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Can’t accept referendum

September 18, 2012
Fairmont Sentinel

To the Editor:

I want to thank the Sentinel for the articles about the hungry people here in Martin County. I know Martin County is in trouble with the drought, unemployment, food prices and now a water shortage. I feel if we really try we can put something on the shelves as a donation.

I also want to thank the Sentinel for the editorial Thursday, Sept. 14, about the cuts in school spending. The school board has finally required a list of all non-required classes and services, along with the costs and student participation. This I really appreciate knowing that the school board fully appreciates all these extra programs and activities at the school.

I would like you to know I received a personal letter from Superintendent Joe Brown about my letter in the Sentinel on June 15. He says he respects my right not to support the increase in property taxes. He also says he is 61 years old and pays taxes indirectly through his monthly rent to the landlord. He also writes that he and his wife and six children are all employed and all paying state, federal, local taxes, Medicare tax and Social Security in Albert Lea for their permanent home and house.

Mr. Brown writes that 60 percent of the high school students participate in all the co-curricular activities such as all sports, music clubs and organizations. These programs, he claims, teach and support skills, such as working together in teams, being to work on time, following directions and treating others with respect. He also says our district is still catching up to other school districts in providing technology to all our students. He says our graduates need to learn technical skills to compete with students from all over the world - not just in Martin County.

As a concerned voter, I still feel if all these extra activities are wanted, then let the parents pay for them. I'm only interested in what are these students learning in the classroom? I cannot accept this referendum as is.

Betty Rettke




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