Guest Column: Shawn Young

We must consider ALL the taxpayers when a $165 Million capital campaign is placed on the ballot. 

Some of us have been blessed with the extra means to cast a “yes” vote or simply roll the dice by not voting at all. I want to live in a community where my neighbors and my church support retired military, elderly and those on fixed incomes, people on public assistance, and yes, paid civic and school leaders.  Higher taxes may force many of them to live elsewhere.  We are smart enough to not leave any of them behind.  Education needs are vital, but not at the sacrifice of people who make this community a great place to live.

Public institutions rely on taxpayers to raise capital.  Teachers, fire/police departments, and city infrastructure rely on taxpayers to provide means for necessary public services.  Therefore, the BOE and city council must come to the public together for large capital projects like the proposed school levy. 

New school buildings beget new infrastructure resources and debt begets more debt.  We must be able to recognize the difference between needs and wishes.  If we can’t differentiate between the two, we may be blessed with monetary wealth, but we are cursed with financial ignorance.  If the levy passes, when is the tax request from the city going to come to pay for the infrastructure?

It is more important to focus on the professionals delivering the education, than on building the best facilities – which are not the core implement of learning. Academic achievement is the first measure of success for national recognition, not facilities.

Let’s step back from the divisiveness.  Let’s come together and build a NEEDS list for education which can be aligned with the vision of our city leaders.

We are “Loveland Strong” and none of us is as smart as all of us.  Voting NO on this levy would allow us time to decide:  “Do we really need to build a Nation, or should we focus on the quality of education?”

Shawn Young resides in the Loveland City School District with his wife and two children. From 2005-2006, he served on the Board of Trustees for Brevard College while guiding the college from a two-year to four-year college and a successful campaign to build and maintain Porter Center for Performing Arts there.