Tax money should be spent wisely

Dear editor:

My family and I have been lifelong residents of Madison County and dearly love and support the Huntsville School District, of which I am an alumni.

I encourage anyone to further their education and for the community to be able to host events and sporting events. Talking about the CTE and event center/community building, I also see a problem with the community not voting for the millage because we are overtaxed and our tax dollars are not used in the right way. So in my belief, the public will not support the millage because of mismanagement of funds, same as the jail issue.

I would love to see Huntsville get all the benefits of the millage, but I also want to see us use our money wisely and not go haywire with our spending.

 - Arlo C. Benedict

Wrightsville/Huntsville

Time to invest in students, community and future  

Dear editor:

Please join me in support of our students and our community in the upcoming millage election.

The Huntsville School District is requesting a 3.9 mill increase to support the construction of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classrooms at both the Huntsville and St. Paul campuses, construction of a flexible-use, multi-purpose activity center and installation of air conditioning systems at the Charles H. Berry and St. Paul gymnasiums.

The 3.9 mill increase will bring us to a total of 36 mills, which will still be lower than any other school district in the 4A-1 and 5A-West conferences. Millage rates for the other 4A-1 school districts are: Berryville 42.50; Farmington 42.60; Gentry 46.00; Gravette 37.20; Harrison 39.20; Pea Ridge 44.80; and Prairie Grove 42.90.

Our last millage increase was over 30 years ago. Our programs and facilities are behind those of our neighbors. Now is the time to invest in our kids, our community and our future!

Election Day is Tuesday, May 21. Early voting began Tuesday, May 14.

- Kevin H. Wilson

Huntsville School Board

Our kids are worth it – vote yes for the millage  

Dear editor:

History lesson: In 1926 the Huntsville merchants saw the need for a real education for their children. They purchased 27 acres that became known as High School Hill.

In 1927, the State Board of Education saw need for vocational high schools around the state. Huntsville again went to work to get one of the schools. We had to furnish the land and show the state we were willing to do whatever was necessary to procure the four-year high school. Only 10th grade classes were offered then. Huntsville was awarded the first High School Vocational School in the state (Clinton got the second school and then the Depression hit. The other six were never built.)

Improved lower classes were needed. Money was loaned and the “Polk Farm” was purchased. The land was surveyed into lots and two blocks were set aside for lower grades. Lots were auctioned. The loans were repaid and extra money went to building the vocational school (HSVS).

In May 1928, work started on the new high school. The 1930 class was the first to graduate from the new building. This served Huntsville as a vocational school until 1956, when it became Huntsville High School. In 1989, the high school was moved into the present buildings on Highway 23.

This is what our grandparents or even great-grandparents thought of higher education. They were willing to work harder to make sure their children got a good education.

The school sees the need for more vocational classes again. Not all students are college bound. Some college grads cannot find jobs after they graduate. Vocational schools are great for a lot of the students. They are better trained in their vocation than a four-year college graduate who has to take unrelated classes. I know times have changed and everything is on the Internet, but basics are needed, like how write a check (debit cards are not always the answer).

Do our children and grandchildren deserve any less? Why do we pay Washington County for our children and their families to drive 30 miles, eat at their restaurants, buy their gas and then pay rent for a place to hold sporting events, proms and graduations?

My point is simple. We need the multi-functional building in Huntsville and we need the vocational training facilities. The few dollars it will cost you each year is probably less than a tank of gas to drive to Bentonville once and spend more money over there.

Our kids are worth it. Vote yes for the mileage.

- Dorothy Roberts Dyer

Huntsville

Social media likes, comments not as important as voting – vote yes for millage  

Dear editor:

When we first moved to Madison County, I was unaware of the history of millage votes, and I sure didn’t know that it had been so many years since one had passed. I knew some folks from the school and had been asked to vote for the millage. I didn’t have any children at the time, but I agreed that it needed to be passed and planned to vote yes.

When voting day came, I never made it to the polls. I didn’t make the effort to vote and the millage failed. I know that my one vote would not have changed the outcome of that election. But, how many other folks out there were like me: supportive of the millage, but never made it to have our voices heard? I still regret not voting that year.

This year, I am invested in the millage. I serve on the school board, and I have children in the schools. I’m invested in the community. I have pride in our schools. I know what a big difference the CTE programs can make in the lives of our kids. I work at the University of Arkansas, but I know that college isn’t for everyone. Our community needs kids to be trained in technical careers. They need careers where they can stay in our community and be successful. I know how important a community center will be. I have been to too many crowded basketball games, band concerts and school programs.

There are lots of conversations happening about the millage both on social media and in real life, but none of that matters if we don’t go out and vote. The millage isn’t decided on Facebook posts, likes or comments. It’s not decided on yard signs. It is not decided in conversations at the coffee shop, the grocery store or the feed store. All of those conversations are great, but at the end of the day, the millage will be decided at the ballot box. If you support the millage, all the likes and shares and yard signs and conversations won’t count as much as your vote. Be sure to get out there and let your voice be heard.

Early voting starts this week. I plan to vote early and vote yes.

- Janeal Yancey

Huntsville

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