Vote: Participatory Democracy course is in your mailbox

By: 
DAVID KEYES
Outlook publisher

Elections have consequences.
If you are reading this editorial and are a registered voter you should be receiving a ballot in the mail either today or in the next few days. If you are registered and don’t receive a ballot, see Page 1 of this week’s paper to learn what to do.
It is worth the time to vote.
My daughter is a senior at LHS and is taking AP civics. The class is currently discussing the balance of power and the many reasons our government operates the way it does. It has been refreshing and humbling to relearn and to discover new things about the foundation of our government through her studies and her eyes.
This experience also made me think that we are always participating in a civics course. Some are more active in class than others but we all live through the decisions made in civics.
The latest chapter starts this week. It is called Participatory Democracy 101.
In addition to city elections for mayor and council members, we are facing an important vote on paying for the construction and upgrading of local schools as well as changing some of the focus of our current educational offerings.
On Page 18 of this paper, you can read all you want about the bonding process and how much it will cost, how long it will take to pay off, etc.
The numbers are large and the commitment isn’t something anyone should go into lightly.
I personally have heard enough from the citizens committee to vote in favor of the bonds. I spend a fair amount of time in the schools and I know they are packed with students and are outdated.
I think the “if not now, when?” discussion point pushed me to support the bond.
The student population base will only continue to rise. The cost of borrowing money for construction has to be increasing soon as well. The plan as presented is a good one and reorganizes the schools in such a way that maximizes facilities.
The bottom line is that nobody wants to spend more money and by voting in favor of the bonds, you are essentially doing that. The real question is if you are getting your money’s worth.
This is an ambitious, well thought out plan that solves the problems of the present while paving the way for our schools to keep educating students in the best way possible.
I am not sure a piecemeal – one school at a time – approach will work. While I have sticker shock like everyone else, I have to believe by slowly trying to address district needs over time will only be a lot more expensive in the long run.
Bottom line: I haven’t heard of a better idea to fix the schools, address future growth and adapt to the changing needs of students than this one.

David Keyes is publisher of the Laurel Outlook.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.

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