Ding Dong, the Levy’s Passed

As the editorial board of the OHS MagNet, our thoughts are:

This morning, many people awoke hopeful and eager, wondering if the levy had passed. The news woke people up and many went to school or work cheery eyed. Though safe to say not a person is thrilled about the impending tax increase, but many are relieved that the Owatonna School District will continue to run with engines blazing for the next seven years. School board and active community members can rest easy, knowing that they no longer have to worry about staff cuts, minimized classroom opportunities, and a dent in the Owatonna community. When the unofficial preliminary election votes were closed, “yes” had earned 4052 while “no” had earned 2890.

Wait, what? Please add those together.

Yes, Owatonna only had 6942 votes cast in its most recent election.

It need not matter whether you voted yes or no last evening, what mattered was that you did.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Owatonna in 2012 was 25,421. If the only requirements to cast your vote on Nov. 5 were to have been 18 years of age and be a resident of Owatonna, MN, than where were the rest of the qualified voters? It’s true that there could be many lurking variables as to why numbers were so low: people may not have considered this a big election and therefore not important or people may not have thought that a vote for the public school system directly applied to them.

Regardless, if a community as involved and committed as the one Owatonna seems to be can only attract 6942 voters, than I wonder at the future of public elections and the seemingly decreasing value of the vote.

However, we want to thank the people who voted, “yes.” You have some very happy teenagers on your hands. Students at the Owatonna High School are thrilled that classes won’t be cut and activities, also, will remain the same. We feel that education is the foundation of a community and Owatonna is no different. When education stands tall, so does the community.

We feel that this levy has shown the character of the Owatonna community. In this town, a levy has never failed to pass. This time is no different. The people of this town truly care about the education of the young people. They have, once again, put aside their own financial worries or needs and have supported giving more money to the school district. They care that the education is first rate and that as students, we are learning as much as possible. People, people we don’t know, care enough about our education and future to willingly give money to the schools. This is the true character of the Owatonna community.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.