Some have been excruciatingly long, a few have been short, as this one will be. I hope most have had some value in informing you about issues I feel are important to the future of our community.
I'm gratified when I hear people talking about the impact of residential development when it is not matched by a similar amount of commercial development, even when it means getting yelled at for voting to sell a piece of property to a residential developer. This was a dynamic I didn't understand until six years ago. I have come to believe this is one of the two of three most important matters for our community leaders to address if we want the Hilliard community to remain economically healthy, and it's been a primary topic of this blog over the years.
I hope to have helped people gain a better understanding of how our public schools are funded. The consequence of having a law that prevents our property taxes from automatically increasing when property values change - which I think is a good thing - is that the only way to increase funding is to pass more local levies. This is doubly true because our community is viewed to be affluent by our State leaders, meaning they are inclined to send any new money they find in the State budget to the urban and rural districts, who are also better represented (in terms of numbers of members) in the General Assembly.
The current General Assembly may buck that trend by the way, but the language of the Budget Bill now under consideration in the Senate has both some "giveth" and some "taketh away," so let's not celebrate quite yet.
And while we can whine about half-empty school buses or lights on in our football stadiums, I hope people understand that the cost of running our school district will always be driven by the number of people we employ and how much we spend on compensation and benefits. It's not just about the number of principals in the high schools, the number of administrators in the central office, or the richness of our high school course catalog.
It's all that stuff and more, and it all needs to be discussed and evaluated. It will be done in a democratic fashion, which is to say messy and argumentative. By definition, the majority will be satisfied with the outcome, while others will be convinced that exactly the wrong decision was made, and they'll be vocal about it.
I don't know who Winston Churchill was quoting when he made this statement to Parliment...
"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time"... but it has long been one of my favorites.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you continue the journey with me.