Letter to the Editor

Do not support bond

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dear Editor,

We are writing in regard to the upcoming bond issue. First, we would like to say that we are not voting for the proposed school bond, but yes we do support Hitchcock County Schools.

The current bond is a short-term fix that is probably the most fair to all, but face the facts, life is not always fair.

This bond is not the right decision in these tough economic times. We received brochures in support of the current bond and some of the information is misleading and does not support the facts. The brochure states, build one K-12 building in either town for $18 million.

The facts are that the architects quoted a new K- 12 building in Culbertson for $8.7 million. It is a reality that state aid is being cut all across the board.

One school is the best long-term option to support Hitchcock County Schools for the long term. There is no guarantee that in the future the state will let a district operate with more than one school in different towns.

The brochure also states we're all going to pay taxes. This vote lets us decide whether our money is spent in our communities or gets sent to someone else's.

We agree with this statement but, lets make sure that our tax money is being spent on a long term fix and not a short term one.

We would also like to comment that it is not understood why the entire school board was not willing to send out a mail-out vote to see what the majority of registered voters wanted to run as the school bond.

This would not have been a cost to the district, as the cost was offered to be paid by an individual. We know that people were invited to attend meetings to voice their choices or concerns. Yet, people need to understand that because of children, work and other obligations, not everyone was able to attend.

We feel that a mail-out vote to see what the majority of registered voters wanted the bond to be, should have been done.

We find it ironic that the majority of the school board stated a mail-out vote to see what the majority wanted would not get results because people would not send them back, but this is how we are now voting on the proposed bond.

To run this bond was not a unanimous decision by the Hitchcock County School Board. We would like to thank you for your time and encourage Hitchcock County voters to vote no for the bond and support our schools by supporting the right to have a long-term fix for our schools.

It's wonderful that we live in this great nation and we respect that people have choices, whether they feel it's right or wrong, for or against, that we are respectful of one'xs choice to vote as they see fit.


Roger and Lynn



Bill and Susan Weber,


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  • I believe the reason a mail out ballot to see which bond should be ran was voted down because of the cost... It would have cost around $1400 to mail to all patrons in the county... They believed that with a croud of over 100 at the meeting this was sufficent for who had more votes for it.....

    People keep saying that a one school bond was never taken serious.. That is not true... I know at the school board meeting when the bond plan was brought up... Aaron Kolbet made the motion for one school in Culbertson.. There was a long pause... No School Board Member would second this idea...It did not pass.If you dont remember this please read the minutes for the school Board Meeting available at the school or Hitchcock Co News office....

    Also at that meeting the architech said that 8.7 million is only for the construction of the school..The school board concluded that they can not,in the best interest of the county, build a new school without a gym... The gym would cost another 2 million to build at the culbertson site...that brings the total to 10.7 million for one school... If I am wrong with my facts please reply with a letter from firm in North Platte... I will gladly remove this comment.

    I would like everyone to remember that last Fall there were 2 positions open on the school board... 2 people were elected to take these spots...People need to remember that they themselves elected the whole school board. This has not been an easy undertaking by any means... I believe that they have done a fine Job as to looking out for Hitchcock County Schools.


    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 4:49 PM
  • You are correct in you comments, they stated that Trenton had the best gym, lunchroom, etc. and they also stated that they had many school districts trying to build new gyms. No one wants to run for a board position because they don't want to have to make the hard decisions that might make people mad at them. It is the same with any type of board, school, village, county, etc. No one runs but every one complains when a decision is made.

    -- Posted by i'minformed on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 5:40 PM
  • Hitchcockmom, That is exactly as I remember it...and besides 2 million for a gym, there will also be track, football field, stands etc.. My question is "WHY do you keep saying this is a temporary/short term fix?" The article that came out in the Hitchcock County paper for the 2010 cencus showed an increase in population over the past 10 year period (2000 - 2010) in Culbertson and Trenton. Those figures show that our towns are stable. This is the cheapest and best fix to our problem. Fote FOR the bond.

    -- Posted by jayneej on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 5:50 PM
  • I have to question if we cannot handle a $7.4M bond "in these tough economic times", how are we to support one in favor of $8.7M+?



    -- Posted by bberry on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 6:06 PM
  • If you read the Hitchcock Co. News, you will find an article that says for a cup of coffee a day you can afford the bond, $100,000.00 property valuation, annual tax increase $240.00, monthly tax increase, $20.00, daily tax increase, 67 cents. Most people spend that amount on coffee, pop and bottled water. Cigarettes and alcohol cost a lot more.

    -- Posted by i'minformed on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 6:45 PM
  • I'minformed - I resent the fact that you assume that people prefer to spend their money on cigarettes and alcohol. Not that it's any of your business or even pertinent to the topic, but, I do not smoke, rarely drink alcohol, and do not purchase coffee, pop or bottled water on even a weekly basis. I simply don't feel that two schools are the way to go for the future of the county. And why is it exactly that you find it your obligation to attack people?

    Kristyn Clapp

    -- Posted by mom2mom on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 10:50 PM
  • Kristyn, I don't believe that I'minformed was personally attacking you. I believe they were just trying to point out that most people do spend their money on things that are not necessities every day... and that for taxes to go up $20 a month and/or 67 cents a day for our county to support a school, that is a minimal sacrifice that we should be willing to make.

    -- Posted by falconparent on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 11:32 PM
  • falconparent - And like I said, I'm happy to support and pay for a school in the county...A school. The best long term solution is one school location.

