It wasn't exactly a surprise, but it was good to see the Fairmont Area School Board reinstate extracurricular activities this week, in the wake of public support for an operating referendum on election day.
Sports and fine arts programs will now remain available to students. Voters gave their OK to an increase in funding from $500 to $950 per student.
We have heard some grumbling that the school board is just going to come back to voters in five years to ask for money again. That is likely true. The new levy only lasts five years. But asking the public for funds is how the process works. It's called democracy.
An ugly turn of events
We, like many Fairmont residents, are not thrilled with the idea of local water rates going up again. The Public Utilities Commission is considering just that, given recent rate hikes and a drought that have combined to cut people's water usage.
The city is building a new water treatment plant. Yes, it is much-needed for current and future use. To pay for it, water rates have been going up for several years. Those hikes have people conserving water. Add to this the drought and water-use restrictions, and water department revenue is falling, while costs remain fixed.
All of this is an ugly turn of events. We would suggest the PUC look back to see if planners saw this situation arising - or should have.
Parties need to differ
Much has been said in the aftermath of the recent election about Republicans needing to back away from extremists and reach out to more groups, such as Hispanics and single women. Some of this Monday-morning quarterbacking makes sense. Some of the things said by some Republicans on the campaign trail were horrible. We're referring here to comments about rape in a pair of U.S. Senate races. In other ways, the GOP simply needs to rethink its approach, as in the case of immigration issues.
On the other hand - particularly on economic and role of government issues - the Republicans couldn't be more right, and they need to stick to their principles. The United States does need two viable political parties to offer voters a choice. We do not need two left-wing parties that differ little from each other.