Commentary: Time to get off the referendum merry go round

By Dave Rhodes

Here we are again for round three of the Indian River School District Referendum. It failed twice in 2019 and now we are faced with it again in 2020.

District residents pay state income taxes, local county taxes and now we are asked to pay a local tax for school issues. Three taxes in a state that is supposed to be tax-friendly.

Gov. Carney just allocated $50 million to build a new school in Wilmington and another $50 million to some clean water issue. Why couldn’t the same state’s tax dollars fund this new school in the Indian River District? They are our tax dollars going to Wilmington.

I feel certain that retires moving here from the high tax states like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland are not bringing school-aged kids with them who are flooding our schools. The influx of legal and illegal immigrants. are the real impact of the overcrowding. I empathize with these children but at what expense to the citizens already living here?

There are three workshops scheduled in February trying to convince residents of the “critical”, “absolute necessity” to get this referendum passed. This problem has got to be addressed at the state level for all school districts.

There has got to be a better state revenue stream allocating funds for all school districts in the state. Retirees living on fixed incomes with no kids in school are asked time and time again to open their wallets and fund overcrowded schools. Whatever happened to the budget process?

Don’t believe that this tax if passed is only for three years at only a maximum of $63 per household. At the end of the three years there will be another school crisis that’s going to need extending this tax well beyond three years.

If this referendum passes and the new school construction begins, it will be overcrowded before the doors even open by the time construction is completed.

Hard decisions have to be made forcing the state to get involved to solve this overcrowding at our schools and that begins by defeating this referendum. In conclusion, all you citizens retired or not retired that are on fixed incomes trying to get by, get your butts out of your La-Z-Boy chairs, skip the “Price is Right” for one day and go to your voting precinct and vote no on this Indian River School District referendum.

Dave Rhodes is a resident of Georgetown.