Bud Romberg: If you want a quality school, you have to pay for it
For the 53 years we have lived here, and perhaps longer, the citizens of Steamboat Springs have financially supported the schools provided that the need and specifics were clearly defined, and the results have produced a school system that is recognized as one of the highest quality districts in the state, manned by a dedicated staff.
My father-in-law owned and ran a high quality manufacturing and wholesaling company, and he had a couple of business cards I remember. The first read, “There is nothing that someone cannot make more shoddily and sell more cheaply, and those who buy by price alone are this man’s lawful prey.”
The second read, “If you want to buy clean fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you don’t mind if they’ve been through the horse once, they come a bit cheaper.” The message of both was if you want quality, you need to pay for it. The same goes for education.
The Citizens’ Committee for Education — CC4E — along with the school board and the district have spent countless hours over the past couple of years defining and quantifying the needs of the schools and have given ample opportunity for anyone who had ideas or insights into the school situation to put those forward for consideration, so the need and specifics have been clearly defined and will continue to be so up until Election Day.
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The time has long since passed since my kids and grandkids were in school here, but I am happy to support these needs for students today, just as those who were here before we came provided the schools for my kids. That’s the way a community works.
State law indicates that schools are funded by property tax. There is a Constitutional Amendment called the Gallagher Amendment, which requires commercial property owners to pay roughly four times what residential owners pay for the same value of property. If the community expects the merchants to support the schools, is it not fair that the community support the merchants by buying locally whenever reasonable? That’s the way a community works.
I know this is a lot of money, but the need has been clearly shown, and history has taught us that the costs of construction only go up, so the longer we wait, the more it will cost.
I hope you will join me in supporting ballot issues 4A, 4B and 4C on Election Day.
G.H “Bud” Romberg
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