Vote yes to support all Easton Valley students

Most people who know me are aware that I have a beautiful, wonderful son with severe disabilities. He is one of my greatest joys and a person who lights up my life with his awesome smile.

When Connor was just 3 years old, the residents of the Northeast School District were asked to vote on the building of the present elementary in Goose Lake. Because the referendum passed, we were able to have Connor go to school at Northeast rather than have him go to DeWitt or Maquoketa — schools that were handicapped accessible and housed a special-education program suitable for Connor’s needs, which the old Northeast elementary did not have.

Connor was able to attend school in the community in which we lived and where his brothers were to attend in the near future. We felt very blessed and were so appreciative of all the people who voted to pass the referendum. We felt like we were welcomed members of the community where we made our home.

Many would tell you that the elementary students at Northeast not only got to attend a wonderful facility that met the needs of their students, but they also got an education they never expected to get. Connor was a great “teacher.” He was the first student with great needs to attend Northeast Elementary and he impacted all he met. Connor acquired new skills but it was the teachers and the students that learned the most from him going to school there. Their hearts were opened to having someone different in their midst. Acceptance, understanding, empathy, and compassion were just a few of the things Connor taught to those he met.

Many focus only on the money, which is certainly a consideration, but shouldn’t the focus be on what we can do for our kids and what positive repercussions it can have on the Easton Valley community? No matter how you felt about the decision to create Easton Valley, the elementary students would always have remained in this community in their own facility. Please take this fact into consideration as you vote.

As a teacher and as a parent, my heart breaks when I see children try to navigate through a narrow hallway or struggle to get up and down the steps in the elementary building in Miles. The children in our community deserve to have a facility that meets their needs. Most importantly, it no longer adequately meets the needs of all of our students.

We live in a lovely, supportive, and dedicated community with schools that have recently received excellence awards from the state. Because we are committed to the students of this community, we want a facility that is handicapped accessible, meets fire codes and state requirements, has safe pickup and dropoff, has better security for everyone’s safety, and much more. I ask you respectfully, to take the time to be educated about the referendum, and please vote for all Easton Valley students on Feb. 6.

Beth Sterk,


Vote no on Easton Valley bond issue

On Feb. 6, I think we should again vote no on the Easton Valley School District bond issue, which is asking for a tax increase of $2.70 per $1,000 of property value. Using the numbers I could find, the school district receives the following monies:

1. From the .33 cent PPEL tax the state allows, they get $78,629.

2. From the $1.34 PPEl tax approved by the voters, they get $319,281.

3. From the use of the 1 percent sales tax approved by the voters, they get $604,299.

4. From the 1 percent income surtax on your 2016 Iowa state taxes, which was not approved by voters, they got $33,472.

The total of these amounts is $1,035,681.

This amount will increase because on your 2017 state income taxes they want to use a 4 percent income surtax rate and on your 2018 state income taxes, they are going to use an income surtax rate of 9 percent, which also were not approved by the voters.

The district brings in more than $1 million dollars a year for maintenance and construction cost. That should be enough!

The Easton Valley bond issue asks for another $2.70 per $1,000 of property value to use for construction. This means if you have property assessed at $100,000 it has a taxable value of $57,000. At $2.70 per $1,000 this means (57 x $2.70 = $153.90) a $153.90 tax increase on your property tax. Again, I feel a no vote on the Easton Valley bond issue is proper. They need to work with what money they already have coming in now.

Allan Ketelsen,

SabulaStrokeStyle/$ID/Japanese Dots

StrokeStyle/$ID/SolidTrump embarrassing StrokeStyle/$ID/Solidthe country

Donald Trump has shown that he is a great real-estate developer. As a president he is very much embarrassing and other countries must be thinking the same.

Now he is using foul language in public. Our vice president seems very intelligent and appears to be capable to step in, take over and bring respect back to our great country. I am far from a political expert but can we really handle a full four years of this man?

In 2020, no matter what you prefer, Democrat or Republican, we need a female or male that we can be proud of. My opinion only — others may feel differently.

Tom Fuller,