I have been hearing a good bit of grumbling around town concerning the possibility that our new stadium won’t be ready come opening game for Montesano Bulldog Football this fall. Come on now, give them a break.
I want it up as much as you do, but let’s be honest, we made the process more difficult with our constant suggestions. Regular readers will remember I came down pretty hard myself over the push by some to ram another school bond down our over-taxed throats and called for using the insurance money to rebuild as-was (See Vidette About Town Dec. 6, 2012).
To give Superintendent Dan Winter props, he did what he said he was going to do during a conversation I had with him early in the process. He listened to the public and watched out for our pocketbook. I can only imagine the tugging at his sleeve by those who openly wanted to take advantage of the situation. In my opinion, we have a good one up there this time. Considering the tax and spend predecessors he had, we should be grateful. Make no mistake about it, for too long the district forgot who they were working for. That being us, the taxpayers.
The stadium is being rebuilt pretty much exactly as it was. Maybe a little better, depending on your point of view, considering the financial constraints the district was working under and the less-than-helpful insurance company. There are a couple of little things that they want, dry storage under the stadium etc., that I find quite reasonable. The difference between want and need are the key issues here. We are a small town and as much as some would like to think otherwise, not everyone can afford this constant dip into our home equity via never-ending bonds.
There is a big difference between telling us via raising our property taxes and asking us for help. If Mr. Winter would like to identify their under stadium storage project, give us, the un-washed taxpayers of Montesano a number, I will write the first $100 check and devote as much editorial space as well as space in my column in The Vidette to help make it happen.
This is a good opportunity to change the Us vs. Them dynamic that – fairly or unfairly – has developed around here over time. It’s also a good opportunity to mend some fences between the school district and the people who pay the bills around here. There is another way to do things, a way to balance what the school district needs to educate the children of this town against what special interest groups want to provide as extras.
One last bit of observation. Mr. Winter, I think we can shave a few weeks off the construction time if you need help with site prep, grunt labor, etc. All you need to do is ask, and the town will respond. There will be no lack of moms, dads, grandmothers and grandfathers – Bulldogs all – standing on your lawn with shovels and rakes – ready to work.
Don’t tell us to do things. Just ask.