The MPS bond election is only a couple of days away now. And it certainly goes without saying — but I will — the News-Capital supports a YES vote. The past few weeks have been exciting to say the least. Honestly, to see democracy in action is very exciting. People at local coffee shops are engaged in heated discussions about the components of the election. Folks waiting in check-out lines are arguing the finer points of the whys and why nots. It’s passion, I tell you — passion. Give me passion any day of the week over apathy. Whether you’re for — and we hope you are — or against, it is fantastic to hear your voices.
It was great to hear from both sides over the past couple of weeks. I appreciate that many of you took the time to go and see for yourselves the condition of our public schools. Many of you called and said that you visited the schools and talked to administrators, teachers, parents and kids. I congratulate you. Some were interested in why the newspaper was supporting the bond election. In short, the reason why is simple — If not now, when?
If we don’t choose to pay now, it will cost more later. Yes, a 30 percent increase in property taxes is substantial. Yes, it will be tough for some folks to afford it. Yes, it will take 15 years to pay it off. Yes, some folks who benefit won’t have to pay for one reason or another.
There is always going to be something that causes discomfort. Saying the kids won’t benefit from this bond is, in a word — absurd. Yes they will.
This bond election is about more than additional classrooms, technology, more buses, new roofs, nice bathrooms and turf. It’s about choosing to make an investment in our community. And yes, the community is our responsibility — not the mayor’s or the city council, the city manager’s or the superintendent’s. Passing this bond election sends the message to our children that the community supports their future. Is there anything more important than supporting our children? We need a new gymnasium — why shouldn’t it be amazing? Why settle for mediocre and average when we could choose amazing? Instead of complaining about how it can’t work, think about the ways it can. Instead of moaning about what hasn’t happened, imagine the possibilities of what could. Instead of saying maybe later, ask why not now?
On Tuesday you have an opportunity to invest in something amazing. It’s risky, uncomfortable, prickly and filled with many unknowns. So what? Getting in your car every day is very risky. But you do it anyway because you have somewhere you want to go. Believe that your support and a yes vote will turn into something absolutely amazing.
Vote yes. We have somewhere amazing to go.
Amy Johns is the publisher of the McAlester News-Capital. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.