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Dear Decaturish – Senate Bill 343: Should this debate be about the dollars?

D'ish Decatur slideshow

Dear Decaturish – Senate Bill 343: Should this debate be about the dollars?

File Photo courtesy of Dena Mellick
File Photo courtesy of Dena Mellick

File Photo courtesy of Dena Mellick

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Dear Decaturish,

Most of the discussion I’ve read and heard about this important ballot question has the two sides focusing on the money (an ugly and potentially divisive issue). On the one hand I hear “…. I’ve paid $180,000 in school taxes…” and on the other hand comments like “….move out so we can increase the tax base.”

Both of these are valid arguments depending on your position, but self-serving and not constructive. Let’s stay positive, please!!

The city of Decatur’s quality of life priority has been around since the early 1800’s when the rail line from Savannah came to the area, and the city fathers turned down the rail terminus and suggested they take it down the road to Marthasville that eventually begat Hotlanta, a deliberate decision to preserve the quality of life in our great town. Similar decisions have been made about MARTA and other growth opportunities over the years

Now here we are in 2016 and the school board is recommending and our City leaders are supporting a similar idea to preserve the quality of life we enjoy here in Decatur. I think we would all agree that the foundation of the quality of life is a quality public education that promotes both academic excellence and cultural diversity (race, age, religion, et al).

For those that are concerned about the revenue, remember quality always trumps cost. If we preserve the quality of life here it makes for higher demand and more revenue streams. The revenue will always be there as long as we sustain the quality of the Decatur experience and families want to move here. Many of the “older generation” are selling their homes on  large lots that are being replaced with multiple houses where one once stood. This is the result of the high demand to live here because we have always preserved the quality of life in Decatur.

For those that have been here and paid thousands for our great schools, be proud, not only of the financial investment, but also be proud of your contribution in time, PTA, building recreational areas, volunteering, parent support groups and the legacy we continued and are passing to the next generation. Our schools would not be where they are without your involvement yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The over 65 demographic will soon be moving on anyway. As we age we will downsize, simplify and eventually expire.  Organic “turnover” will continue to make room for the next generations.

For the newcomers to Decatur, Welcome and please enjoy and continue the great cultural legacy that has made our town such a warm and welcoming place

Be sure and Vote,

Jerry Voith

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