We've worked on both Positively Muskegon and The Muskegon Channel to share the platform when it comes to kids and schools and what's truly needed at the area schools. Yes, we are aware that there are plenty of people out there that think any time a millage comes along that it's to pad some slush fund account, fill in a gap somewhere hidden in a budget or it's just a school trying to make a grab for more money. Well, we're always very open to the idea of sharing the need and what we ask from the schools who want to share the story is some transparency in what they are looking for. It seems to be a fair trade that if they want to share their need they can just join us to talk about it. We don't cut it up into sound bytes, we don't edit it down to fit into 30 seconds...we just talk and explain the need. In this particular segment...you will see one bump, that is from our end...our camera records in 15 minute segments, and we did have to string two together for this and we did have to adjust the video a little because the camera wasn't centered properly. We're up front too.
I was invited out to Orchard View by Superintendent Jim Nielsen to talk about their upcoming ballot request on May 8th. There has been a tremendous amount of work done in advance of this request and it's all essential work that needs to be done on school properties that is long over due, and if neglected longer will end up costing much more in the long term. It's also a great way to look at long term cost savings by adding more efficient mechanicals, assuring the roof's don't fall in and making sure the urgent needs of piping, maintenance and ADA requirements. Are they the most flashy and cosmetic improvements, nope...but they are truly essential and they are a long term investment in the kids of the OV District.
In a nutshell, it's going to come down to about $4.17 a month of a tax increase. You can link over to the particulars by clicking on the image to the right, and you can also take a listen to my chat with Jim Nielsen, Jack Timmer and Matt Vandervelde of Orchard View Schools to learn a little more about the need, where the money will and won't go and how it legally has to be spent if the voters of the area approve this on May 8th. Take a listen.
I never had my own kids. I have never too voted against something asked for by the schools. I am not one that is all for more taxes, no one is, but our schools are truly one of the key factors in our community. We don't pay into schools just for our own kids, we pay into them so the kid down the street can get an education. We pay into them so that our future generations can do better than we did and this time around in Orchard View they are asking for the bare minimum to fix what needs to be fixed to maintain and improve what's there and start taking steps in the long term preservation of the facilities. It's about $4 bucks a month that they are looking for over 10 years and in my humble opinion, it's a very small investment in our kids. My thanks to Jim and the staff for taking a few minutes out of their day to explain the need. For more, and some examples of what needs to be taken care of, there is another informational video below produced by some trying to help the millage pass. If you'd like to know more about Orchard View Schools, click on the image below to visit the district website.