School starts on Monday and when school opens, can homework be far behind?

We mention this because voters in the Lake County School District will be, or should be, planning to do some homework on the district’s request for funding to replace the West Park Elementary School facility.

The Herald Democrat plans to also do some studying on the subject as we have made no decision this early in the game on whether we will support the bond issue or not. We have received the flyer recently mailed out by the school district. We are assuming there will be some meetings on the topic of the bond issue and some tours of West Park/Pitts Elementary to see what constitutes their being listed among of the “ten poorest-condition schools in the state.”

We urge every voter to participate in these events. It’s easy to say, “I’m not voting for anything that will raise taxes.” That may be your ultimate conclusion, but we hope it would be based on some facts.

We know that the increase in valuation for homes and businesses will play a part in the decision voters will make. Remember that although Lake County will collect taxes based on the new valuations, it also has the option to decrease the mill levy if it appears that increased property taxes will be bringing in more than the county really needs. Do you think the BOCC will be able to determine what the county really needs? We think the chances are good as efforts are being made to ensure this year’s budget process will not duplicate what happened last year.

We do have a sugges-tion for the school district as it campaigns in favor of the bond issue.

In the recent flyer, it says that the bond issue will increase residential property owners’ taxes by $2.50 a month or $30 a year for a residential property worth $100,000. For years we’ve been using the per $100,000 figure when trying to sell an increase in taxes.

In truth, there are few residential properties in Lake County worth just $100,000. Maybe it’s time to include what the average cost of a home in Lake County actually is. The property owner is still going to have to do a little math.

There will be other interesting things on the ballot, and we’ll be writing more about them as we learn more.

Finally, if you want to serve on Leadville City Council or run for mayor, there isn’t much time left. You must submit your petitions by Monday, Aug. 26, although there is an option after that date to sign up as a write-in candidate.

Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor

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