In light of recent events with the Parkland school shooting, I understand the concern of parents when it comes to school safety.  Especially, when you end up having an incident from a high school kid in your own town posting threatening videos the next day. The BOE, police officers, and other administrators all handled the incident promptly and took the proper steps in calming jittered parents and students all over town. 

As I attended BOE meetings and listened to some parents speak with their questions and comments, I could feel their concern.  While the BOE has taken some immediate steps, I understand their need to also review and come up with a more strategic, long term plan.  I sat in meetings, read many articles and listened to people’s comments and opinions about this topic: our children’s safety.  Some comments were made very passionately and perhaps with more heart than head. 

That really got me thinking about our referendum that didn’t pass in December, which would have provided us with secure school entrances, among many other things.  I started to think about the increase in taxes over the years to implement these safety precautions.  I’m never really one to support tax hikes, but in some instances, like this one, it was necessary to improve our schools. 

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The average cost for a home security system is around $35 per month.  This equates to $420 per year. We think nothing of spending this money to protect our families at home.  In fact, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.  The referendum in the first year would have cost us less than $200 in taxes.  Think about that. That’s $16 per month.  Think about that. Even after year two when taxes would have increased the most to roughly around $380/year, it’s still only $32 per month in taxes.  I’ll bet it’s safe to say we spend more per month on coffee than we would have on the referendum.

So, as I looked around the room at the BOE meetings hearing people’s heated comments, I wondered how different the conversation would be now had everyone there voted YES to the referendum. Something for us all to think about the next time we order our daily cup of coffee!