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Letter: Now is not the time for levy

To the editor,

I write this third letter in as many months to outline a few additional items in regards to the ISD 196 proposed operating levy slated for voting on the November ballot and why I, along with so many other district residents are opposed to this levy:

1.  As of the latest figures released by the US Government, in September, there are 41.8 million Americans who receive benefits on the governments Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. These people are your neighbors, your friends, your relatives. Can they, can we, afford another tax increase when they can't even afford to buy food?  

2.  The unemployment rate continues to rise -- 15 million Americans out of work, unemployment at 9.6 percent and by our own government's figures, projected to rise to between 10 and 11 percent in 2011.

3.  In this paper, Rosemount Town Pages, just in the the past two weeks, there have been over 14 pages of mortgage foreclosure notices. These numbers continue to rise at an alarming rate with no end in site.

4.  59,000 more Americans lost their jobs in September.

I would ask all district residents to please take a long hard look at just these latest figures and ask yourselves, how can we afford to continue to increase taxes in light of the economic turmoil that has such a strong grip on our nation?  This is not just a District 196 issue, it is an issue that is facing all Americans and if we keep raising taxes and throwing money at the problems we face, we will never get out from under the fiscally irresponsible behavior and attitude that by raising taxes we can get out of this mess.  

We can't afford an increase in our taxes -- we have to rein in our spending and get back to the basics of what education is about and if that means cutting programs within our schools that do not support the core operating structure of reading, writing, math, sciences and language then we need to do so in order to meet our obligations to the residents of this district. Let's not rubber stamp this operating levy, as our school board members rubber stamp almost all of their votes.  

My family and I have been district residents for 19 years. I love this community, I love this district. The education that my children have received from this district has been a tremendous asset to them as they have entered adulthood.  If we don't get back to the basics, I can almost certainly guarantee that in another three to five years, the school board again will be coming back to us for more money.  I would urge all of you to say no. You've had to rein in your household budgeting. Our school board and our district needs to do the same.

Mike Udermann,