Make your vote a strong statement in support of kids

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 1999

Judgement day is almost here.

Sunday, October 31, 1999

Judgement day is almost here.

Email newsletter signup

What a ride it has been. Months and months of candidates talking, candidates debating, candidates campaigning and it will all end Tuesday when Austinites cast their votes.

It’s been an exhilarating campaign season. The sheer number of candidates – 17 – has made this school board election one for the ages. Certainly people will be talking about the school board election of 1999 well into the next millenium.

The candidates have done their part, the Keep Improving District Schools (KIDS) committee has done its part. All that remains is for all of us voters to do our part – get out and vote. It would be a shame if the excitement of this campaign season doesn’t spill over to the ballot box. Seventeen residents have made it known that they care dearly about the Austin School District. It is now our job as residents of a democratic society to stand up and be counted.

Only one decision should be easy when stepping into the booth Tuesday – a "Yes" vote for the levy referendum. Voting "No" would only harm the district’s kids.

The kids aren’t the reason for the budget crisis endured this past year. There’s plenty of adults out there who can shoulder the blame for the district’s woes.

The referendum is a no brainer. It will cost Austin residents little and our children will reap so much. So before entering that ballot booth on Tuesday take a deep breath, think happy thoughts and cast a "Yes" for the kids first.

After the "Yes" vote is when the difficult decisions begin. The 17 candidates for school board are unique individuals. Each offers a variety of skill, experience and interest that would serve the residents of Austin well.

From this vantage there are several outstanding candidates, who possess the expertise, enthusiasm and ability to work and communicate with others, that deserve positions on the board.

With so many candidates it is difficult to the narrow the choices, but voters should enter the booth with one thought in mind – it is time for new leadership on the Austin School Board.

If you feel Austin schools need a dose of enthusiasm, a splash of creativity and a barrel of new ideas, then elect four new people. Four people who are willing to look at things different, four people who are excited about the opportunity to serve YOU – the voter – four people who are willing to stand up and ask questions and to listen to yours. By electing four new people to the board we will in one broad stroke send a message and reinvigorate a school district and a community.

But hey, if what you’re looking for from the Austin School Board is more of the same, then by golly vote your conscious and re-elect the incumbents.

The last I checked we still lived in a democracy where each of us has a right to vote our conscience and elected officials are still accountable to the public.

Judgement day has arrived.

Neal Ronquist’s column appears Sundays