It’s a “first” for our school community … and even though the  Yes or No Referendum question on the May 5th ballot does not contain the word “children” … make no mistake about it … our “kids” are on the ballot … years’ worth of kids … and whether we like it or not … so are we.
Even though our school board has done what we elected them to do in distilling wants down to critical needs; there is never a wrong time to inject the “will of the people” into any process when the peoples’ money must be used to address even critical needs ….. and this clearly makes the Referendum a test of community priorities; particularly when our children are the beneficiary of our collective decision.
Yes, a test … but an opportunity as well. For believing, as I do, that the children in a school classroom belong to all of us; the passage of this Referendum affords us all the opportunity to clearly underscore what we have proven over and over again as a school community ... that here, in our place, we do all we can do  to take care of our own. For sooner than we think, our future will be defined by the people we produce today … even here.
I happen to believe that one of, if not the most important business in any community, is the “Business of Education”; a business in which we are ALL shareholders.
Investing in the educational welfare and the safety and security needs of our children is a waste of no one’s tax dollars; when we trust the work of our school board and the leadership of our Superintendent Dave Hoffert ... and I do … and so can you.
The School Referendum and all of its reasons and impacts have been shared in public meetings and nearly 300 individual and group settings throughout our school district … I have been privileged to ride along on many a presentation; and this citizen-focused practice will continue beyond election day.
In my opinion, the road to the Referendum has been one of the most transparent, all-inclusive, honest and taxpayer-sensitive endeavors I have been associated with. If the Referendum is approved, the increase in the taxes on my home will be $9.83 per month. If the Referendum fails, the cost to do what must be done will be greater, project completions will spread over a longer period of time and many distracting educational environments will be created along the way.
Like it or not, we need a new Lincoln School; and we would do well to remember that a school corporation is no longer allowed to “save-up” until they can build or buy a school.
 If you question the need … call Dr. Hoffert’s office and schedule a tour of Lincoln with someone who knows Lincoln (I would suggest a Mr. Sahagun) … and let the buildings and grounds speak for themselves. After all, you own the school. And depending on your “tour time,” you’re likely to  meet a really great principal and wonderful teachers and staff who earn our support of this Referendum ... each and every school day.
If you are planning on voting No to the Referendum; it is my hope that you know “what” and who you are saying No to … that you have or will take the tour. For you just might find that although you hate taxes … like so many, and me … this time, you care for our children more.
Personally, I have never met a “tax” that I wanted to invite home to dinner; and I hate playing politics with our kids … the needs here are real, the security concerns are genuine … and we all must recognize that it is not a piece of chalk and a blackboard … or Dick and Jane and Spot that are the core tools of teaching and learning in this 21st Century of ours … and it starts with a building that works.
As far as the act of voting is concerned, it’s not complicated … those who oppose the Referendum will vote … those who support the Referendum must vote; and nothing should be assumed.
Above all, remember, that when the polls close on the evening of Tuesday, May 5th … they don’t count “kind words,” “warm hearts” and “good intentions”… they only count votes cast … and a Yes vote, never cast … is just a No vote in disguise … and it is the “assumption of victory” that can be victory’s greatest foe.
At this point, to use “Band-Aids” on Lincoln School in an effort to address the critical needs and structural handicaps to teaching, learning and security that reside within this 56-year-old schoolhouse and its “outbuildings” is a waste of our tax dollars … akin to playing “whack-a-mole” with a building … at the inevitable expense of great teachers, great kids and our own pockets as taxpayers … it is a short-sighted, money-wasting proposition.
If this Referendum is approved, the victory will belong to those who had no vote … proving once again … that here, in our place; we take care of our own. For in the end, it’s not what we say about ourselves that defines us … but what we do … and that’s true of a community, too.
To be continued …