Letters to the Editor

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Editor’s note: The last issue to write letters to the editor concerning the school bond election was Thursday, March 19 . Only letters directly addressing claims raised in this issue will be allowed in the Sunday, March 22 issue.

We would like to remind our readers that the word limit for letters to the editor is 450 words as stated in our policy printed on every opinion page.

Wasteful spending of tax money

Dear Editor:

By getting Johnson Control involved in this new school, the total cost in 20 years if they can get a locked in interest rate at 2.97% would cost around 50 million dollars. Johnson Control will get around 8 million dollars, the interest in 20 years would be around 4 million, so total cost to tax payers would be around 12 million dollars just to Johnson Control, and they will have to hire an architect over and above Johnson Control costs. After looking at the Jefferson and Lincoln in the open house, it would be a shame to destroy those two buildings. Lack of and improper maintenance is the problem with these two buildings.

32.380 million total bond

8 million paid to Johnson Control

This leaves 24.380 million to build a new school actual spending money and an architect still needs to be hired, and their fee comes out of the 24.380 million. This project could have been done without getting Johnson Control involved period. Very Wasteful Spending.

Another bad example of wasteful spending is in 2018 the school administration borrowed well over one million dollars from the American Bank Center with an interest rate of 3.838% for twenty years to replace all the light fixtures in all four schools and the bus barn.

With estimated interest and principal it would be more than one million four hundred thousand dollars. We have only gone two years and now they want to tear down two of the schools and the bus barn wasting well over 700,000 dollars, and we still have to make payments for the next 18 years on the principle and interest. How crazy is that, do they manage their own money that way? Do we have to get Donald Trump in town to drain the swamp? Do we need a new administration instead of a new school?

Because of such wasteful spending

Vote no on the school bond

Duane Kuntz

Glendive

It is time to build a new school

Dear Editor:

I urge you to vote Yes for the upcoming bond election. I was fortunate to serve as principal of Lincoln School for sixteen years and Jefferson School for six years. In the spring of 2003, we celebrated the Centennial of the Lincoln School Building. We had people from out of town and out of state attend, and multiple generations came to express appreciation and pride in the experiences they had at this school. The building has served us well over the years. We can certainly look back with pride in our Glendive Elementary Schools.

​We can appreciate and be proud of our past without holding back needed progress for the future. Our current elementary buildings are worn out, and we need a new school building in Glendive. During my tenure at these two schools, we were continually updating electrical wiring to meet the demands of new technology, repairing boilers and steam traps, fixing leaking roofs, retrofitting windows, remodeling the school library, and dealing with mold abatement.

​In addition to all the exorbitant costs of fixing and remodeling, it was becoming clear that other improvements were needed. Class sizes should be kept low, and square footage of classrooms should be designed within current “square feet per student” recommendations. Times and students have changed! There is an ever widening of the instructional needs of our students. Research has long pointed out that students have different learning styles and learn at different rates, resulting in a need for small group instruction and a variety of instructional methods. We must have a building design that will provide room for computers, Smartboards, and learning centers or tables for small group instruction. It is clear that the best way to reach more students is to utilize a variety of methods in your teaching. We want to give each individual student the best opportunity for learning in a safe, spacious, and productive environment.

​Remaining competitive is also important as a school district. Not only do we want our students to be proficient, but we also want schools that will draw good teachers and new families to Glendive. People will want to send their children to schools that are clean, safe, and that provide students with maximum opportunity to succeed. It is time to build a new school and to prepare for years to come. We can be proud of our past, and let’s make sure that future generations can look back with pride on their educational experience in Glendive. Vote YES. Pay it forward for the next generations.

Don Idso

Glendive

A sneak peek of socialism

Dear Editor,

In 2017 our government was warned of impending epidemic of Coronavirus in China, but chose to sit on the information. By 2018, the Chinese military had either stolen or bought the virus, and were using Biotechnology to manipulate it for use as germ warefare. In January 2020 a Wuhan lab worker was contaminated, and walked from the lab four miles to a Fish Market, thus spreading the virus across China and around the World.

It wasn’t until impeachment failed that Democrats and new media began a campaign of misinformation and fear tactics to instill panic and mass hysteria, with little or no knowledge if it was a cold of flu virus, which has resulted in panic shopping and hoarding across the US and the world. These liars, media news outlets, talk show hosts and online media conspiracy theorists have done as much damage to this country as the virus, and should be held accountable. The only ones to benifit from panic shopping are businesses and online shopping.

