Editorial: Referendum meetings are valuable tools

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 9, 2002

With five meetings about the school referendum on the calendar, anybody with questions about the upcoming school vote has plenty of chances to get answers &045; and the school district and TEAM have the opportunity to give people the straight answers they’re looking for and, if they do, maybe even build a little trust.

There are undoubtedly questions out there &045; some of the same that were asked a year ago, as well as new ones. An overriding theme after last year’s referendum failed was that ‘no’ voters didn’t seem like they were satisfied with the answers they got. That can change this time around, but it will require effort on both sides: Those who are seeking information need to get out and find it, and not allow assumptions, rumors and coffee-shop talk to fill in the blanks. And those who have the information need to get their message out in a complete and honest manner, without the appearance of spin.

Getting a community dialogue started about school funding is important with less than a month left until voters head to the polls. It would be best for everyone if the dialogue were based on respect for people and for the facts of the situation &045; and that goes for both sides.

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Here, again, is the list of meetings planned on the Albert Lea school referendum:

– Oct. 14, 7 p.m., Lakeview Elementary media center.

– Oct. 15, 7 p.m., Halverson Elementary media center.

– Oct. 21, 5 p.m., Brookside Education Center.

– Oct. 22, 7 p.m. Hawthorne Elementary.

– Oct. 24, 7 p.m., Sibley Elementary School.

If you have questions about the school referendum, it makes sense to circle one of these dates on the calendar and plan to be there.