Letter to the editor – Steve Fisher

To the editor,

As the parent of a high school student, the spouse of a school teacher, and a school board member you’d probably expect me to be talking about the benefits of the proposed school/academy bond proposal and the advantages that it will present for the students and staff of our school system here in Greene County CSD. While I agree with the many recent letters praising these enhanced opportunities for both pre and post high school curriculum, I’d like to emphasize a few of the other significant benefits to our county and region at large.

I like this proposal because it is truly a “grass roots” idea that was presented to the school board and public by visionary community members who not only have the desire to enhance education here in Greene County, but also help to boost the climate for current businesses and industries. This plan should help create an environment and attitude that will be a magnet to help attract new enterprises that will offer good new jobs to help to grow our business and tax base. We have to do something to attract and hold our children here and to bring new families to our area. Great schools and other related amenities are important, but people don’t come if there aren’t great job opportunities as well.

This proposed project is a big plan with a big vision that is much more than just about education. I believe it is more about the vision for new opportunity for the future of our county. Sometimes that requires a big investment.

Some of the bullet points on this project:
• The alliance with Iowa Central Community College will provide not only courses that will be matched with local vocational demands, but will provide much more cost effective opportunities for students to receive job training while incurring less student debt to qualify for great careers.
• The potential benefit for attracting new businesses and industries to our region are immense and as have been revealed this week, are already being realized should this proposal pass. New businesses love to locate in a place that proves that it is innovative and welcomes them and their employees
• The safety and security of our students and staff need to be examined and enhanced in light of recent tragic school intrusions. This plan helps to address these concerns as well as longer term facility neds to replace our 100 years old middle school.

Please take the time to get educated about this proposed project and its possibilities. Don’t we all really want the same things for our community and our kids? Jobs, education, safety, future? Inaction won’t secure any of these.

One prominent long term community member commented to me after attending an informational meeting on the project, “If Greene County won’t support a plan like this, then I don’t hold much hope for the future of our county!”

Some seem fearful that this plan is not a “sure thing.” The only thing that we know for sure is that doing nothing will produce nothing. I believe this project could be a game changer for Greene County.

Steve Fisher, Grand Junction

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