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To the Editor: What could a vote "No" mean to you?

To the Editor:

I think most people who know me, know that I tend to be blunt. I have heard people talking about voting "No" for the upcoming Carlton School referendum. I think it is important to know what a vote "No" could mean to you:

1. Some have said the school district could do nothing. Wrong, the facilities haven't been updated since 1969. I certainly couldn't put off maintenance on my home that long. I don't want them to spend my money on maintenance, but on teachers, supplies and curriculum.

2. Some have said consolidate with another district. Easier said than done. They have tried to consolidate with Wrenshall since before my mom attended Carlton. In 2016, the only thing the joint committee could decide was to have one PreK-12 building (most financially responsible). [But each school district wanted it in their own community.] In a combined Wrenshall/Carlton [district], the most centrally located PK-12 building with the most land is at South Terrace (which has 70 acres of land). All I can say is good luck making that happen — they have tried for years!

Then what about Cloquet? Sure, but then you will be paying for their taxes and the remainder of [Carlton's existing facility ($248,537) and OPEB bond debt ($676,310)]. Did anyone tell you that? Yep, if you consolidate, we need to pay that district's taxes and what is left in Carlton. Do the math, people!

3. Some say dissolve the district. If they do that then you will be reassigned to another district. In my case likely Cloquet. You are then back to paying for that district and the remainder of Carlton, AND you would lose the school in your district which is what draws new homeowners to our area and helps with taxes. Again, do the math!

Some might say that I'm saying this because I have kids in the district, but the reality is I don't want my taxes to go up either. However, as I see it, I don't think there is any other option. The question is how much I want to spend. I'm voting "Yes" because financially it is the best for me. If you have questions, attend a meeting, visit the school's website, take a tour, call the superintendent, get the facts and be smart financially.

Chris Marciniak, Cloquet

Resident/Homeowner in the Carlton School District

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