    -- Posted by mom2mom on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 12:04 AM
  • Kristyn, i'minformed was simply citing a source to make a comparison.



    -- Posted by bberry on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 7:13 AM
  • That was exactly what I was doing Brian. I was just making a comparison of amounts. Everyone complains when prices go up on cigaretts, alcohol, gas, clothing, food,etc. but we pay them. The same can be said for the few extra dollars for the bond. This bond is not a temporary fix. The buildings in Culbertson will be new and last for a long time. The same applies to the additions in Trenton. I never want to put a price tag on children's education. Someone had to bite the bullet to build the buildings the students are now occupying and I'm sure they were living in hard times during and after the depression. I am sorry Krystyn if you felt the comments were directed towards any one person, just my opinions, as everyone says we are allowed to have an opinion and everyone doesn't have to have the same one.

    -- Posted by i'minformed on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 8:36 AM
  • I would like to raise a few question, concerns, and points I have about the bond. I welcome all answers and discussion about any of them.

    1. Can anyone against the current bond provide factual evidence that there will be a significant cost savings with one location. (To this point the only significant cost saving mentioned were if we cut a couple jobs. The jobs suggested were a bus driver and janitor at a savings between 30-40k a year. I would like to point out that it was not decided that these jobs would actually be cut. The energy savings mention would be a few thousand each year. So if you where to say that the annual savings would be 50k it would still take 26 years for it to pay off and that is with the bare minimum of 8.7mil for the single school which is starting to look like it would be over 10mil now.)

    2. If we go to single school in either town would the other survive. I have a hard time believing that either would be a ghost town but I also have a hard time believing there would be no change. More then likely the change would be seen in the younger population moving away. With population leaving this will open up more homes that will be availible for rent or purchase. As of right now both towns are pretty full with not many homes availible to rent or own. Anyway, with all these new open homes the property value will go down thus pushing the current bond levy towards the fewer remaining residents. Just something to think about there.

    3. Is everyone considering there neighbors when weighing these options. Is everyone truely looking out what is best for both communities or is everyone looking out for number 1. (I personally would like to believe and was raised to believe that above all small communities come together to help out and do what is best for everyone.)

    4. To all out there that use the arguement that you will only have to maintain 1 school over 2 I think you are failing to realize there will still be the same amount of school to maintain. Also, to those believing the 8.7 mil dollar cost will stand I would like to point out that is with another gym. If you add a gym that is roughly another 2mil. If you don't we will have to pay to keep the gym in the other town maintained/updated and fixed. So we would really still end up taking care of two location as well as still have the practice busing.

    5. Time. It has been said there is no rush that we can wait months even years before we make a decision. Using the arguement of cost savings and not knowing what the future holds. What if the value of the dollar continues to drop this will only keep increasing the cost of whatever project we decide. We may also get lucky that the value of the dollar goes up but looking at the current mess the US is in as a whole can anyone say with confidence that is will recover in the next few years.

    6. Busing. I keep hearing that 1 location will save on busing. I keep going through it in my head and I am not seeing the savings. For example lets say one school goes in at Culbertson so therefore there would no longer be the need to bus the 7-12 graders from Culbertson but in turn you will have to start busing the 7-12th graders from Trenton. So you are still needing the same amount of busing either way. If I am failing to see something here please point it out.

    These are just a few of the concerns, points, and questions I had. As of right now I will more then likely be voting yes on the current bond but have decided to wait another week to submit my vote incase new information is presented that shows an overwelming advantage to having one school and that in no way will hurt either town. I am willing to bet I won't be presented with any of this evidense since it appears it only exists in opinion and speculation, not fact or evidence.


    Lanny Carlson

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM
  • I dont understand the sports part of this... both schools have a nice gym and football field. Why would we need to build a new one ? And why would we have to maintain the other one if we go to one site ? Both schools have nice gyms that have held some amazing games. But thats all they are is games. My children deserve a good EDUCATION and if I'm going to spend extra money on them, it better be for educational purposes. Very little has been said on the educational aspect of this. And that alone really blows my mind. I keep reading about a gym ( seems to be a major influence) but I dont know of a single parent who would bank on their kid making a living at sports. ( if it pays for their college, wonderful) But all of us parents will bank on our kids education. Both schools have produced wonderfully educated kids who have gone on to great careers. This bond is for our kids future education, so lets look at those options

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 5:18 AM
  • The reason for the concern of the gym is over the arguement of one sight opposed to two sites. To truely have a one sight school would require a second gym to be built there so we do not have early and late practices. I do agree that both schools have gyms that still have lots of life in them after there issues have been fixed. That is the big money plus of keeping the two school system in place along with the numerous other assets that could be used. As far as sports are concerned I would have to say there are tons of life leasons and educational benefits to playing sports that a person cannot receives via textbook.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 9:10 AM
  • Sane, I've not heard of any changes to the education the children would be receiving regardless of how many sites there are. If you could provide any examples I am willing to listen. Otherwise, it comes down to ensuring our children have a school by voting on a bond and the costs associated with it.



    -- Posted by bberry on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 10:07 AM
  • As for the education part the reason we havent heard much about Educations... is we have a very good curriculum... It was announced at one of the School Bond meetings that Hitchcock county is being awarded that Blue Ribbon in Reading .. If I am correct it is only give to 3 schools.... This means that our Students are excelling in the 2 School System....

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 12:41 PM
  • After the Tragedy in Trenton yesterday I think that there should be no doubt that our school is UNIFIED and that it doesnt matter that we have 2 buildings....

    Today the bond just doesnt even matter....

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 12:45 PM
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