Letter to the Editor

Proposed bond initiative for the Logan-Magnolia CSD

While anyone in the district is certainly entitled to their opinion, that doesn’t mean that opinion is based in reality or fact. At best, the most vocal opposition appears to be grievously misinformed, and at worst, just being downright disingenuous.

I have supported the bond initiative to improve our district’s facilities from the offset. I have done so quietly by voting yes. A recent letter to the editor in the Missouri Valley Times-News has left me feeling the need to speak up.

Let’s hit the high, or perhaps I should say, low points. Leading off your letter by casting needless aspersions in the direction of our school board and administrators is reprehensible and irresponsible. I’m no doctor, Lee, but perhaps it’s best that you cut back on your caffeine and AM radio intake.

The bond is not $8 million. I know it isn’t, and so do you. Those numbers are there and have been there.

Let’s go over them once more. I’ll type slowly if it will help you follow along.

Total Project Cost: $7.99 million

Total Bond Amount: $5.5 million.

The district is using sales tax money already in place from the State of Iowa. That helps bring down the total cost and alleviate some of the burden on taxpayers. You are well within your rights to choose not to believe the tax numbers that are out there and clearly show what the increased tax liability will look like. But, dismissing those numbers offhand as a lie in order to sway people to your opinion on the proposal isn’t something I take lightly.

While the official enrollment numbers for 2019 have yet to be released, it suffices to say for now that your sinking enrollment narrative is misleading. I look forward to addressing that in detail as soon as the 2019 numbers are confirmed.

The revised bond was defeated in the last vote. Requiring 60% in favor to pass, we came up just short at 53% yes and 47% no. I’ve seen the numbers in detail. We will continue to work on getting those that stayed home out to vote, and we will continue to march this initiative forward. We are not going to be dissuaded by a vocal minority of residents that don’t feel the same sense of communal obligation to the district the rest of us do.

I’m not going to waste too much of whatever life I have left defending against your claim that our children don’t need an approved tornado shelter. Go tell that nonsense to the people that were here in May of 1999. Many of our friends’ and neighbors’ lives were changed forever that day. Those of us that were here remember well the tragedy that unfolded. Perhaps that is why you don’t seem concerned over the fact that something being unlikely does not equate to it being impossible.

Whatever your position is here, it is an unimpeachable fact that the new gymnasium will be the most-used addition to the school in the entire scope of this project. It will see near constant use throughout each and every school day and will be a great benefit to improving the extracurricular scheduling for our children. Standing around at facility meetings and yelling gymnasium won’t change that.

If you grew up here, lived here, were educated here, sent your children to this district, you owe the district the same commitment it has shown you, regardless of you still having children in the school system or not. Everyone came together in 1979 and built a new school for this community, and as a result, generations of us benefited from that commitment. What we want here is the same, to invest in our community for the benefit of generations still to come.

I urge all area residents to attend the information meetings that are being held leading up to this vote. Visit the Vote Yes for Lo-Ma Facebook page. Don’t be disillusioned by an angry minority who won’t be assuaged no matter what we do.

Tom Schwertley Jr., Actual small businessperson from the district

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