Although the controversy over the “common core” has been going on for a couple of years, my conversations outside of fellow educators have been limited to only a few individuals. That began to change the night of the Republican Party Caucus meetings in my precinct. I have been amazed at the lack of understanding and misinformation possessed by several individuals that I’ve talked with; thus the impetus for this response. The purpose of this response is not to change the minds of those who are opposed, but to simply provide those who are honestly seeking information with the other side of the story.
We never fully appreciate the value of a small community, friends, family and neighbors until a life-changing event occurs. On Saturday, March 22, 2014, Wilkinson Construction and Morgan Valley Polaris had a life-changing event.
I just wanted to take a second to share a unique perspective of what happened last Saturday during the 3A state championships held at Southern Utah University. I say unique because I was likely one of the few people in the Centrum who used to wear a Morgan basketball jersey and who currently has two children attending the opposing school for the boys’ game, Cedar High School. Also, I had the privilege of representing my employer, Southern Utah University, in the presentation of the medallions just minutes before the two games started.
In response to the letter in the Feb. 7 TMCN regarding referring to our children as “kids,” I can’t help but point out that language is a dynamic medium; many words have multiple, often diversely different meanings, and word meanings change with time and usage.
A disturbing trend is occurring among the children of the baby boomers, myself included. We seem to have no interest in trying to save old or broken things. Rather than paying someone to come fix a broken dishwasher, for example, we would rather just go buy a new one.
I have lived here in Morgan now for 17 ½ years. This city and county have a population of great and loving people, parents, grandparents and charming and lovely children. I know that it is a national thing, but I cannot understand why we call our dear children kids – young goats.
The Williams family, Dan and Rose Ann, Mike and Jill, would like to express their special thanks to Ernie Durrant, Hugh and Claudia Davis, Arlys Johanson and Sylvia Lyons for the wonderful job they all did at our mom, Mary Williams’ services.
A surprise birthday party was held for me on Jan. 26 at Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn. The party was put on by all of my children, grandchildren and great grand children. My husband and I would like to thank all of them for the lovely dinner and conversation. We really enjoyed the afternoon. The icing on the cake was when a special someone paid our entire tab. Whoever that kind person was, we would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
I want to show my support for the Morgan County School Board. Recently, at the school board meeting, they adopted a two-minute limit to public input. They had a timer and cut people off midsentence if they exceeded the two-minute limit. I applaud the school board for their hardline stance even though others criticize this as a harsh policy.
On Nov. 16, a fundraiser was held on my and my family’s behalf to raise money for my breast cancer fight. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all of your love, kindness, support and prayers. We would also like to thank all of the businesses that donated.
The cry often heard in Morgan County from elected officials is, “We need more economic development.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this statement in government meetings over the past four years.
I want to thank all those who helped me with my Eagle Project of planning trees at Kent Smith Park; Mike Waite, Richard Cameron (SMS Mobile) Travis Forsyth, Spencer Larson, Logan Cameron, Andre Malan, Troy Toone, Mont Forsyth, Carl Hipwell, and a special thanks to my family.
I want to applaud Morgan County School District Superintendent Doug Jacobs for his willingness to look at the four-day school week. This is a creative solution that can alleviate the district’s budget problems. It is no secret that the Century Center is costing us approximately $350,000 per year. The budget savings from a four-day week would easily cover the cost of the Century Center. It will also help the district cope with the additional costs of Obamacare.
The Milton cemetery committee would like to express their thanks and gratitude to Kenneth Nelson for the many years of service and hard work he has given to the operation, maintenance and many improvements to beautify and maintain the Milton Pioneer Cemetery.
As a very concerned citizen, I would like to share some totally disturbing facts about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which is quickly looming before us. It will affect EVERYONE especially seniors, the disabled, babies born with defects, etc. Most Americans are against it; only 12percent in a recent poll felt it would be a positive for Americans yet, the powers in Washington are set on giving us this beginning of socialized medicine.
Please accept our hearfelt gratitude for the many acts of kindness with cards, food, flowers, calls or any other thoughtful deeds on behalf of our Dad, brother, grandpa and great-grandpa during his recent passing.
On behalf of the Morgan County Fair Kids Games, we would like to give a big shout out to all those who volunteered their time and the companies that donated so generously to make the games a success this year.
The Morgan County Search and Rescue Group has recently been able to upgrade their communications capability with the purchase of several new radios and a new repeater. The group has been operating the last few years with some older style radios which have now become obsolete.
I was quite disappointed in how some of our county members acted and behaved due to Leeway voting on both sides of this issue. I am aware of several instances where members were out of hand, yelling, swearing, and name calling because someone didn’t agree with them. There were also a number of cases of sign stealing. Both of these issues have to do with our first amendment rights. If we expect our own freedom of speech we must allow and respect that of others even if we don’t agree. We can talk about these things civilly like the adults we should be. Taking of signs is also an infringement on this amendment. Another problem we encounter is accusing people without proof for such deeds. We have never been and should never be a “guilty until proven innocent” society. If we continue to have this type of attitude in a number of years we will not have a republic because some won’t tolerate the views of others.
