This came from a Plainview-Elgin-Millville referendum supporter as a letter to the editor but got hung up in email for a few days -- apparently got caught in our spam. We'll likely get a version of this in the paper Monday, but since the vote is on Tuesday, I'm posting it here.
PEM School Bond Referendum: Seek the Truth
After several public information sessions and mailings to the voters in the Plainview‐Elgin‐Millville school district, the rumor mill is alive and well and opponents to the bond referendum continue to spew misinformation about the proposed building project. This is a common occurrence for school referendums, but, nonetheless, frustrating for those who worked diligently to assess the district’s facility needs and provided a prioritized list of projects for the bond referendum.
The projects will have a significant, positive impact on student learning and student/staff safety – and, yes, they are “needs” not “wants.” The Hassler Theater is too small for student curricular and extra‐curricular activities. To put money into the Hassler, just because it is there, and have a facility that does not meet the needs of the students, makes no sense. As a dairy farmer and agricultural landowner, my tax bill will be larger than the residential homeowner if the referendum is approved. That is the way school buildings are funded here in Minnesota (talk to your legislators!).
An ad placed in our local paper by opponents to the referendum stated “farmers are taxed at a rate that is 10 times more than the homeowner.” NOT TRUE. Everyone is taxed at the same rate. Farmers own more property than residential homeowners – hence, more tax is paid by farmers. The district has several options on where to move the greenhouse and garage, which will actually result in better accessibility. Parking space will increase once the project is completed. Enrollment at PEM is projected to increase over the next 5 years (based on census and birthrate data), not decrease. Investment in our school facilities adds value to the entire community.
Seek out the truth about the referendum by speaking to a school board member or go to www.pem.k12.mn.us and click on the Facilities Bond Referendum link. Get informed and vote on May 24.
Rita Young, Director, Plainview‐Elgin‐Millville Board of Education