Letter to the Editor

Vote against bond

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regard to the upcoming bond issue.

Just because we have expressed our opinion AGAINST THE BOND, does not mean in any way we are against improving our schools.

Absolutely, we want to see improvements, but I do not feel that all the options have been thoroughly investigated. The quality of education will not be affected if this takes another month, or year. We believe when you talk 7.4 to 6-8.7 (8.7 is the cost of one site, this was presented by the architects) million dollar projects, I personally could not put enough thought into this before pulling the trigger on the final decision.

Yes, eventually a decision has to be made. Absolutely, so let's make a confident decision that is going to influence our school district and citizens for the next century.

We feel the enthusiasm and energy level toward this hot topic is great. I would be concerned if no one voiced their concern or interest. So this being said, as much controversy and opinions are being presented, I feel we should take a step back and re-evaluate our options! VOTE AGAINST BOND AND RE-EVALUATE OPTIONS

By taking a step back to re-evaluate, many concerns will be raised that our schools will have to close until they are brought up to code.

How many schools have you heard of closing because they are not up to code? I believe none.

If they enforced this issue, there would probably not be many schools allowed to stay open in Southwest Nebraska, or the state. I feel this issue will not be an issue with the code problems because we are taking steps towards resolving this problem.

Maintaining the quality of education and doing what is best for the kids now and our future generations is number 1.

So let's make one decision in the next century, instead of fixing a decision that was not fully reviewed and doing this same process all over again, with a new issue of: How do we raise our taxes again and float another bond before the first one is even close to being paid off!

That we want to improve our schools is a fact. Everything discussed from future enrollments, possibly devaluation of irrigated land, and savings that come from running one school vs. two, are all arguments that no one can predict. I do believe to come together and do what is best for the district has yet to be fully evaluated. We are a Class D school!

Vote against the bond.

Clint and Kayla Schafer,


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  • We have taken steps back several times. The longer you take to pass a bond, the higher the cost of renovating/replacing the buildings,it will only result in higher taxes for all. Do we really want the state to come in and tell us where our school will be located? I don't. I have attended almost every bond meeting. The consensus at one Culbertson meeting was that the bond was too high and they wanted it under $8 million dollars. They did that. Now those opposed want to change their minds again and want another option, one school, one site. And personally I got tired of hearing we need to bring our "Bears" home where they belong. Trenton lost our "Warriors" but we don't make comments like that. I am proud to have a Trenton graduate, a Culbertson graduate and not too far in the future a Falcon graduate. Let's not take a step back in community relationships lets be a strong Hitchcock County Schools community. GO FALCONS, no matter where you live.

    -- Posted by i'minformed on Mon, Apr 25, 2011, at 3:06 PM
  • Good comments. Let's support our kids and schools and think farther than ten years so our communities will not have to go through this again. Next years kindergarten class is already down to 12 to 14 students. The communities have gone through enough change. One site will last wherever it may be or update the schools and keep going as it is now.

    -- Posted by soos on Mon, Apr 25, 2011, at 4:42 PM
  • Very well said! Vote NO!

    -- Posted by dgb2900 on Mon, Apr 25, 2011, at 5:04 PM
  • Nicely worded Clint and Kayla. Regardless of how you want to vote on this bond. Stop and think of all the options

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 11:54 AM
  • 22 children atteneded kindergarten roundup this month...We will not know exactly how many will be attending school until it starts....

    It is stated that one school will cost 8.7 million dollars... This estimate does not include football field improvements, track improvements, concessions, Handicap parking and restrooms at Culbertson... THe school board said they will not approve any one school measure WITHOUT a new gym... adding 2 million to the cost.. Mrs Schafer attended this meeting with her husband so she has been informed... She is trying to deceive the patrons of hitchcock county....

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 1:02 PM
  • One school makes the most sense long term. The school board needs to find an architect that can bring the costs closer together. There's no reason that less should cost more. One location would mean more unity for the communities. I support the school, not the bond.

    -- Posted by mom2mom on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 3:04 PM
  • Ok, for argument sake. For those that are in favor of one school, what town gets it? It's my understanding that Trenton doesn't have the room to become larger.

