The consequences of 'no'
To the editor:
Choices have consequences. This is something our parents teach us while we’re still young and it is the lesson that keeps on giving, as we grow old. The people’s choice to say “no” last week is no different and will have consequences of its own, consequences not easily or immediately visible.
The people of Mt. Pleasant have overwhelmingly chosen not to pass commonsense measures to invest in their children. Upgrading infrastructure, both physical and technological, is a no-brainer, the choice being made in communities like Central Lee, Newton, Sioux City and many others. Instead, Mt. Pleasant decided to mix up the well being of our kids with their own political ambitions. It was the wrong choice on both counts.
While some mistakes have been made, Dr., yes Dr. Mike Wells and the school board are doing excellent work. I have spoken and worked with each of them over the years and they are dedicated and upstanding public servants, parents, community members, and friends. I commend the superintendent and the board for serving all the more because even if they have rustled some feathers, I know they are working in the best interest of our students.
In the past few months, Mt. Pleasant has made it plainly obvious that it is more interested in being against something or someone than working for a solution. In fact, the chairperson of the so-called “Save our Schools” committee was involved in the strategic planning process only to jump ship when the populist tides of hostility and opposition began to rise. Instead of offering ideas and solutions, it has been more worthy to call for resignations and create “integrity” websites.
I drove into town last week to vote and noticed the “It’s Okay to Vote No” signs along Washington Street. These signs were right if the following is true. No is “okay” if it’s okay to continue to see jobs leave Mt. Pleasant. No is “okay” if it’s okay for 5,6 and 7-year-olds to be dehydrated and have pale faces when being picked up after school because there’s no central air in their buildings. No is “okay” if it’s okay for Mt. Pleasant not to attract the best and brightest to live and serve our community. No is “okay” if it’s okay for Mt. Pleasant to be stuck in the 20th Century.
Young adults constantly consider what careers to pursue and their locations are a large part of that choice. I have traveled all across Iowa and seen towns investing in their kids and schools to much success. And the desire to contribute and help build the same success in Mt. Pleasant prompted me to consider running for the school board. While I love my hometown and have awesome memories of my childhood, Mt. Pleasant doesn’t seem concerned about its future. And if I were to be rightly concerned about mine, then I must ask, “Why would I return?” “Why would I serve?” It seems I won’t for now.