01/16/07 — Just the facts: Paying attention to debate now will save us time later

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Just the facts: Paying attention to debate now will save us time later

Wayne County Commissioner Jack Best is right.

The recent discussions concerning the condition of school facilities in Wayne County should be one of the primary concerns for anyone who wants to see this community grow and remain prosperous.

Taking care of the county’s children — and making sure they can get an education that is equal to or superior to those provided at schools in neighboring counties should be one of our top priorities.

So, Best’s question as to why everyone isn’t interested in attending the recent meetings of the committees of the Facilities Master Plan Team is a good one.

There should be a whole lot of people paying attention to what’s coming in the school facilities debate in Wayne County. Few of us will not be affected by the results.

Let’s set aside the issue of impartiality for the moment and if commissioners and school board members should be involved in this part of the process. The meetings that have been held so far have given those who have been appointed to the committees a chance to see for themselves what the conditions really are in the county’s schools. And as long as the process really does remain about the facts and not about the commission or the school board, in this case education is a positive.

So that brings us to the community — the taxpayers who will be asked at some point what they think and what they want for their county and their schools.

Anyone who thinks that the repeated mentions of a $90 million bond to repair the schools is just the beginnings of a discussion of what is needed has not been following the issue closely enough.

Taxpayers are going to be asked to help fund the work that needs to be done in the schools — and to determine what level of work we can afford.

So, rather than waiting to hear the presentation when that day comes, now is the time to be listening — and maybe even seeing for yourself.

Until this community understands the conditions in the schools, the idea of a bond levy to fund anything is nothing but a dream.

To make a reasonable decision on what we need, we must have more than the word of a commissioner or a school board member. We have to have the facts.

Those are coming now — and will continue to be available over the next few weeks and months.

Now is the time to pay attention.

Published in Editorials on January 16, 2007 12:12 PM