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Letter to the editor

A call to stop using 'the kids' in campaign

March 14, 2012 - Dear Editor,

In the upcoming Clarkston Schools Tax Increase Special Election, voters in the Clarkston School District should send a clear message to the Administration and their four supporters on the School Board. By voting NO on May 8, 2012 (or before via absentee ballot) voters will be demanding that Clarkston School District officials need to learn how to live within their means just like the taxpayers of this community.

I am tired of children being used as political pawns to get voters to pay higher taxes "for the kids" instead of properly spending the per student State allocation and the $138 million in outstanding debt that we already approved in this school district. The proposed $20 million of new debt, if approved, exceeds certain finance levels so that "non-qualified bonds" will have to be issued with taxpayers having to pay a higher interest rate since the bonds are viewed as more risky investments.

If education funds are so tight, why are we wasting $35,000 on a special election on May 8, 2012 when this upcoming vote on a proposed tax increase could have been added at no additional cost to the election scheduled for August 7, 2012?

Sadly, the answer speaks volumes about the win at any (taxpayer) cost attitude of School Superintendent Dr. Rock and his backup group of four Board members (The Rockettes?) who dance to every tune he requests.

The May Special Election is a blatant attempt to stack the vote in favor of adding $20 million of debt to the outstanding $138 million that is still owed. In May, schools are still in session and likely Yes For The Tax Increase Voters are more easily accessible than in August. Last week's Clarkston News had an article conveniently listing several PTA meetings where voters were encouraged to come and hear one-sided presentations supporting the tax increase.

What kind of lessons in American government and good citizenship are we teaching "the kids" when special elections are purposely scheduled to reduce the likelihood of voting by senior citizens and residents without children attending Clarkston Schools? I do not need a soon to be outdated iPad to remember that a critical slogan of our American Revolution for Independence was: "No Taxation Without Representation."

If the arguments are so compelling in favor of this tax increase for technology product purchases and for the multiple facility earmarks at every Clarkston School to secure yes votes, then why the need for a special election to help screen out potential no votes?

For the betterment of the entire community which includes not only "the kids" and their parents but also senior citizens and people without K-12 students, please vote NO in the upcoming, unneeded Special May Election.

Henry S. Woloson

Independence Township

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