What we are witnessing is a sneak peek of Democratic Socialism at it’s worst. Shortage, panic, closure, disruption and mass confusion. It upsets me how easily we are open to manipulation and willing to give up control. We need to listen to experts in the field of virus and epidemic control, The CDC and the President who is attempting to ensure our safety, not to the liars and fear mongers who wish us harm. If they are such experts, why aren’t they in control? Please stay calm, this too will pass.

As children we learned in grade school basic hygine, and it’s embarrassing as adults to be reminded by the government to wash your hands after using the facilities, keep your hands off your face and your fingers out of your nose and mouth. It is a common sense practice we should have been using and teaching our children all along.

Sincerely,

Marian Keller

Glendive

Ignore the propaganda, vote no

Dear Editor,

Glendive voters have a decision to make, do we choose stability or a downward spiral of our economy, voting for an unrealistic school bond, imposing higher taxes on a community already facing another expense for a new water treatment plant, and the railroad planning to relocate another 20 to 50 people creating more revenue loss for businesses, and government, leaving more houses on the market.

A special interest group of school employees, board members, and Johnson Controls claim our schools are crumbling, voters are uneducated, and telling residents to cut back on personal spending. I have two names on my checking account, Glendive Schools isn’t one of them.

Johnson Controls have the most to gain if this bond passes, walking away with millions of dollars, while Dawson County has the most to lose, dealing with more vacant houses, driving property values down, and residents paying more taxes.

Passing this bond will increase my tax to $340.00 a year added to the school tax I pay now, plus another $60.00 a year when my new appraisal comes out. After taxing residents for a new school, Schreibeis will have a legacy to pass, legacy meaning a (gift by will.). Think about this definition of legacy when spending our hard earned money against our will.

Special interest groups are running ads stating Glendive is at a Tipping Point. One ad talks about money wasted on utilities, and repairs.

Years ago I contracted with an agency weatherproofing homes concentrating on reducing utility costs, replacing windows, doors, insulating attics, crawl spaces, and installing new skirting on mobile homes. This is a practice schools should implement, saving money on utilities, properly maintaining heating and cooling systems, using money they save on minor repairs.

Another Tipping Point ad states High Tech firms would be good for Glendive’s economy, saying cities can’t prosper by relying on Industries of the past. As long as people need medical treatment, homes, transportation, clothing, and food on the table, these industries will be around for a long time, always improving production using the latest technology. If liberals want more revenue for schools, support our resource Industry.

Ignore the propaganda, vote no on the school bond, $32,380,000 plus interest is a high price to pay for neglecting our schools.

Sincerely,

Tom and Lorraine Wynne

West Glendive

Bond is more ludicrous than ever

Dear Editor:

In light of recent economic events, which were beyond the control of anyone in Dawson County, the idea of passing a bond for the elementary schools is more ludicrous than ever. There are still just two clear winners if this passes. We all know who they are.

Grandma, who doesn’t count, except to pay the bill, will struggle to keep the house she has owned for 50 years. The restaurant owner has had to resort to passing his wares out the back door to customers who are advised to keep a distance of 6 feet in order not to contaminate each other. Churches are closed. People are afraid to leave home, except to venture to the grocery store in order to buy necessities or to hoard items for which they may never have a use. Others are being laid off and told to stay home as their companies have no customers and they are not needed at work. Some of them won’t be able to pay their rent. Landlords will still have bills to pay, for which they count on the rental receipts. Homeowners who lose their jobs will still have household expenses.

Taxation in Dawson County is becoming an ever more oppressive burden, considering the need to fund the new wastewater treatment plant and pending rate increases for landfill, water and sewer rates. Also looming is a new permanent large mill levy to fund the public library.

A recent article in the Ranger-Review states that the school board has no plans for the gymnasium of Lincoln, which they plan to save by separating it from the dismantled part of the school and providing it with heating and electricity at taxpayer expense. Or if the stories written by Jamie Crisafulli on March 1st and March 15th are true, they plan to give the building away after having spent an undisclosed but substantial amount of taxpayer money to renovate it.

