Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2007

Decisions ahead

January 11, 2007

These are interesting times. All one has to do is glance at the headlines in the Signal to know our community is facing challenges.

An overdue bond issue is again at center stage with the school district. It's about time. We're ahead of the curve with overcrowded schools to this point, but that can't last forever.

We need to figure out what makes sense for what we need next with schools. Is that a new junior high? Is that a new elementary school? What becomes of those present buildings if new ones are built?

And, probably the biggest question in all of that is what will Gardner's impending Intermodal mean to us? There's no way to know. But, it's easy to guess that the addition of thousands of jobs just to the east of us will mean growth here. How could it not?

But, it's impossible to tell what that will mean. Will new residents be young with elementary school and junior high children? Or, will we have more high school students? Unfortunately, the best answer to all of that is another question -- who knows?

There are other financial areas of note with the school district. Repairs are needed throughout the district. New technology needs -- no, make that has -- to be purchased. The list goes on and on.

The city is faced with similar questions, but not quite to that extent. What city services will need to be extended? What do the capacities need to be for them and when? When the truck traffic from Gardner starts heading this way -- especially after the new U.S. Highway 59 is built -- what will it mean? More traffic lights? Will U.S. Highway 56 be widened?

Again, best answer is who knows?

But, there's another eye-catching headline. It's election time. Three of the four incumbents for school board are seeking re-election. At least two of three incumbents on the city council are, too. That's great, but still shows the need for more candidates, more choices.

The deadline to file for election for either governing body is at noon on Jan. 23. We've heard from several people who are considering running. We'd like to hear from more and, better yet, hear from the Douglas County Clerk that they've filed.

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