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October 10, 2011
Salem News

Economics of school levy explained to young man

To the editor: I have served as the United High School band announcer for many years and wish to relate a recent conversation I had. At away games, I generally try to arrive at the press box a little before halftime since the visiting band performs first. While in the pressbox at East Palestine (Oct. 7), I encountered a couple of their young fans watching the game. The one young lad looked at my jacket and began reading aloud my button, "Ask me about the" and he hesitated while trying to figure out the next words. To let him know what it said, I finished the phrase for him, "practical decision.". He looked a little perplexed, so I explained, "I'm from United and we have a levy on November 8. If the people vote for it and agree to pay $9 million, the state will give us $30 million to build a $39 million new school, kind of like what your school is like over here."

He looked at me, eyes widened, and said, "That's a good deal!" I smiled and replied, "Yes, I think that's a good deal too!" I asked his name, and he told me it was Cameron (he also told me his last name which I shall omit from this telling). Then I said, "Well, Cameron, would you like to go over to the United side and tell the people in the stands that you think it's a good deal?" Cameron looked at me and said, "Sure, I'd do it." Then with a puzzled look on his face, he inquired, "Don't they think that's a good deal?" I told him that some people don't think so and he asked me to repeat the deal for him again. I told him the state was willing to give us $30 million if we would agree to pay $9 million toward the $39 million school. Cameron's cousin in the press box chimed in and said "That's a lot of money" and I agreed. Cameron said, "That's still a good deal; why don't the people want to do it?" My response to Cameron was, I wasn't sure why people don't think it's a good deal but some have said they don't want to pay the extra taxes for the $9 million. "But it's still a good deal," Cameron persisted and I told him I agreed. I asked Cameron what grade he was in and he said he's in fourth grade. While the final seconds of the half ticked down, Cameron told me about his two cousins on the Bulldogs' team, and we talked "football" for a little bit more until the half concluded and it was time to begin my announcements for the band.

Cameron, it was refreshing to talking to you and your cousin, and I truly appreciate the fact that you know a "good deal" when you see it. Hopefully, on November 8th, people in the United Local School District will see it that way also!




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