Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Community College Vote

Update at end of post

I have generally stayed out of the Community College Debate to date as I was having a difficult time making up my mind on the issue.  In my 22 years of voting, I have never voted against an education funding measure of any kind. This one is likely to be my first.

For those not familiar, Boise is home to the largest metropolitan area in the country without a community college. There is a ballet measure on May 22nd to create a community college taxing authority in the treasure valley (Boise metro area).

I first wanted to point you toward a great debate on the subject by the Boise Guardian. This blog, one that I highly recommend, has hosted positions on each side of the subject and there has been some great community discussion in the comments area. You should definitely give it a read.

Here is my reasoning for voting no. I believe it is a priority issue. I think there are a number of issues that will need to be funded by the citizens of this state.  Neglect by the state in a number of areas will bring an increasing number of issues to the breaking point. Most of these issues will need to be addressed through additional taxes of some kind. I am very concerned about tax fatigue, especially since this state has an anti-tax mentality in general.

Here are my priorities for funding:

Priority #1 - Transit System

Priority #2 - K-12 Education

Priority #3 - Environment/Habitat Preservation

Since the community college does not show up in my top three issues, I have decided to vote no. I have considered abstaining instead, but in the end I believe that I must vote on such an important issue.

Update May 22, 2007: After much further contemplation on this subject, I cannot bring myself to vote against this measure. My initial "no" position has caused me a great deal of stress as I have contemplated the advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not this vote would truly impact other future votes to improve our community. I am not sure if it will or not, but I think we have to take what we can get on improving our community. While a community college does not show up in my top three priorities, it does show up in my top ten. Therefore, on my way home today (after getting off our failing bus system), I will vote yes for this measure.

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