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Et Cetera ...

November 12, 2011
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Voters' message clear

Voters in the Fairmont Area School District have spoken, overwhelmingly rejecting a proposed increase in their property taxes aimed at boosting district revenue.

The school has heard the message loud and clear, and is beginning a process to cut its budget. It plans public meetings to discuss ideas.

We suspect the issue of additional funding will be back on the ballot next November. It may be that voters are willing to give a little more to help out, but the near tripling of excess levy funding clearly has been ruled out.

Tough to argue point

We have been among those who wonder about the future of the smallest school districts in our area. We have seen northern Iowa schools work to combine their efforts and believe something similar would benefit schools on this side of the border.

Yet residents in districts like Granada-Huntley-East Chain and Truman keep stepping up to provide additional funding for their schools, as they did again in referendums this week.

Students in these small schools would benefit from broader curriculum choices, and taxpayers would enjoy relief under new arrangements. But it's hard to argue with the headstrong commitment that people provide to these schools.

Austerity forces thought

We suppose in some circles it is somehow disgraceful or disheartening that cities like Blue Earth are considering reducing how much street lighting they provide, to lower the burden on city coffers. People may scoff and wonder whether Blue Earth is a "real city" if it has to cut back on these "essentials."

Of course, the other way to consider the issue is in a practical sense. How much lighting is really needed, and if the city can save several thousand dollars, why not?

The forced austerity of tough times and state budget cuts is prompting cities to consider savings they never would have otherwise. We can't help but believe this is a good thing.

 
 

 

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