I am preparing this week’s edition of the Campus Connection on Monday, June 24. I am doing so intentionally before date of the voted levy. As the dust settles and the results of the vote are made known, the district will move forward based on the voice of the people; exactly what the board intended when they initiated the balloting process. The board and district have every intention of developing a budget and plan that best meets the needs of the students with the resources available.
I was quite disappointed in how some of our county members acted and behaved due to Leeway voting on both sides of this issue. I am aware of several instances where members were out of hand, yelling, swearing, and name calling because someone didn’t agree with them. There were also a number of cases of sign stealing. Both of these issues have to do with our first amendment rights. If we expect our own freedom of speech we must allow and respect that of others even if we don’t agree. We can talk about these things civilly like the adults we should be. Taking of signs is also an infringement on this amendment. Another problem we encounter is accusing people without proof for such deeds. We have never been and should never be a “guilty until proven innocent” society. If we continue to have this type of attitude in a number of years we will not have a republic because some won’t tolerate the views of others.
A recreation agreement among Morgan City, Morgan County and Morgan County School Board has delayed again, much as it has in the past year and a half, this time over the debate of how the entities should share deductibles and claims in the face of a lawsuit.
Rex and Susan Wingle along with Hank and Bonnie Telford are pleased to announce the marriage of their children, Jenna Lee Wingle and Chase Roger Telford. A reception will be held in their honor at Huntsville City park, 7450 East 250 South, Huntsville, Utah, on June 29, from 6 – 9 p.m. Jenna and Chase will be living in Logan, Utah while they finish their education. In case of oversight, please come and wish them well at the beginning of their life together.
Natalie Kaye Nicholas and Aureliano Montes Jr, of San Jose California, will begin their journey together on June 26, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV. They will have an open house at Natalie’s home, 2415 S Morgan Valley Drive, on Friday, June 28, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. In case of oversight (very possible) you are invited to attend and celebrate with friends and family that Friday.
The Morgan Search and Rescue would like to thank all the Morgan businesses, the Sheriff’s Office, the County Council, the City of Morgan, and the people of Morgan County for being so welcoming while members of the National Search and Rescue were in town for their convention. They would also like to thank everyone for supporting the Search and Rescue members of Morgan County, the State Search and Rescue, and the National Search and Rescue Association.
Christian Ecker, son of Chuck and Lisa Ecker, has been called to serve in the Indianapolis, Indiana mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will report to the Provo MTC on July 3, 2013 and will speak at the Milton ward June 30 at 10:45 a.m.
Andrew Jess Reeder, son of Karl and Pamela Reeder has been called to serve in the New Mexico, Farmington mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will report to the Provo MTC on July 3,2013.
Almost half of the registered voters in Morgan County turned out to the polls Tuesday night to defeat the proposed Morgan County School District voted local levy.
About 30 people gathered at the county offices late Tuesday night to view the results: 64.41 percent (1,600 votes) against, 35.59 percent (884 votes) for. Of 5,495 registered voters, 45 percent visited the polls (2,485 voters).
Voter turnout was highest in the Croydon District, where 66 percent of registered voters cast their votes strictly by absentee ballot. Compared to the other six voting districts, the Croydon District also had the highest percentage (80.7 percent) of voters voting against the levy.
Voter turnout was lowest in the Mountain Green District at 38.8 percent.
The district with the highest percentage voting for the levy was North Morgan, where 43 percent cast ballots supporting the levy.
Official results will be unveiled at the July 9 canvas, where absentee and provisional ballots will be included in the final tally. As of Tuesday, 137 absentee ballots were still out. To be included in the July 9 canvas, the absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 24 or earlier.
