To the editor:

As concerned students of Madison Consolidated High School we feel the need to call attention to the upcoming referendum vote. We are real, living, breathing students of Madison High School and no matter the outcome of the vote on May 6th, as students, we will endure the aftermath. We walk the halls and smell the sewage. We walk the halls and dodge the trash cans set up for collecting the rain seeping through the deteriorating ceiling tiles. We sit in classrooms where the temperature is controlled by opening and closing the windows.

We openly invite you to walk the crumbling halls with us and experience the conditions we have no choice but to live with.

Whether your planned vote for May 6th is yes or no, it is a well known fact that Madison Consolidated High School is dilapidated and in need of repair.

While taxes are a sensitive subject, they can not be avoided when addressing the referendum. No, as students we do not pay property taxes, but we understand that people do not wish to pay more than they already do. While as students do not pay property taxes we do have to live with the conditions that tax payers choose to provide for us. With the majority of students not able to voice their opinions by voting, it is unfair to say our opinions do not matter simply because we do not pay property taxes. We may not understand taxes but we do understand what sewage and electrical fires smell like.

As students we are counting on voters to make a positive difference in our lives. We ask you to please stand up for what is right for every deserving student of MCHS and vote yes on May 6th.

Lauren Anderson, Clarke Vaughn, Alex Thurnall, Macky Hecox, Calvin Willhite, Kelli Tereshko, Scott King, Katie Browning,

Alex Nunan, Luke Lipps,

Sam McIlvain, Richelle Cassell, Colyn Clarke

To the editor:

As the new principal at E. O. Muncie Elementary School, I am so happy to be part of the Madison community. This referendum is essential to our continued goal of providing the best quality education possible to the students of Madison.

Having served as an educator, principal, and consultant in several different states and many different buildings, I can honestly say that E. O. Muncie is in dire need of structural repair and requires a tremendous amount of upgrading to match the standards of other schools.

Student safety, and creating an optimal learning environment for students, is the priority of this school district.

Voting YES for the referendum will allow us to address the learning needs of all students attending E. O. Muncie Elementary, and give the school district an opportunity to create an optimal learning environment for our students to excel in each day.

I urge you to support Madison Consolidated Schools in our effort to provide the students with the kind of learning environment they need to prepare them for a successful future.

Vote YES for our kids.

Vote YES for our community.

Leslie J May


Principal, E.O. Muncie Elementary School

To the editor:

The school referendum is a crucial decision in Madison's history. It really is the turning point for the future.

Are we going to invest or not? That's the question all voters are getting ready to answer on May 6.

There are many hot topics floating out there: Why should we pay for it? What have they done until now? How could they let it get this bad? Who should be held accountable? But for most people, the biggest question is in the numbers.

I've heard several different numbers thrown out there, but here is a number that I haven't heard - 240,000. You may ask: What the heck does 240,000 mean?

To give you some background, I am a person that was a part of the referendum from the start of the task force, to the proposal, all the way to being a part of the team that helped promote the solution the task force came up with.

I am a lifelong resident of Madison. I am a graduate of MCS. I am a parent. I am invested! I set out to make a difference for my kids, and for my community. You can say it is in my blood.

How do we make Madison better? We start at the foundation of any successful venture. Education. The minute you stop investing in the future is the minute you begin to regress and fall into past mistakes and failures. Why would you settle? What message do we send our kids? I don't think many realize just how bad it is, because they just got used to the idea that this is all we deserve or maybe they just don't care. It's the whole, "I don't have to go there, so why should I pay for it" attitude.

So what's 240,000 mean? It is an estimated number that I came up with to better make my point. Kind of like the $68 million number people have been throwing out there to make their point. You don't have to agree with it. You don't even have to understand it as long as someone else says it 100 times. Kind of like no one cares that I think their number is a scare tactic of "Worst Case Scenario" to make people change their minds when in reality it will not even come close to that number, but heck if I can get 20 more people thinking that way it must be true.

My number, 240,000, represents the number of people that will go through the school over the life of the bond. I estimated the minimum number of individuals who will walk the halls of this establishment. Those who will use our gym and auditorium. People who will be visiting from other cities for our events. Parents and grandparents who will be honored to come and sit through a long-awaited graduation. I took the number of students (I used a round number of 200 students per grade level), sporting event attendees (maybe 40 various events at 100 people each), school plays (500 people for 8 events), graduation (3,500 people), and an other category (100 people for 5 outside events) added all together. Then I multiplied it by 20 (life of the bond). I came up with a number to show the minimum impact on people that will go through the High School over 20 years. I think the number is grossly conservative, but how can you accurately predict the future?

I know that people will tear this comment apart over the numbers, "you under valued this number, or you over valued that number." The point is, how can you put a number on the value of good this project can do? Why should you focus on the negatives?

We should invest in the community's future through the foundation of our education. Maybe if we upgrade what we have, we can then start focusing on bringing new businesses to Madison.

Start bringing new jobs to those who need them. Let's jump-start the economy. I'm not OK with the status quo. Ask yourself if you could pay $100 to make $1,000, would you? Of course you would. It goes with the old adage, "it takes money, to make money".

Should we invest, or should we not invest? I can't make up your mind. I can't give the right number or idea to accurately predict the outcome. All I can do is tell you how I plan to make a difference. I will continue to do all I can to make Madison the best it can be. I will vote yes on May 6th.

Andrew Garrett


To the editor:

Vote No!

I live in Republican Township and have property in Graham Township so I can be taxed without the ability to vote either way. The real burden of a tax hike will fall on the farmers. They own land that feeds everyone.

As their costs increase either their commodities sell for more or they go out of business. Ultimately the cost of food is affected.

The real reason to vote no is that the school board has rushed to judgment in planning to build. Anderson was declared unfit and now we need to rework it?

E.O. Muncie flipped also. It is now dangerous? Maintenance issues at the high school? Who has been minding the store for the last few years?

Being a maintenance professional I am very surprised that working systems have not been maintained. Every mechanical and fluid system requires regular upkeep. Why has this been overlooked? The average dollars per student at Madison is well above the schools in neighboring counties, yet those students are not educationally deprived. $40 million can buy a lot, however in this case it is a very poor value to finance a new look, rather than educational advances.

Randy Gray