SRO round No. 12?
We're always amazed when the School Resource Officer debate rages. It happened again Tuesday night at a budget work session for the Baldwin City Council.
Can there be any doubt that this position is needed? No.
That should end the debate, but it never does. It then goes to who should pay for it and/or who should control it, with various other nit-picky questions. Should it be the city or the school district?
OK, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
It's sad to see that yet another chapter of this silly power struggle is going to unfold. It's sad to see that it's happening, again, after the recent sign that finally the city and school district could cooperate and solve a problem together when it became obvious that the lighting at the ballfields was inadequate and had to be fixed.
Whose ballfields are they, anyway, the city's or the school district's? Or, do they belong to the Baldwin City Recreation Commission?
The answer to all of this is community. Why can't there be an agreement between all members of the boards, councils, whatever that what needs to happen -- above all -- is what's best for the community?
An SRO certainly fits that bill. So do new ballfields. So, let's haggle over who pays for them.
This just in, folks, it's the taxpayers that pay for these, whether they live in the city limits or within the school district's taxing boundaries. If you live in either of those districts or, how about both, your opinion counts -- and so do your tax dollars.
Baldwin residents pay school district taxes which are used in schools that are not within the city limits. Is there a distinction? Of course not.
If a resident of the school district who doesn't live in the city limits utilizes the services of the police department -- for whatever reason -- while in town, are they denied that service because they don't live in the city? Of course not.
School district patrons who do not live in the city certainly pay city utilities through their tax money for electricity, water and sewer provided to the schools in the city limits. Do they have a choice? Of course not.
We're all in this together, whether we want to admit it or not and whether we live in the city limits or not. We're a community. Let's act like it.
The city certainly gains plenty from the SRO; so does the school district. Where does that occur? In the schools that are in the city limits, at games played in the city limits and on the streets that are in the city limits.
Let's stop the bickering before it really gets started again. We were headed toward cooperation, let's not lose that.