As I ponder the upcoming referendum, I am torn between wanting children to have a top quality education and wanting a government that will live within a budget like the rest of us. It is possible to have education without all the frosting and manage to stay on a budget. Millions of Americans do it every day. When our expenses go up, we cut back on the frills. It is a necessary evil everyone (except the government) is familiar with. When taxes go up, we cut yet another frill from our lives. My concern, however, is about seniors who cannot tighten their belts any more. They are on a fixed income struggling to pay for their many prescriptions not covered by Medicare. Their life savings is in their home. Many of these citizens have nowhere else they can cut back. If they cannot pay their increased property tax, they are in jeopardy of losing their home (their life savings) so that students can be involved in programs that are "wanted" but not "needed" in order to have a good education and so that parents of kindergartners can receive the equivalent of free child care by sending them to school every day. For decades upon decades 5-year-olds have learned to tie their shoes in only 2-3 days a week rather than 5. All-day kindergarten is a convenience since most parents work. It is not a necessity, however, and the result is that property tax payers are taking on the burden of free child care for the extra days these children are being sent to school. If the district doesn't cut the frills from their budget like we do, seniors can and will lose their homes. The district must be expected to cut "wants" like the rest of us.
Sherri K. Goedker
Step up to the plate for the children
As a community, whether we are single, parents or grandparents, we are being asked to step to the plate on Nov. 6.
The children are our future and they need our support in the upcoming referendum. We need to continue the education and learning that Brainerd is so well-known for.
There are so many negatives in the world...show the children our support and love is real and vote yes for the referendum on Nov. 6. It's really all about them.
Will Gore travel by wind power?
How do you suppose Al Gore will get Oslo to pick up his Nobel prize? Wind power or just riding the ocean currents would probably be best but I'm betting he'll hop in a private jet, zoom over there and justify it all by proclaiming that his time is so valuable and his message so urgent that he can't afford to travel like us non-Nobel-winners.
Do you suppose he'll find time while across the pond to stop by England and argue his case before the judge that found 11 different errors or unsubstantiated claims in his dippy movie? Probably not.
Do you suppose the Nobel selection committee will be able to keep a straight face when presenting Al this most prestigious doorstop? Probably.
Stephen A. Busch
What a wonderful tribute
Please accept our thanks for the terrific Brainerd Homecoming celebration! As a member of the 1954 Class we all were so pleased of the coverage of our state basketball tournament win, our inclusion in the parade, the recognition of our team during the pep fest and in the memorabilia section.
Our hats are off to all those who planned the events and organized everything. It was super! Our 50-60's era that met at the American Legion had a great time renewing friendships and recalling our memories of yesteryear! We thank you for the wonderful tribute to our class of '54.
Brainerd Class of '54
Average hike about $19 a month
The school referendum is an issue about the quality of our community. Quality communities provide for their children - even when it is a bit inconvenient and even if it involves a small sacrifice. Former generations took care of us (whether they had children in school or not) and now it is our turn to care for the younger generation. It is the cycle of life.
I do have sympathy for people on fixed incomes - I'll be there all too soon. However, the levy will not increase taxes as much as many have been led to believe.
The often quoted increase of $986 is a per pupil increase not a per household increase. If you have property valued at $648,684 then your taxes would increase by $986. Otherwise, let's look at a more reasonable estimate. The average property value in the Brainerd Lakes area is roughly $150,000 so the referendum would cause a $228 property tax increase - or only $19 per month. Many property owners (whether on a fixed income or not) could qualify for a State Property Tax Refund and/or the State Special Refund which would make your taxes even less! Nineteen dollars or less! With the quality of the schools in Brainerd I think that's not inconvenient or a sacrifice - it's a bargain. Given our role to provide for our children I urge you to "Vote Yes" on the Brainerd school referendum.
Good schools attract good doctors
We have watched the Brainerd School Board meetings, with increasing anxiety. The discussion of what cuts will be made, if the levy fails is heartbreaking. We just moved back to Brainerd, primarily due to the opportunities the Brainerd schools offer our daughter. It sickens us to think we may be losing them.
We just want to bring up one more reason to consider voting for the levy - the amazing schools in Brainerd have been a reason for medical professionals to move to the area. Even if you don't have children in the schools here, you may have an interest in keeping the best possible medical care. All types of professionals have a choice about where we live. Doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians can live in cities where they have many choices for their children's education. In Brainerd, we have had the advantage of outstanding public schools to help us recruit and retain medical professionals. If we lose the level of excellence in the schools, it will be much more difficult for us to keep the people who make the medical system work.
Look at the want ads in the newspaper. There are many jobs available for therapists, nurses, and other professionals. (Even the hospitals in St. Cloud are trying to hire our nurses!) If we let the schools become mediocre, we will lose some medical people, and will have a great deal more difficulty recruiting the best specialists in the future. This will impact the care you receive in all healthcare settings. Brainerd's outstanding schools are the foundation upon which Brainerd stands. We need this foundation to support our medical care as well.
Bill and Linda Marden
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