To the Editor,

Can I express my opinion on the upcoming school referendum? There’s an old saying “don’t say anything if you haven’t got a dog in the fight” or something to that effect. Well, I haven’t got a very big dog and he’s a “lover not a fighter” and “his bark is worse than his bite” and not very bad. He does make a little noise when he sees or hears something that affects the world around him.

Now, I agree that our children are our most precious and important asset. Their education and future opportunities should be a guiding principle. We also should keep a realistic and practical view of that principle. Many times we let our love and concern for our children influence our decisions, and that’s how it should be, but not at the expense of their long term health and success in all areas of their lives, which should include faith and Godliness. I haven’t gotten to my opinion yet, but hopefully you’ll understand it when you see it.

I grew up in North Dakota where I attended a country school. We walked or rode horse a mile and a half to said school (up hills both ways in 5 feet of snow) see. I can’t remember school being called off for any reason. Our teachers were mostly high school graduates, just young 17-18 year olds. We mostly learned basic ABCs etc. and heaven forbid geography.

The year I graduated from eighth grade, the powers that be, (whoever they are) decided to close country schools and haul us to town school where we would supposedly get better educational opportunities. We practically slid through first year of town school because we were so far ahead academically of our peers that had always attended more “advanced” town school.

“Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end,” but also here we find ourselves in a different world. Somethings are better, but life is a lot more complicated. Progress so called “they say.” As far as my little dog, we’ve lived in Henning community for over 50 years, in town for almost four years. We’ve raised eight children—most attended Henning School at some time along with church school and some home schooling. We’ve also had some grandchildren who have also attended Henning School.

I have to say we’ve always been very proud of the Henning School and its teachers. We also have been blessed by the wonderful people in community at large. Thank you!

Now for our little dog bark. Private citizen debt is at an all time high, many people having a hard time making ends meet, some because of bad choices. Be that as it may, the cost of living has gone up drastically, especially the last few years.

National, state and city governments are having a difficult time keeping basic living venues going and many are at the breaking point in spite of huge debt and increased taxation.

Where does it end?

I think you know if you think of your own family, sooner or later if you continue to spend more than you take in or can squeeze from your constituents, something’s “gotta give.” We all know that a certain amount of maintenance and repair are involved with everything. Sometimes you have to replace or rebuild. It should always be approached with care and an eye on fiscal responsibility and available revenues. I’m sure the powers that be have done that. 

My question is how does the majority in the community feel as expressed by voting no in last referendum not carry much weight. Some people just won’t take no for an answer and that’s their privilege. I respect their opinion, but question their means of going around the mountain until they get the right circumstances for a different outcome or just wear people down and tired. I guess I’m a little of both. Thank you for letting me share my bark, I mean opinion.

Dale Zillmer,