Letter to the editor – Jim Last

To the editor,

I have been a resident of Greene County all of my life except for the two years I went to and graduated from AIB in Des Moines and the one year I worked for a CPA firm in Des Moines. During those three years in Des Moines I was always hoping a job opportunity would come up so I could move back to Greene County because this was where I wanted to live.

In 1979 I was able to get a job at the facility I was born in and worked there 33 years. I got married in 1980, bought a house in Grand Junction in 1982, and raised 2 kids in that house.
In the early 1990s we made the decision to open enroll our kids from the East Greene School District to the Jefferson-Scranton School District. This was a hard decision for us because I was happy with the education I had received at East Greene, but we felt there would be more educational opportunities for our kids at Jefferson-Scranton.

I support the upcoming bond issue because I think the regional center/career academy will help current and future students of the school district in furthering their education. We need more young people to learn how to build things, repair things, troubleshoot technology items and stay in Greene County.

I also support the building of a new high school. I worked in a facility that was originally built in 1937. Additions were added in in 1951, 1965, 1971, 1991 and various remodeling projects after that. To use an old phrase, I felt we were “trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.

Modifying existing heating and cooling systems to provide adequate climate control made many projects more expensive to complete. Older buildings were not designed to handle the people with disabilities act and they were not designed for the many feet or miles of computer cable needed today. You also need to have a pleasant environment to learn in. Schools need to have air conditioning so that having to dismiss school early because heat index is too high can be eliminated. Proper cooling is also needed so that computer networks don’t overheat and crash. Building a new building will also address the new needs for tighter security.

I no longer have any kids in school and my grandkids do not live in Greene County so my tax dollars will not help them, but I am willing to help the current and future students get a good education and enjoy their school so that will want to make Greene County their home. Please vote yes on April 3rd.

Jim Last, Grand Junction

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