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Letter to the editor-
The current pandemic of the Coronavirus seems to be the topic of intense discussion and it seems we are stumbling through this pandemic as we learn more on how to fight this virus and all the ripple effects it is causing in our society. At the state level, it seems that politics is heavily ingrained on how to fight this virus.
We are witnessing another pandemic, though not deadly, in this state that has gone on longer than the current Covid-19 crisis. I call it the Referenda pandemic which has been taking place for years. This year, 2020, there have been 111 school district referenda across this state between the April and November elections. Locally, we must add the successful referendum of the Chippewa Valley Technical College for 48.8 million dollars. I have already contacted most elected officials that represent me. When you live in a state that local property taxes seem to be the cure for every problem in Madison, it is no wonder why the tidal wave of school district referenda keeps flooding us at the local level.
What I cannot understand is it has been stated that student numbers have been down across all education, whether it be K-12 or public higher education. Then why the huge amount of dollars in these school district referenda. A good example is the Mauston School District where I have immediate family and friends living there in Juneau County. Also, there are more school districts in Juneau County than just Mauston. Through recent census figures, Juneau County has less than 28,000 residents for total population. The Mauston School District had a referendum in November for 54.8 million dollars……It passed! The Eau Claire School District has been hinting for another referendum coming up, maybe as early as the spring of 2021. The taxpayers of the Eau Claire School District are paying for an 80 plus million-dollar referendum that passed in 2016.
It seems rather strange that the current pandemic across the nation and the globe are dealing with the side effects, and ripple effects of this pandemic. Where people are losing their jobs and being let go or laid off, plus the essential workers that are in harm’s way including the health care system on a 24-hour basis, and not forgetting our K-12 education system and all the decisions that must be made to try to keep schools open for our students. It must be overwhelming; yet more debt keeps piling on local property taxpayers across this state for whatever reason. I’m thinking we are sending the wrong people to Madison; our elected officials aren’t listening to their constituents. Keep in mind that these referenda are long-term debt, many 20 years or more. I had to remind President Barker of Chippewa Valley Technical College when he was promoting CVTC’s referendum.
Town of Colfax