Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Greenville school levy

I will be voting for the levy. Despite some recent frustrations, and maybe at least passing consideration of a "no" vote, there really is no choice in the matter. The economic vitality of Greenville depends on a strong school system. And that is the really frustrating factor here.

The current levy is an "emergency levy." I take the school district at its word that these funds are desperately needed. However, the reality of the situation (in my opinion) is that the passage of any levy now will necessarily hurt future attempts at levies. The people of Greenville can only take so much. A renewal levy was passed not too long ago. And I'm confident that this levy will pass too. But the passage of these two will be a perfect excuse for people to vote against the next one ... or two ... or three levies. You can only go to the well so many times.

The current levy is a band-aid. It's necessary, but it's still just a band-aid. The "emergency levy" will help us next year, whereas a new building (for example) might have helped us for a century.

When we are trying to attract industries and professionals and dollars to our community, a new school building is a great draw. One hundred year old buildings and trailer complexes are a poor draw. Emergencies levies are also a poor draw. I fear we may have missed a one-time opportunity to raise our community to an entirely new level when the move for the new school failed. I don't believe that the people who opposed that project fully appreciate the long-term impact of their actions.

Maybe if we had that big, beautiful, new school right now, we might also have a new industry or two here in town. Maybe the storefronts on Broadway would all be full. Maybe Greenville parents wouldn't be sending their kids to the county schools. Maybe ... maybe not. We'll never know now because we were deprived of the opportunity of finding out.

We could have been proactive and improved our entire community in the pursuit of replacing buildings that still currently need to be replaced. Instead, we are citing to Greenville's exceptionally low tax rate in order to address the current emergency. Unfortunately, that argument will no longer be available if this levy passes. But that's where we are - and the levy must pass if the district is to thrive and fight another day.


  1. I have changed my mind about the levy. I ran the numbers and see I will have a 400.00 increase on my real estate taxes. I simply cannot afford that at the moment.

  2. OK, so you can't afford the extra money. I completely understand things are tight! I am only working 32 hrs a week and my husband has been cut to 24-32 per week. But the true question is...can we afford to let the children fall and our community fall when they are our FUTURE!!! How can our kids get an education they deserve if we keep saying NO!?!Our children come first!!!They need to come first!!!

  3. I agree, money is tight everywhere. But, our kids are the future, keeping them educated, makes the future of Greenville better. Keeps jobs here. We need to becmoe a nation of inovation again, education is the key!

  4. My question to all of you who have posted here is this...Do you own property? If not you have no right to judge those whom this will be affecting. Also, on the original posting from the one who said we must not have understood why we needed this big new expensive school...Do you think we are ignorant? We are older, wiser, grandparents, great-grandparents who can teach all of you a thing or two on economics, budgets (and living within them), taxes, waste in government run schools, all whom benefit paying for that benefit. Do not talk to us in that condescending manner, all you are doing is making yourself look foolish. Have any of you checked the unemployment rate recently, have you seen the forclosures in Greenville? Have you even payed attention to the declining number of students in Greenville? Have you seen the over half empty high school busses going down Harmon Dr.? Do your research, dry behind your ears and then open your mouth. This has nothing to do with the kids. It has to do with simple math...You want (as usual) the few to pay for the many. Take resposibility and make ALL pay....sales tax....not property or income tax. I am tired of being penalized because I both work and own property (actually the bank owns it), We choose to do the right thing and they will not stop taking from us until we can give no more. Vote loud and clear.....NO!!!!!!


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