Once again we go to the polls to vote on the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy. The PPEL expires on June 30, and the Clinton School District doesn’t want to be cut off from the funding source, the taxpayers.

The school board has already approved the regular PPEL, which results in a tax liability of 33 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, and generates $2.2 million over the next 10 years, more than enough to pay for roof repairs, pavement and life safety improvement projects.

Pro-supporters say we need to pass the $4.3 million voter-approved PPEL for the kids to ensure the safety of the buildings. Wrong!

The voter-approved PPEL is about special interests and money! Don’t allow the propaganda spin to tug at your heart to vote for a tax that will use taxpayers’ dollars for special interests. If approved, the PPEL will put $2 million of seed money for athletic facilities, which may require additional funding to $6 million.

Would the outcome of the Clinton High boys basketball game against Bettendorf have been any different with a new gym, or floor or baskets? No! Does the Clinton High School football team need a new stadium with skyboxes for the boosters? No!

According to Clinton Superintendent Randy Clegg, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is pushing for the athletic facilities — the “centerpiece” of the PPEL. In addition to being used for students, these fields will aid in Clinton’s economic development because we’ll be able to host softball tournaments. What?

Is the Clinton Community School Board in the business of economic development or education? I believe the chamber should solicit business and industry members for funding to make improvements to softball, baseball and soccer fields, and allow the school district to educate.

According to the school district priority list, the remaining PPEL monies would go to Clinton High School for various maintenance projects and renovation of Vernon Cook Theatre. There is little money appropriated for the middle schools where the greatest need is realized! The school board plans on addressing middle school issues in 10 years when the PPEL is again placed before the voters for renewal.

I’m voting no, and encourage all of you to hang on to your cash, too!

David J. Jindrich, Clinton

The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy is the primary source of revenue to maintain our school facilities. State law has very specific guidelines governing the use of school funds. Money from the general fund and the physical plant fund cannot be interchanged.

PPEL funds are used for roofing, masonry and pavement repairs, replacing classroom univents, projects for energy conservation, safety updates, plumbing and electrical systems replacement and repair and keeping computer labs current.

Facilities such as Vernon Cook Theatre are used extensively by the entire community. The theatre is 36 years old and during those years little has been done to renovate it or install a modern sound system.

The school district has been using the 1 percent sales tax to build new buildings that will provide space for required new programs, be efficient in assigning staff and be low cost to maintain and operate. The district has been planning for the long term. The two newest elementary schools should still be in use 70 years from now. During those years they should save the district significant amounts of money.

The best investment any community can make is in the future of the next generation. The demands of future jobs require that all of our citizens have a strong educational background. Our school facilities must be adequate for the new programs, handicapped accessible, safe and energy efficient. We have a responsibility to maintain our school facilities in first rate condition.

You can vote early! Stop at the auditor’s office in the Clinton County Administration building. You can complete your ballot there and turn it in. Don’t wait until March 7!

The greatest threats to our community are the supporters of our schools who stay home during an election.

Dick Kissack, Clinton

I support the Clinton Schools Physical Plant and Equipment Levy because of the positive effect it will have on our schools and community.

I will vote yes to support the levy because maintaining our schools and improving our facilities sends a powerful message to visitors to our community that we have a vested interest in our community and the education of our young people.

Through your vote for PPEL you will be demonstrating to the young people of Clinton that you want the best for them and for our community.

Dan Boyd, Clinton

Dan Boyd is a Clinton High School teacher.