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Letter: Embarrassed by levy defeat

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I've sat back in the weeds waiting, hoping that some people would come to their senses and realize what a mistake their making by voting no and not investing in education.

I thought about writing this letter many times, I was hoping I wouldn't have to, but I have to now, it must be said, I don't want to carry this around forever.

I owe it to my kids to speak up and I owe it to all the other kids who have been let down.

I'll tell each and every one of you kids that I believe in you and you are worth it, you are worth the sacrifice allot of people were ready to make.

I want to begin by thanking the short sited, the no voters, I appreciate 'your' sacrifice.

Thanks for believing in my kids and investing in their and other kid's education.

If you're reading this letter, I either helped put you through school, your children or your grand children and that's a fact. I don't care how school funding was distributed over the last 35 years, I paid what was asked and never questioned it.

After being drafted and serving my country, a sacrifice I made for you, I came home to a not so welcoming committee and bought my first home in the mid 70's. It was kind of that "living the dream" thing. It's been 35 years now, and I've been paying property tax's ever since.

After we got married, Kathy and I decided to have kids later in life and our oldest is now 17. That would make about 20-25 years of contributing to school funding with no kids in the system. I would consider that a sacrifice, wouldn't you?

It never even crossed my mind in those years to complain about not paying my obligation, it didn't matter that I had 'no' kids in schools, it's what I was brought up to do, it's what my parents taught me was right. We were taught in those days, help others because some day you may need help yourself. Thanks for the sacrifice no voters.

Now that my kids are in school, it's my time. It's my turn now, I've waited most of my life for this moment, I want them to have a better life than I had, I want the best for my kids just like any parent does. The time has arrived to educate my kid's and give them the same opportunities other kid's before them had.

But no Dan, because the school can't get a levy passed to help fund new learning materials, smaller class sizes and repairs to infrastructure. But why? What in the Sam Hill went wrong? How could all those people I helped and sacrificed for over the last 35 years let me down? This has to be some nightmare. Thanks for your sacrifice in my time of need. It shouldn't be hard to see why I'm angered by this, the school is only asking for additional funding so they can stop this backslide they're in but not enough people are really listening.

Thanks for turning your back.

People are all over the idea of cutting taxes and the talking heads in St. Paul and Washington make it sound 'so' wonderful, but is this the end result of cutting tax's?

Have you listened and really thought about what has happened over the last several years in education funding?

Don't get me wrong, I don't question the dedication to learning in our schools and how monies are spent but if you don't have all the right stuff, it's hard to provide a quality education.

I give the educators a lot of credit; maybe there is a lesson to be learned in how to manage a budget. The school's needs are real and we must support them, there's not enough learning material, more computers are needed, class sizes are bulging and buildings need upkeep.

What the heck, who needs building upkeep? Put a check mark 'NO' on that one.

Building upkeep is usually one of the first things to go on the chopping block and it's the easiest sell. Let me tell you, building mechanics and preventative maintenance is my profession and I know a thing or two about it. What is it with people who don't seem to understand the importance of regular routine preventative building maintenance, upgrading outdated equipment and proper staffing and/or funding to do both.

You cannot sit back and hope a deteriorating building or its infrastructure goes away like you might at home. It will come back and haunt you, I can guarantee that and it will always cost more if you wait. Trust me, you wouldn't want to write the check for things that can go wrong in a public building from not enough care.

If we have ageing outdated heating and cooling systems, we are just throwing money down the drain trying to maintain and run them taking money away from much needed learning material and building upkeep.

Money can be saved with replacing the old outdated less efficient heating systems with new, there are certainly paybacks and incentives that are measurable with new technology.

To the short sighted, what would you suggest if deteriorating roofs begin to fail? Stop feeding the kids so there's money to fix them? How much internal damage has to happen before we fix that?

Thanks for thinking beyond the here and now no voters. When it comes to learning material and new computers, I'm embarrassed, I can't believe grown adults could vote against these needs, it's beyond belief. I'm at a loss for words. Thanks.

To the short sighted, the no voters, just walk into the elementary, middle or high school and look into the eyes of those kids especially the youngest ones like our educators have to every day, day in, and day out put on a happy face and pretend all is well after 'you' voted no for better education.

To the short sighted, explain to them yourself why you made your choice, I doubt you have the nerve. Please stop with what happened in the past because it is the past and start setting a better example for those kids all of us care about before it's to late.

I'm tired of excuses like what the school might have done wrong in the past or of tough financial times at home. If you wish to talk tough financial times, I'll compare my financial struggles with anybody's, anytime.

Bottom line, if you can't come up with a little more to invest in this countries future, you're living beyond your means and this levy experience should be a wake up call.

I know, I bet you need a new jet ski, 4-wheeler or maybe trade that two-year-old boat in, it has a tiny scratch and you just can't stand how it looks.

In closing, let me know when you're ready to compare how tough life has been and how life would be so much better if we just had, you fill in the blank.

Dan Bickell

Perham

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