Letter: Your vote represents concern for community, paper mill and kids by Miki Walker
There was a proud time when people made brave sacrifices and/or labored nobly to provide a better life for the next generation than they had themselves. It was and is a form of patriotism in being about aspiring, about loving country enough to do what needs doing to make it better. Those people spoken of above returned to small towns and did the hard things for community and kids.
We can call ourselves Hodags, singing along to songs about small town living, but we need to put our investments where our mouths are to keep our town afloat. It’s time to stand up for ourselves and not give up.
There are so many logical reasons to pass the School District of Rhinelander’s operating referendum. We need it to provide students the opportunities necessary to compete with kids in other communities for jobs. We need to show the best of our young people that the town cares about them, so they feel positively enough about Rhinelander that they return home as adults to work, live and raise their children. We need to maintain a good school system as part of our economic infrastructure, to attract buyers for the mill and other job-producing industries.
Yet, one man recently referred in a letter to our “wonderful paper mill” but then proceeded to tear everything around it down and called the schools that send it a trained workforce “vultures.” That proud paper mill is less likely to run on if that is our thinking. A representative of the school district would likely be one of the first folks to meet a prospective buyer at the door when the time for Rhinelander’s pitch comes.
“How are your schools, anyway?” will be something that buyer will likely ask.
How will they be, Rhinelander? Is this a town that treats its schools as vultures, starving them off against good business sense? Mills and schools economically work hand-in-hand, so starving one starves the other.
Ask yourselves what kind of thinking represents hope for this town and the people in it, be they ourselves, our kids or our neighbors that work at the mill. Is it destructive name-calling or the sound economics of mutually beneficial investments?
I have to believe Rhinelander takes pride in itself enough to choose the better option. Please, let’s prove what we are still about on Feb. 19 by voting “Yes.”
Miki Walker, Rhinelander
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