The Morgan Search and Rescue would like to thank all the Morgan businesses, the Sheriff’s Office, the County Council, the City of Morgan, and the people of Morgan County for being so welcoming while members of the National Search and Rescue were in town for their convention. They would also like to thank everyone for supporting the Search and Rescue members of Morgan County, the State Search and Rescue, and the National Search and Rescue Association.
Like some of you, I have chosen to serve our community by participating on different school committees (MHS Community Council, Morgan Education Foundation and MHS Scholarship Board) that hopefully add value to the educational experience of all of our children. There are some amazingly smart and dedicated parents who give freely of their time and resources to enrich the educational experience of all of our kids in this valley. We do not always agree on the best way to meet the needs, but for the most part everyone has the best interest of the kids in mind. I think we work well together because we leave ego’s and personal agenda’s at the door. We ask thought provoking questions, we learn the issues and then we try to put forth solutions that meet challenges head on. Our job isn’t done when we walk out of a meeting. These are “working” committee’s where we roll up our sleeves and spend countless hours taking action and executing the plans laid out in the meetings. We work with very tight budgets. We work hard to raise money, simply because we have too, and consequently are quite conservative in how we spend each and every dollar. We work closely with the teachers and school administrators. We feel their pain. You can never really know that pain until you sit in their classrooms and virtually walk in their shoes. In most instances we work with the School District Administrators and in some cases we sit side by side with School Board members to find solutions to problems. We have learned first hand the uniqueness of being part of a school district in rural Morgan County, with an almost nonexistent tax base. One day that will change, but only when we are willing to accept the fallout that comes with growth and development. It’s called change, and many are afraid of it. None the less this area has so very much to offer, but it comes at a price, sometimes a steep price. It is a price that each of us must bear. Do I want higher taxes? No. Can I afford higher property taxes? I cannot. So why do I support the Voted Local Levy? Because from where I sit, it is the best short term SOLUTION to a long-term problem. Let’s be very clear about something. The VLL is not the end-all answer, but it is a real short-term solution that is needed now. Those who oppose the VLL have become very proficient at propogating what I call the FUD factor. They spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It all begins with certain half truths and then leads to veiled forms of borderline deception. Case in point. Last night I received a flyer in the mail. On one side it stated that I have “the opportunity to voice my opinion”. I’ve read the Constitution and I get that. This is a truth. On the other side of the flyer it states in smaller text that if the VLL passes that “I will no longer have a voice or a vote” (false). It states further that the school board can raise my taxes (truth) without advertising or notifying me (false). They call it taxation without representation. What is this, the Boston Tea Party all over again? Of course we have representation. It’s called going to the advertised school board meetings and standing up and saying what you have to say. Do you realize that last week the school board held their annual budget meetings which were fully advertised and open to the public? Do you also realize that not one single person who opposes the VLL attended the meeting? If the VLL does not pass, the sun will still rise on on June 26th. But know this one fact. If you have a third grader going to Mountain Green Elementary, your child or grandchild will be sitting next to 32 other students of which 2-3 will have major behavioral issues that dominate the teachers time and efforts. Now imagine the quality education your child is going to experience! This is real, as real as it gets. Again, the VLL is a tax, no doubt about it. It will cost you $2.18 per month for each $100,000 that your home is valued at. The School District needs $358,000 this next year alone that will go toward four (4) specific needs. Replacing three educators who have retired or moved, costs associated with special needs students, remediation for those struggling in math and lastly to address state mandated standards and testing. This is not conjecture, it’s fact. The time to vote is almost here. What will you base your vote on? Will it be the FUD factor that you read about or hear about that has run rampant these past few months? Or will you call a teacher you can trust, or your local school board member and ask specific questions about specific needs. Get educated and then do the right thing for you, your family and your kids.
The local levy is a very hot topic, with a $1.3 million price tag for Morgan taxpayers at stake. The root of this issue is whether three of the five elected School Board members (a simple majority) will have the authority to decide how tax dollars are spent without input from taxpayers.
How important is the education of our children. In our elementary schools we have one class with 35 children, six with 30 or more and 9 with 26 to 29 and our enrollment is growing every year. How effective can a teacher be with so many students at this critical stage of their development? I’ve had 10 boys in our scout troop and can’t imagine how a teacher can give adequate attention to 30 students.
I am a Morgan County resident and taxpayer, a father with children currently in Morgan schools, and a recently-appointed member of the Morgan School Board. I will vote in favor of the Voted Local Levy as I believe it is the best option for our current situation.
In January the school board invited former Rich County School Superintendent, Christine Kearl to coach them on how to pass the Voted Local Levy. She said the key to passing the tax increase was to “focus your whole campaign and approach on the kids, not teachers and their jobs.”
As I have researched school district finance during the past few months, I have come to the decision to actively support the voted local levy. We have great students, parents and teachers in Morgan County who have made education a priority. Our CRT scores prove a high level of proficiency in language arts and science comparable to districts that are spending double per student annually. Some may argue that if we are meeting our basic educational goals and even beyond, why would we want to increase funding?