Letters to the Editor

Thanks for parade help

Dear Editor,
The Clarkston Fourth of July Parade Committee would like to thank the following people for their help and support with this year’s Clarkston Fourth of July Parade. First, we really appreciate the help of Selfridge Air Force Base and the two pilots who volunteered their time to fly on the holiday. It adds so much to the parade and we are thankful for them.
Our sponsor Bowman Chevrolet has supported the parade for five years and provides funds for all the necessities of the parade and sponsoring Karen Newman to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Thank you Kathryn Bowman Coleman for supporting this hometown event.
A big thanks to Independence Township and the City of the Village of Clarkston for providing road closure and safety procedures for the many parade goers. A special thank you to Sgt. Chris Miller for managing the Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies during the parade and following at Independence Fest. One of the highlights of the parade is the Independence Township Fire Truck parked on M-15 with the huge American flag which reminds us of why we are celebrating.
The Independence Township Television station videos the parade for those who can’t attend the parade to watch. DTE Energy Music Theatre, the fire department and the village provide the barrels you see cordoning off the streets. Clarkston Towing has provided the decorated tow truck/stage on Main Street for our announcer, Dale Ryan to talk from each year. Bordines has provided the plants to put a little decoration on stage. James Schneider, who owns the former Clarkston State Bank building, has provided us with electricity for our stage. Smith’s Disposal, who supports community events, provides trash boxes.
The parade is truly a community event. We appreciate the businesses, community organizations, politicians who provide unique entries in the parade. We are especially thankful for our American Legion Post #63 who has been providing an honor guard for over 75 years in the parade as well as Terry Shelswell, who brings his military vehicle preservation entry each year.
The parade organizers are community volunteers from St. Daniel Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus # 15967, Clarkston Lions Club, Clarkston Optimist Club, and Mt. Zion Church. Take a look at our website, clarkstonparade.org or see us on Facebook- clarkstonfourthof julyparade and we’ll see you in 2017.
Clarkston Fourth of July
Parade Committee

Schools need bond

Dear Editor,
Along with many other Clarkston citizens, after reading last week’s Clarkston News, I was compelled to share my thoughts.
I strongly believe that there is nothing misleading about the school district’s reference that the current bond request is a “no tax rate increase.”
To infer the district is misleading citizens is inflammatory and inaccurate. This request will extend our current 7 mills in debt service but does not increase the rate we are paying. The 7 mills continue until approximately 2035 at which time the rate drops to under 2 mills until 2045. These are conservative projections and, with property values increasing, it is almost certain the bonds will be paid off much sooner.
As discussed at the district board meeting, they looked into other funding mechanisms including bonding in a series or having a sinking fund, but the zero tax rate increase proposal fit best to meet the needs of our district right now.
Inquiries were also made about the security in place throughout the district at the present time. Attendees were told it is doing its best to meet our needs. However, cameras, intercom, and computer systems to support this are way past their useful life and replacement and parts are nearly impossible to obtain.
Our community, as a whole, is a very positive and supportive place to live. Our community does not condone personal attacks towards district and board leadership. These attacks do nothing to find solutions to meet the needs of our district and our community. We need to maintain our excellent community and school system!
I am confident our community will evaluate this proposal on its merits and not succumb to the fear mongering some seem to be promoting. We need to have strong schools for a strong community!
Please vote Yes on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Laura K Hoffmann

Service appreciated

Dear Editor,
I would like to extend a big “thank you” to Morgan’s Service. Cora and Scott were so kind, helpful and understanding during my recent vehicle crisis.
Being vulnerable to “getting taken” by an auto repair shop makes me skeptical in the first place. When I received the bad news that my truck would take thousands of dollars to repair, I didn’t know what I was going to do. Let me just say, Morgan’s did not take advantage of my lack of mechanical knowledge. Instead, they really helped me out.
Morgan’s customer service is outstanding and I would like to recommend them to anyone who is looking for honest, affordable work on their cars.
Jodi M. Sanchez
Independence Township

Hope for bond

Dear Editor,
I am very hopeful for the bond proposal. I have heard nothing but wonderful support throughout the community for the bond proposal. It addresses some significant issues surrounding keeping our children safe as well as enabling the district to provide more robust technology to our students. I found some quotes in last week’s edition of the Clarkston News to be very troubling. Can one really confidently say our buildings are “safe enough?” I am uncomfortable classifying our buildings as such.
Our administration and board leadership have proven to be in sync with aligning the needs of the education of children in the Clarkston Community Schools with the ever-changing funding available. The dissention of a couple board members is equally troubling, reminding me of the “witch hunt” triggered a couple years ago against our very capable and committed superintendent. It was discouraging back then and I find the current bashing just as repulsive. These individuals have children in our district, why in the world do they not support an initiative which creates opportunity for more robust learning without adding to the annual amount one pays in property taxes? It’s a great win for the community, further enhancing our students’ achievement as well as further enhancing our property values with the educational richness Clarkston Community Schools provides.
The additional athletic fields will enable us to continue to provide great activities for everyone in the community, especially the youth sports and activities. We are, after all, Clarkston Community Schools, with an emphasis on the community part. This means our facilities should stand not only as educational sources, but activity-based opportunitues as well.
Our Parent Teacher organizations constantly fundraise to provide technology for our children’s buildings. Passage of this bond would mitigate this need and allow parent groups to concentrate on providing enriching enhancements for their programs. As a parent myself, I know our community is grateful for the support of these parent-teacher and athletic boosters. These groups provide much support and enrichment not enabled by Clarkston’s current funding level. Passage of this bond means these groups can focus more on these opportunities.
This request is financially smart in that it provides necessary funding without increasing our current bond debt rate. While it extends our current 7 mils out to approximately 2034, it reduces to 1.70 in 2035 until payoff in 2045. Please join us in voting Yes on Aug. 2.
Dawn Anderson, Deborah Trahey
Independence Township

Bond good for homes

Dear Editor,
Clarkston Community Schools is the one reason we purchased our home in this community seven years ago. We looked at many homes throughout Oakland County but inevitably it was the schools that brought us here, so imagine our concern as we realize the schools are falling behind. With four children spread throughout the Clarkston Schools we have been very impressed with how committed the staff, under the leadership of Dr. Rock, is to ensuring a quality education for our children.
We have however noticed a slow decline in their ability to meet the needs of our children in their classrooms, continually doing more with less. Our concern continues to grow as we realize that without the support of the Clarkston community the school district will be forced to start taking more from general education funds to fix parking lots and upgrade building systems. Clarkston is one of the only schools in Oakland County that has decided not to have open enrollment and as a community we need to make sure that our schools are supported. Families like mine have choices to move our children to neighboring districts that have the ability to keep up with the ever changing demands of education, and yes a big part of that is technology, but that leaves Clarkston Schools hemorrhaging money with no way to recoup it and at the end of the day that will affects us all as home owners.
Please support Clarkston’s kids and our community on Aug. 2 and vote yes in support of the CCS bond proposal.
Hilary Kuebler
Springfield Township