    -- Posted by kkccv5 on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 4:30 PM
  • At a meeting in Culbertson after the bond failed everyone there was asked why. The answer was too much money. The next question was how much do think would pass. The answer was under 8 million. The next meeting a proposal under 8 million was given to the public. Now those against this bond want one site one school at a cost of 18 million. So you are now saying it was never about money, it was about location. Why did everyone invest time in meetings if people weren't honest? Last night one man was concerned that the project may have 1 million of overages to the project, how does he feel about 10 million dollars over the original proposal. Yes everyone has a right to their opinions, but I feel people should be honest with each other so all the bickering can stop.

    -- Posted by i'minformed on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 5:15 PM
  • I completely agree, stop the bickering.

    -- Posted by kkccv5 on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 5:57 PM
  • the main reason that one school is not cheaper for this bond is because Trenton has more assets Such as the gym music room lunch room , weigh room, science room plus the whole jh high building, that they can use in the 2 school option..The architect stated that it is cheaper to build 2 new walls to connect the gym and jr high... If we were to build one building or 2 in culbertson everything except for the gym shall have to be built from scratch . I believe that we have been shown the best, fairest and cheapest option...

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 7:00 PM
  • hitchcockmom...that is the sanest comment thats been made so far!!!!

    And i'minformed your comments are the same things that I heard at all the meetings that I attended, which was every meeting (until last night) since the first bond failed.

    -- Posted by jayneej on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 7:52 PM
  • If Trenton holds all the assets then why not build the one site there ?

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 4:53 AM
  • The biggest reason we are unable to build one school at the Trenton site is lack of land..Yes we could try and buy some next to the high school or even some a few blocks from the present high school... The biggest down fall in building one school in one town is we have good gyms in both town... These are huge assets in both community... It will cost around 2 million to replace either....

    I believe that we should try and use as much of the resources that we already own.... People should look at this proposal very closely... The one school people are saying that they might beable to save millions if we combine to one location...But the truth of the matter is we SAVE MILLIONS by using what we already have....


    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 9:21 AM
  • It concerns me if we vote this current bond down we are then left with only a single option to vote. Not because of the location, or the impact to a community but the cost proposal of the second proposal because it is not an accurate cost. I do not believe there would be a greater educational impact moving all students to a single school any more than it would be by keeping two schools open. Regardless, either option presented is a far greater alternative than sending our children to a neighboring school district.



    -- Posted by bberry on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 2:30 PM
  • Good comment Brain everyone is worried about their taxes and they should be. You wanted a lower price you got it. My thought on it is this. This is the lowest cost and the lowest tax you will pay. I dont see the one sight passing at either town one third will vote for nothing because they dont want their taxes going up. What ever town you pick the other town will vote it down.So my deal is if we are truly worried about wasting tax dollars, at two to three thousand dollars for a bond how many do we keep running, I think this bond is as good as it's going to get.And in all this has anyone asked a kid how they feel it was tried at one meeting but they were shot down.If there is any school in Hitchcock county we hope the kids come back,but if there is no school they won't be back. And the main thing has anyone prayed about this because God will have the biggest vote Respectfully Falcon#1 and always

    -- Posted by falcon#1 on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 5:26 PM
  • Seems to me Rippens and Schafers might as well just give up some land to build OUR school on and maybe just pay for it as well!!! Then we could have one site one school! Or maybe they can just corner a few more people....NOW that is childish!!

    -- Posted by bornraisedswneb on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 6:30 PM
  • I think that this entire issue has gotten completely out of hand. All the scare tactics and name calling. What kind of an example is being set for the children in the school district? We all have a right to our own opinion. Vote yes or no, but GROW UP!!! And show our children the proper way to treat a neighbor. I know when this is all over I want to be able to look my neighbors in the eye and say hello without hate or regret. I personally want the bond to pass and voted yes for it, My neighbor disagrees. But they still have a freindly hello for me and I have the same for them.

    -- Posted by kkccv5 on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 7:07 PM
  • This argument has gotten rediculous! I would just like to point out that Culbertson also has a gym, band room (if you would remember back to the very successful blue ribbon marching band), cafeteria, a science room/lab, and a weight room which is probably where trenton got the majority of its equipment. To those people who think their opinion is always right and no one else can have one...than you need to grow up! Obviously the bears or the warriors will never come back so drop that issue. To me, it really makes no since to have 2 different buildings, no one can predict that the number of students will still be growing. So what happens if there is a drop in number of students and we cant afford 2 schools and we have to go back to 1 school and there isnt enough room in the 1 school...so we are back to square 1...someone that "knows" everything about this issue should explain that!