Morgan voters went to the polls yesterday and voted down the proposed vote local levy by a wide margin. 2,485 votes were cast, a 45% voter turnout. 885 (36%) were cast in favor and 1,600 (64%) voted against. The vote was fairly consistent across all precincts. The breakdown by precinct is as follows:
Precinct Voters For Against
Mountain Green 421 141 (33.5%) 280 (66.5%)
Peterson 587 213 (36.3%) 374 (63.7%)
Canyon Creek 278 73 (26.3%) 205 (73.7%)
City 516 198 (38.4%) 318 (61.6%)
North Morgan 437 189 (43.25%) 248 (56.75%)
CC State Senate 188 59 (31.4%) 129 (68.6%)
Croydon 57 11 (19.3%) 46 (80.7%)
Like some of you, I have chosen to serve our community by participating on different school committees (MHS Community Council, Morgan Education Foundation and MHS Scholarship Board) that hopefully add value to the educational experience of all of our children. There are some amazingly smart and dedicated parents who give freely of their time and resources to enrich the educational experience of all of our kids in this valley. We do not always agree on the best way to meet the needs, but for the most part everyone has the best interest of the kids in mind. I think we work well together because we leave ego’s and personal agenda’s at the door. We ask thought provoking questions, we learn the issues and then we try to put forth solutions that meet challenges head on. Our job isn’t done when we walk out of a meeting. These are “working” committee’s where we roll up our sleeves and spend countless hours taking action and executing the plans laid out in the meetings. We work with very tight budgets. We work hard to raise money, simply because we have too, and consequently are quite conservative in how we spend each and every dollar. We work closely with the teachers and school administrators. We feel their pain. You can never really know that pain until you sit in their classrooms and virtually walk in their shoes. In most instances we work with the School District Administrators and in some cases we sit side by side with School Board members to find solutions to problems. We have learned first hand the uniqueness of being part of a school district in rural Morgan County, with an almost nonexistent tax base. One day that will change, but only when we are willing to accept the fallout that comes with growth and development. It’s called change, and many are afraid of it. None the less this area has so very much to offer, but it comes at a price, sometimes a steep price. It is a price that each of us must bear. Do I want higher taxes? No. Can I afford higher property taxes? I cannot. So why do I support the Voted Local Levy? Because from where I sit, it is the best short term SOLUTION to a long-term problem. Let’s be very clear about something. The VLL is not the end-all answer, but it is a real short-term solution that is needed now. Those who oppose the VLL have become very proficient at propogating what I call the FUD factor. They spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It all begins with certain half truths and then leads to veiled forms of borderline deception. Case in point. Last night I received a flyer in the mail. On one side it stated that I have “the opportunity to voice my opinion”. I’ve read the Constitution and I get that. This is a truth. On the other side of the flyer it states in smaller text that if the VLL passes that “I will no longer have a voice or a vote” (false). It states further that the school board can raise my taxes (truth) without advertising or notifying me (false). They call it taxation without representation. What is this, the Boston Tea Party all over again? Of course we have representation. It’s called going to the advertised school board meetings and standing up and saying what you have to say. Do you realize that last week the school board held their annual budget meetings which were fully advertised and open to the public? Do you also realize that not one single person who opposes the VLL attended the meeting? If the VLL does not pass, the sun will still rise on on June 26th. But know this one fact. If you have a third grader going to Mountain Green Elementary, your child or grandchild will be sitting next to 32 other students of which 2-3 will have major behavioral issues that dominate the teachers time and efforts. Now imagine the quality education your child is going to experience! This is real, as real as it gets. Again, the VLL is a tax, no doubt about it. It will cost you $2.18 per month for each $100,000 that your home is valued at. The School District needs $358,000 this next year alone that will go toward four (4) specific needs. Replacing three educators who have retired or moved, costs associated with special needs students, remediation for those struggling in math and lastly to address state mandated standards and testing. This is not conjecture, it’s fact. The time to vote is almost here. What will you base your vote on? Will it be the FUD factor that you read about or hear about that has run rampant these past few months? Or will you call a teacher you can trust, or your local school board member and ask specific questions about specific needs. Get educated and then do the right thing for you, your family and your kids.
