghanistan is far from over. And yet, most Americans are blissfully unconcerned because these wars really don't affect them. Unless a family has a relative serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the incredible suffering of our brave military as well as the citizens of those two unfortunate countries is easy to disregard. Certainly, neither Mr. Bush nor Congress has required any sacrifice by the American people in support of the overall war effort.
Perhaps I could rationalize that situation if our soldiers and marines were receiving the support of Mr. Bush, Congress, and the Pentagon. Unfortunately, as recent news reports have documented, our fighting men and women are still in danger from roadside bombs. It's unconscionable that a U.S. soldier or Marine would be placed in harm's way by his/her commander in chief without everything being done to ensure his/her safety. Apparently there's also a shortage of body armor and ammunition.
This administration's terrible planning and inept conduct of the war in Iraq has been catastrophic: over 1,750 young Americans dead and over 13,000 wounded -- many grievously, as well as an enormous number of innocent Iraqi civilians. As staggering as the cost in human lives has been, there are some who say that those of us who opposed the invasion of Iraq should get over our anger over President Bush's catastrophic blunder and start trying to figure out how to win the conflict that exists. Certainly, no one want a disaster in Iraq, but the current administration marches to no one but its own drummers.
Mr. Bush has over three years remaining in his second term. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as Iran, Syria, and North Korea?) will be passed to his successor for resolution.
JAMES F. COLLIER