    -- Posted by lazyf on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 8:20 PM
  • To address this how can Wa/Pa and Hayes Center keep more than on site. They have less numbers than us buy alot. And yes I know Hayes Center is in one town but I also Know they run three sights in one town. Dundy Co. has four sites and look at the numbers their not much bigger than us in numbers. Respectfully Falcon#1

    -- Posted by falcon#1 on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 8:52 AM
  • lazyf, According to the architects the cost saving for either plan would only be a few thousand dollars per year. So your arguement about the possibility of a decrease in student population could result in not being able to afford two locations is a weak arguement. I have yet in any posts or meetings to be shown any significant cost savings in having 1 site over two that would validate your claim. I have however seen the extra cost associated with building in 1 site. So next time please look at all the information before making you opinion on something. I know we are all entitled to our opinion but I prefer my opinion to be based on facts not assumptions.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 9:39 AM
  • TO LazyF.. Trenton didnt steal Culbertson stuff... We are a unified School It all belongs to Hitchcock County Schools not any one town... If you were to tour the schools before you made such remarks you would know that there is still a fully functioning kitchen in Culbertson,,, The weight equiptment is there. There is a science room That still used for classes.I can say for certain that Culbertson gained desks,library book, text books, art, music, and other items needed for elementary students...

    Trenton didnt need to steal anybodies stuff.

    As to numbers dropping what kind of numbers are you looking at? 10, 20, 50,100 kids, Trenton will hold approx 130 students while Culbertson can hold 225...At the current time there are 275 students... That means that if numbers did drop drastically we have the option to merge to one building .... I think the 2 school option is the best option if you believe that numbers will be dropping We then could close Culbertson or Trenton depending on how many students are lost.

    I personally dont see this ever happening....

    In the past year i know of 11 babies born in our school district..There are surely some that I am unaware of... Even if classes dropped to 11 each we would have more than 150 students...

    AS I see it 2 schools is looking at the long term...

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 2:59 PM
  • One school, (elementary, middle, and high) in one single location. That's the only long term solution. Having 2 or more separate locations is ridiculous. There will be maintenance issues, accident issues, in general time inefficiency issues. A single school unit is also more pleasing to potential immigrants to the county who value an outstanding education. It might also attract outstanding teachers.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, May 1, 2011, at 8:59 AM
  • Chunky, if I recall one of your prior comments was to "vote no, and merge with a neighboring school district." I am unsure if you are simply uninformed or trying to be an instigator. There will not be a significant difference in costs between upkeep and maintenance. Accidents occur regardless of multiple sites, and I'm unsure what time inefficiencies there may be. They're still required to bus children to and from Trenton. They'd still have travel to the gym in Trenton if another isn't built with the one school option with an increasing cost of $2M. As far as increasing population Trenton has shared as 2 school system for at least 10 years and still had an increase in population. As far as attracting outstanding teachers, I believe we already have these.



    -- Posted by bberry on Sun, May 1, 2011, at 9:58 AM
  • bberry,

    I am sure the property owners, those who will be paying for all of this, will want the most efficient use of their money. Trying to patch up two old dilapidated sites in not the most efficient use of that money. There should be elementary, middle, and high schools on this single site, complete with gym and outdoor ball fields.

    Yes, merging with the other small neighboring school districts would make the best sense of all, but it appears that won't happen any time soon, too bad for their patrons. So sadly, this it were we are.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, May 1, 2011, at 2:22 PM
  • Chunky, you do realize they will be utilizing the current Culberston site to build the school in the one school option. Again, there is little to no difference in operating cost for the two site option opposed to the one.

    I agree they would need a gym and ball field adding over $2M on to the second proposal currently at $8.7M. This means it would cost at least $10.7M dollars to do the single site option. Yet the prior bond issue was turned down which was less than $10M citing the costs were too high.

    Sending our children to a neighboring district will still result in us paying taxes, if not more so. Why not keep our own school district?

    So which really, is the more efficient?



    -- Posted by bberry on Sun, May 1, 2011, at 7:04 PM
  • what buildings are being refered to as delapitaded/... the gym in Culbertson was built in the late 60's as was the jr high at Trenton... The Trenton gym was built in the late 70's....

    Chunky must live in a new house if he states that we should not use the assets that we have....

    I think that we should save our tax payers money and use all the assets we have...

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Sun, May 1, 2011, at 8:45 PM
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