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Important vote for GFW

To the editor:

A very important vote is coming up for the GFW Levy on Aug. 11. As a Winthrop resident, GFW graduate, a mom of current GFW students, and business owner in the GFW community I have many perspectives on this vote, and the answer to how I should vote always comes to YES. A YES vote for the GFW levy is really saying YES to wanting Gibbon, Fairfax, and Winthrop to not only survive, but thrive.

If the levy doesn’t pass there is high chance that the school district could dissolve like Mcleod West. The closure of the school district would devastate our communities. Many of our family, friends and neighbors are hired by the school district and would lose their jobs. Parents of current GFW students would have to send their kids to neighboring districts away from friends and community. Property values would plummet as our communities no longer attract young families and in turn would hurt the business in our communities. The list of negative effects goes on.

Whether one chooses to vote Yes or No, property taxes will go up. If we vote No and the district dissolves, we are not only responsible for the existing school debt, but we will also have to pay our neighboring districts’ school taxes which are higher than ours. If we vote YES, at least the tax money will be used for schools in our own communities. The levy is an investment in our communities.

When I left for college over 15 years ago, I didn’t know that my path would lead me back to my hometown, but I am grateful it did. I wanted to work as a pharmacist and set my roots somewhere I knew that people cared about each other. Since moving back to Winthrop about 10 years ago I have faced a few challenges that made me ask myself not only what I wanted for my future, but also what I hoped for the future of the Winthrop community and surrounding area. When the Winthrop pharmacy suddenly closed almost 10 years ago, I could have decided to move and/or work somewhere else, but instead I decided that our communities needed a pharmacy and that I could do something about it. Almost a year ago Winthrop was in jeopardy of losing our grocery store and again my husband and I had to sit down and ask the same questions about the future. Now my husband owns the grocery store. And here we are today faced with the possible closure of our school district if this levy does not pass. Now we all must sit down and ask ourselves: What do we want for the future of our communities and what can we do about it?

Megan Schmidt

Winthrop

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