It will take our nation a long time to recover from this. In the meantime, passing a school bond that has no parameters or limits except for the grand total of $32,380,000 helps no one. It further indentures the taxpayers of Dawson County to the Educational Industrial Complex for 20 years. Agreeing to pay 23% of the unknown is issuing a license to steal. Dawson County voters have shown consistently that they understand by voting no. It is the school board that is confused. If you have not voted, then it is up to you to make sure this does not pass.

Lloyd E. (Ed) Rule,

Glendive

Let’s solve our longterm problem

Dear Editor:

This last week has been pretty bizarre...for lack of a better word. We live in a country where we take much for granted. Our groceries, our freedom, our schools, our jobs-they are all things that we don’t even think twice about. But what happens when they get taken away from us?! Then what?!

I believe in the power of progress, of getting up when you fall, and of pushing forward in times of challenge and difficulty. That is truly what builds character and shows so much bravery. So if you are wondering what you should be doing right now - buy only what you need, and get it locally, stay home - to lessen the spread so we can get our freedom back and Vote Yes for your schools - because we need them - that is very obvious right now. The Coronavirus outbreak is a short term problem and it will pass. With a yes vote we will finally have a solution to a long term problem! A problem that has burdened our community for far too long. Stay safe out there, friends!

Kayla Rivas

Glendive

A smart, sound investment

Dear Editor:

I support the proposed Glendive School Bond 100%. I have been asked why I support this bond without hesitation and my response is simple. I want a good return on my tax dollar investment. The first and foremost return will be in a sound, safe school system for the children in this community and for the children of the future. There are many opinions and arguments on what a sound, safe school system looks like, but for me it is simple. I have served on the Glendive Unified School Board and I watched the struggle year after year to pass a simple $100,000 mill for building maintenance for the Elementary District. Divide $100,00 by three schools and that doesn’t leave a very financially sound budget to “fix things right”. One major roof repair, boiler repair or electric repair and that yearly budget was depleted. Never was there enough budget to do more than a fix. There was never enough money for a complete rewiring project of a school or a complete installation of a new heating/ cooling system. The Administration and School Board, both past and current, have worked diligently on trying to get the most out of the dollars available. There is no major pot of gold sitting out there from the Federal Government nor the State Government. Those sources of tax dollars have all but dried up over the years.

So yes, I am willing to pay a little more in taxes to invest in a new school and invest in real fixes in another school. Along with that, we eliminate two old schools completely. That makes sense to me. It is a good return on my investment. Two less old schools to support in future maintenance and obviously less maintenance dollars required to support a new school and a school that has the major repairs addressed. If the choice was made to not build and to “fix things right” on the current structures, the financial investment would be as much or more of what is being asked with the current bond. Sure, we can fix it but we would be investing that new boiler with new wiring and plumbing into an old structure. I do not look at investing year after year in schools that are beyond their life cycle and at making repairs to keep things going until the next year as a smart investment nor do we get a good return on that investment. We still have old schools that need major repair. So, invest now or pay later? I hope this community comes together to invest now and to get a good return on that investment.

Tammy Erickson

Glendive

Today is scary but tomorrow awaits

Dear Editor

It’s time, Glendive. It’s time to show our true selves and rally around those in need – after all, it’s something Glendive does better than anywhere else! Let us come to the aid of our friends, neighbors, and community members, looking for ways to serve and to protect and provide for those who cannot do that for themselves. We will get through this, and we WILL see brighter days to come!

As we look forward to those coming days, let us ensure that the community’s momentum carries on for years to come. We must continue to look for ways to give back beyond the coming weeks, and to invest in the future of Glendive. Investment in local educational opportunities is always a good choice, and one that will yield returns for generations to come.

Now, more than ever, it is becoming apparent that education, especially centered on the STEM fields, will be a key driver in not only local, but regional and global success and prosperity. The current COVID-19 situation should show us that we face a future full of unknowns, and that without a strong educational foundation, we may be unprepared for the next global crisis. Let us do our part to give our kids the best chance to win those future battles. Let us give them the tools and knowledge to flourish as they grow and build a better future for us all.

Yes, today is scary, but a tomorrow awaits full of promise if we are prepared to embrace it. As the Roman poet Virgil once said, “Fortune favors the bold.” Let us boldly declare that we Believe in Glendive, now more than ever, and Vote YES on the school bond. Join us in declaring that Glendive’s future goes far beyond today!

Kevin Peña

Dawson County