For the kids: Yes on bond

To the Editor: For the children. That is what the Spring Lake bond proposal is all about and a YES vote is the right thing to do.
Oct 28, 2013

The State of Michigan’s School Bond Loan Fund is currently available and will keep the millage increase at a minimum. This program funding will run out in 2014. What does this mean? The requested bond would increase the millage by only 0.569 now, as opposed to 4.97 if we wait until later when, inevitably, money will still be necessary.

Our elementary schools are aging and will need exponentially more repairs and maintenance. Our athletic fields are scattered and inadequate. Our technology is in the slow lane. And perhaps most importantly, our children’s and staff’s safety and security is in jeopardy. We cannot imagine how many hot dog roasts would be needed to raise the cash to keep our children thriving and advancing.

How can one “vote NO for the children’s sake,” as some signs ask?? We are asking for a YES vote in support of our children AND our future. Now is the bargain time to do this, Lakers. Don’t miss the boat!

— Molly Crissman and Jim Walters, Spring Lake Township

Comments

kookwan

It would not be that hard to update the schools security....or technology - it's been done in many schools in this area. Ravenna, Reeths Puffer, etc. I have read the School Bond Loan Fund information and it does not say it will run out in 2014. At the last information meeting a question was asked about the back up plan - which we don't have, but Mr. Furton did say that if it failed they could come back, within the year, to ask for a different proposal and it would not be 4.97. The NO vote is for our children's sake - because - you and I will be long gone before this is EVER paid off. The school will have to come back to the community within 5 years for more technology money because it changes so fast. By then I am sure they will propose a new middle school. If they truly have to build a new elementary school - build it on the property we already own. No need to buy 200,000 worth of land that is half wetland. Not even DEQ approved to build on. That is why the property is still available. If they have to move the fields, then build a new elementary school on the existing Hickman field whick will be moved to the high school if the bond passes. I know they will say it will be a traffic nightmare. Where or where is the study on that and then the study of where the new school will be? The only real nightmare at Holmes Elementary is the parents that have to pick their children up. The busses are there and already going that way...but again - if we build a school on Hickman field and configure in the parent pick up area - all will be ok because as Mr. Furton said "we have an hour in between the different school schedules. There are other OPTIONS - they just want ALL or NOTHING....with no back up plan. Yes the elementary schools are old, but the middle school is right behind them, just a difference of 5 years. The schools in a Class A school - Grand Haven - are older than ours, as are many districts. As for Bargain...have you looked at the ballot? it says that we will be paying a lot more in interest than principal and that if they need more money - they do NOT have to bring it back to a vote -....check it out....For the children's sake.

imabelieber

thank you kookwan. IT is FOR OUR CHILDRENS SAKE. that is why our signs say that. thank you. for all your support. I do not want my kids paying for this for 30 years.. no way!! and you are right technology will need replacing. we own enough land that we don't need anymore land. and the whole proposal is hypothetical. nothing is set in stone. no one knows what will happen if we get the school bond loan fund. one thing that is never mentioned that bugs me, the school bond loan fund was set up for districts that needed buildings due to credit issues or low income areas. the whole state suffers for this. The loan interest is not being met. The EDUCATION fund per student in the state is down $120.00. Spring Lake does not need to add to this deficit. We have a good rating with the State. Why do we need to take away from our kids education, or our neighbors kids education for a new field? a new building? a new tablet? I want my kids to earn things, earn respect, not be given it. I want them to know that they may have lost a little, by helping others, not taking what they can get. I want my kids to appreciate what they have, and take care of it, improve it even. We are a good strong solid community that MR FURTON has joined a few years past, and has done a tremendous job of dividing, not just with this bond, but with his choices in his district. I just hope people realize they need to look at the whole issue. There is so much more than 34.00 a year for 30 years. Thank you kookwan whoever you are..

