Should cam­paign funds come from firms that will ben­e­fit?

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Back in May, I had the op­por­tu­nity to vote on the mill­age ef­fort by Ben­tonville schools. While I cer­tainly want the school dis­trict in which I re­side to be suc­cess­ful in ed­u­cat­ing our kids, I am a re­tiree on a fixed in­come and will have to forego some­thing to pay the roughly $50 the mill­age in­crease would cost me.

Well, the elec­tion was suc­cess­ful for the school dis­trict and that was that. I took it in stride. Progress comes at a cost, you know. Then in your July 5 edi­tion, I read that the school cam­paign ben­e­fited by $62,549 do­nated pri­mar­ily by com­pa­nies that will di­rectly ben­e­fit from the con­struc­tion of the new school build­ings. Con­struc­tion com­pa­nies, cater­ing com­pa­nies, pho­tog­ra­phy com­pa­nies were among the donors, as well as mem­bers of the school board. To my knowl­edge, no laws were bro­ken, but with all due re­spect, this stinks. It’s bad enough that a school dis­trict picks an ob­scure time for the elec­tion, then the pro­po­nents of rais­ing my taxes take money from the peo­ple who will make money di­rectly by get­ting con­struc­tion con­tracts, food ser­vice con­tracts and pho­tog­ra­phy con­tracts. And the school board mem­bers that pur­port­edly rep­re­sent me do­nate money for the pas­sage of the mill­age.

This just shows you that all pol­i­tics are lo­cal, as they say. Even with all the brouhaha go­ing on in Wash­ing­ton, it might be­hoove cit­i­zens to pay closer at­ten­tion to what is hap­pen­ing in their own back­yard. I know I will. TOM CANDELA Bella Vista

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