KATIE ZERR: Decisions will impact the future of Mobridge

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On Tuesday, April 9, Mobridge residents will go to the polls to decide on a tax opt out to fund a new pool and a position on the Mobridge-Pollock School Board.

Both are very important to this community, as both will have an impact on the future and on our children.

With continual cuts in state and federal aid to education, our school board needs to be manned with strong, well-informed individuals who take their jobs seriously and who are not afraid to make tough decisions. It is important that we pay attention to what happens in our education community.

We are lucky to have a strong, positive administration that works continually to advance the opportunity of all children. They are devoted to their jobs and their mission to give every student that passes through the doors of our schools the best chance to succeed there and in life.

As we contemplate our decision on whether or not we will support a tax increase to pay for the new outdoor aquatics center, there are a number of factors to consider.

There are many people in our community who will struggle to pay any new taxes. This is not just a platitude, but one from an individual who struggles to pay the tax bill when it comes due. The taxes will get paid, one way the other. It may mean sacrificing a personal purchase or cutting back recreational spending, but it will happen. Many people in this community have grown up using the old pool. Many have had children who made the daily visit to the pool throughout the summer. Many have had children who worked at the pool, yet they are hesitant to support the new project though they can afford it. It makes little sense.

As a member of this community who has benefitted from many others who struggled to pay the bills and made sacrifices in order that the next generation would not have as large a sacrifice or as heavy a burden, the decision to support the opt out is easier. The new pool is something that is needed.

Like anything else, when a big project is planned a wish list is made. That wish list is a starting point. Common sense and budget restraints then drive the evolving design to get as much as possible within a certain price range.

This is not a pool filled with luxury, but one that covers the basic needs and has additional features that are common in pools being built today.

Despite the rumors and false information that continue to flow through the community, this is not something that was decided and started overnight. One only needs to pay attention to realize the current city council and those before it debated the issue for many years. It is not something they take lightly. They did not want to make the decision to close the pool and they did not want to have to ask the community to pay more.

Despite the rumors and false information, there are not any backdoor deals or clandestine meetings to make these decisions. That is not their game.

These are elected public officials that sacrifice their time to serve you as a community. The stipend that they receive certainly doesn’t cover the criticism they receive, especially on controversial issues.

There are many factors that need to be considered before residents vote, but one should be in forefront of our minds as we go to the polls: Will this project make it safer for the children of Mobridge and be a benefit to the health of our community?

There are so many in this community who have little or nothing. It is not the fault of the children. They should be able to have an opportunity to enjoy the warm days of summer and have a safe environment where the struggles they have at home can be forgotten for a short period of time.

Isn’t that worth a little sacrifice from those of us who don’t share the same problems?

– Katie Zerr –

 
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