almoth

There is no doubt that we have a wonderful strong community with good schools and a great education. Without the bond proposal there is no doubt we can continue to do our best. The bond proposal is about taking advantage of a chance to excel and improve on what we have. Of course it will cost money. Of course the ballot states there will be more interest than principal because that is how all loans work, just take a look at your home mortgage. We all know that we have excellent schools now, but many in the community have identified that we are lacking the infrastructure to insure that they remain excellent schools far into the future and that's why we have the bond proposal now. If continuing into the future with teaching our kids in outdated 50-60 year old schools is a better way to learn respect, values, and how to earn what they have, then a no vote is appropriate. It will certainly teach them how to earn things when someday they have to build new schools from their taxes (it is inevitable) if they live in the Spring Lake district as adults. If we believe that providing sound maintainable up to date buildings is a better environment to let our excellent teachers and parents foster those same values, then a yes vote is the way to go. Again, it's about just getting by, or deciding for our community that we want to continue to excel. There is really much more than 34.00 a year for 30 years. Now is our chance as a community to show what a difference that will make.

Vance

Really $60,000,000 over 30 years for technology that will be outdated in 8 years. Hmmm....sounds like someone didn't get it right a few years ago when the "new" school was built. So in 8 years when an updated technology bond is needed how will we handle that? Let's see a long term 30 year plan! It should includes an eight year replacement and update budget that has been truly looked at by an outside source,not given as a line item from an architectural firm.

It's obvious this administration has no foresight or vision. Words that the rest of the nation are beginning to claim such as sustaining, recycle, reclaim, upgrade, renew are blatantly left out of the package. They are following the vision other communities have created......10 years ago. So we have a sports facility similar to Grand Haven??? What will be the returns? This administration is not leading, they are following. Educational facilities are not supposed to "be like" other school systems. They are supposed to meet the unique needs of the community. This administrations leadership and vision is limited to the borders of their personal desires and goals.

It would be interesting to see what "Outstanding" accomplishment that this replacement superintendent has created or accomplished for our community. He has followed in great footsteps but his imprint on our community is soft like a footstep in sand.

Teacher's need more help to teach, more social interaction with their students, teachers and aids. More one on one opportunities with the students. Can an iPad replace a teacher's aid? Is the concern for our students actual growth or to meet the perceived norm for school systems?

What's wrong with the facilities we have for sports. The don't seem to be holding back the teams from competing at high levels. The fields are all nice, the tennis courts are great. Watching a fall sunset from Grabinski or the soccer field! The money should be invested into more training staff, more coaches a large indoor facility for football, soccer, baseball and tennis.Our athletes need year around support in their interests, not just fleeting moments for a part time coach and athletic director. A large indoor facility could help the community by renting back the space to other interests not just fancy fields and dugouts for a limited number of students.

Do we not see in Spring Lake the huge industry in professional athletics and the support staff for those teams/industry? Are we missing the huge opportunities for students in Spring Lake to achieve higher opportunities of education along with scholarships and grants for involvement in athletics? Is their a real value to winning a league title other than a medal, a trophy that sits in the A.D.'s office for bragging rights and another story of "the good old days". How can new facilities make a difference in an individual student athlete? More support staff and higher levels of competition create more opportunities. Are we really that tight on our budget that we can't play teams from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois....would not that exposure be great for our student athletes?

If your student has ever experienced rejection, discrimination, isolation, favoritism or has not received the "special favors" because the "connections" or relationships with the school administration or teachers is not the same status. Vote NO!

If you requested extra aid and have been promised changes and help but did not see that happen. Vote NO!

If you are concerned that your student has not received the same attention or respect. Vote NO!

It is very easy for words to be said in the "correct" manner to give the presumed view that all are being treated equally...but the feeling in your gut tells you that your student is not being treated equally. Vote NO!

As a parent of Spring Lake students whose children continually receive "favored status" it makes me sick to have other students not offered the same opportunities. Vote No!!

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