The local levy is a very hot topic, with a $1.3 million price tag for Morgan taxpayers at stake. The root of this issue is whether three of the five elected School Board members (a simple majority) will have the authority to decide how tax dollars are spent without input from taxpayers.
How important is the education of our children. In our elementary schools we have one class with 35 children, six with 30 or more and 9 with 26 to 29 and our enrollment is growing every year. How effective can a teacher be with so many students at this critical stage of their development? I’ve had 10 boys in our scout troop and can’t imagine how a teacher can give adequate attention to 30 students.
Following months of psychological therapy, Brigham City resident Douglas K. Beesley appeared in court Wednesday with his attorney facing voyeurism charges that originated in Morgan County. He was granted six months to complete his counseling program.
In March, Aspen MacArthur and Krista Sorensen and their families traveled to St. George, Utah, to compete in the Dixie at the Spectacular Clogging Competition. Krista won first place in advanced and Aspen won state champion in the Jr. Pro division. Both girls competed in a cappella, which is judged solely on sound.
About 10.5 miles from the Morgan exit on Highway 84, and driving south past Porterville stands The Tifie Ranch in Morgan, Utah. The ranch, which is a family operation, is among the 50 things to do in Morgan County.
Emma Loo Bell will celebrate her 90th birthday Saturday, Jan. 22, 2013. Family and friends can share the day with her at an open house that day from 2 to 4 pm at the Field Street Church, LDS Ward, 240 S 300 W, Morgan, Utah.
Jaedyn and Kaeson are excited to announce the marriage of their mom, Jessica Billock to Kris Benson as they celebrate with their friends and family for an evening of food, drinks, dancing and fun for the couple’s first night together as Mr. and Mrs. Benson. Friday, June 28, from 6 p.m. until the evening ends.
Tod and Karen Straw are happy to announce the marriage of their daughter Shaneece, to Dustin Lane Stewart, son of Paul and Gina Stewart. Shaneece and Dustin have chosen Friday, June 28, 2013 to be married in the Bountiful LDS Temple.
Many young boys have a dream of being a cowboy. A small group of college students decided to bring this dream to life. Several young men from Texas determined to ride all the way from Mexico to Canada, and rode through Morgan earlier this week.
Many people flock to Morgan County for its abundance of recreational opportunities. Activities such as boating, fishing, rafting, hiking, snowmobiling, hunting, bike riding and more are readily enjoyed throughout the county. Whether it is a family outing, a weekend camping with friends, or a solo retreat, residents and visitors alike are able to make great memories and find pure enjoyment.
“Is anyone here a redneck?” questioned the announcer at the United Truck Pulls on Saturday, June 15. This would seem to be a redundant question to outsiders, but those inside the sport know that there is more to truck pulls than that.
The Morgan County School Board reviewed and unanimously accepted the final fiscal year 2013 budget Tuesday. Business Manager D’Lynn Poll said the school district collected more redemption taxes than usual this year and tax collection rates are up. Redemption taxes are property taxes that land owners have failed to pay in years past.
At Morgan Elementary School, one of the smallest classes of fifth graders completed their school year in May. The kindergarten class that has registered for the upcoming 2013-14 year is about 20 students larger than the fifth graders that recently completed the school year, said Principal Tim Wolff. The 116 registered kindergarteners represent a typical class size, Wolff said. The 2012-13 kindergarten class was large with 128.
During the course of the public debate on the necessity of a Voted Local Levy in the Morgan School District, we often times forget the larger picture of the financial struggles faced by the state and most districts. State Superintendent of Schools Martell Menlove stated in a community meeting in Morgan County last month that Morgan School District is not alone in facing financial challenges when it comes to balancing their budgets this year. A quick review of the state’s newspapers and television stations and you will see many headlines, news stories and editorials dealing with school finance. One example can be found on the editorial page of the Sunday, June 2, issue of the Ogden Standard Examiner.