Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Letters to the Editor

November 21, 2007

To the editor:

Some time ago the faculty of economics at the University of Kansas and members of the legislature met in a symposium asking the question, "Can Kansas Afford Its Future?" After much deliberation, the question was not fully answered, but many doubts as to anything hopeful or in the affirmative prevailed. Without delving into the whys and wherefores of that complex issue, it can be said that many factors such as a static population base, an aging population, a changing economic structure, tax policies and how we manage our lives, all played into a sometimes bleak outlook.

Today I received my tax notices from the county treasurer and I pose a similar question now as a few years ago. Can the people of Baldwin afford our future? Basically, I am an optimist, but as I look at the future for myself and others in our town, I begin to have doubts.

First, the general economy of the nation is in great stress. Taxes are having a heavy impact on spendable income, costs of all petroleum products -- gasoline and natural gas -- are outrageous, health costs are going through the roof, housing and the credit markets are in disarray -- in fact -- all living costs are on an incline which threaten all of us. And the school board wants another bond issue!

Add the present bonded debt of the school district, the city of Baldwin City and the costs to live that are very present, and ask yourself if this is a very sane approach to life in this town. Local "leaders" on the council and the school board have their thinking upside down if they believe the people of this town favor another bond issue for anything that hasn't been shown to be absolutely necessary. Where are the urgent needs for more space? Is the space that is already there being utilized to the best effect? Can upgrades to existing space not be made at a greater saving than new construction? The school board has not made the case for a bond issue!

Today, other readers of The Signal also received their tax notices. Did you look at the percentage of tax that you are paying for school buildings? Look, and then decide whether or not we can afford our future, given the specious planning that some of our leaders are reflecting.

Ralph Tanner
Baldwin City

To the editor:

Regarding the military recruitment assembly at BHS: thanks to Supt. Paul Dorathy for apologizing for the inappropriate power point display on Veterans Day. And thanks to the teachers who took a stand by displaying signs saying there are better ways to serve the country. Shouldn't youth know that the billions spent on the military could be going instead to services here at home? Funding such services as Head Start or WIC; development of renewal energy resources; rebuilding roads, bridges and schools; providing basic medical care -- contrast this with the enormously larger military budget. Our youth should know about and honor the bravery and sacrifices of our veterans. Unfortunately, they should also know when this country's principles have been betrayed by its leaders. Just as the two citizens who commented at the Baldwin School Board meeting, the teachers were expressing their point of view, and isn't that what we do in a democracy?

Barbara Johnston
Baldwin City

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