Letters to the editor for April 26

My fellow residents of the Monona Grove School District:

As both a parent of children enrolled in the district and having lived in Cottage Grove most of my life, I feel compelled to show my support of our school district, teachers and community. Our community has long focused on building and growing exceptional schools, which has in turn led to the robust growth within our communities. I have personally witnessed the dedication, hard work and perseverance our teachers have shown in these uncertain times. Their ability to continue to innovate, provide high quality education and develop meaningful relationships with our children is nothing short of extraordinary. Engaging our students in virtual learning, delivering meals district wide, and continuing to strive to build family connections while we remain isolated to promote the safety of the community during this crisis, has only highlighted the true importance of our schools and the value of our teachers. Monona Grove educators have gone above and beyond for our children and our community, and in voting Yes, we have a chance to show our support of them.

For those who may be on the fence, or even against the referendum, allow me to clarify some misconceptions. The District’s main purpose of the referendum is to renew an expiring referendum, it is not in fact, all new revenue. The proposed $3.7 million referendum replaces the expiring $2.6 million referendum. The District needs $3.1 million (adjusted for inflation) to replace the previous $2.6 for operational costs. The remaining $600,000 is to provide competitive salaries for our teachers and support staff in order to retain the quality educators we have grown accustomed to in Monona Grove. Should the referendum fail, it will result in teacher and support staff layoffs, which will only hurt our children. I know there are many residents upset with virtual learning. Please understand that this referendum has absolutely nothing to do with any decisions regarding virtual learning. Voting No will only hurt students and teachers who had no control in making that decision. This referendum is unrelated to our current pandemic crisis. Our teachers miss our kids. They want to be back in the classroom as much as we want our kids back in school, as soon as it is safe to do so. Voting yes ensures the District’s current funding will not be interrupted and support for students can continue for years to come.

I urge each and every voting resident of the Monona Grove School District to join me in voting Yes to renew the Monona Grove School District’s operation referendum. We as a community have supported our District and our students in the past. If we do not choose to renew our commitment to our students, at this critical time, there will be cuts to when our students and families need those resources most.

Sincerely,

Devon Anders

Cottage Grove

Dear Editor: My wife and I are parents to 3 young children in the Monona Grove School District. Two of my children have special needs and I can tell you from firsthand experience that the District staff have worked hard to provide all my children with a world-class education.

I’m writing to ask my fellow taxpayers to vote Yes to renew the Monona Grove School District’s operational referendum. There is a lot of misinformation out about the referendum. It is not all new revenue; it’s a renewal of an expiring referendum. The current proposed referendum of $3.7m replaces an expiring $2.6m referendum. Adjusted for inflation, the District needs $3.1m to replace the $2.6, the other $600,000 is to make teacher and support staff salaries more competitive. If the referendum fails, it will mean teacher and support staff layoffs, which will negatively affect the high-quality education our children receive.

During this unprecedented time, District staff have worked hard to support all students and families. From delivering meals to engaging students through virtual instruction and striving to build family connections while we remain isolated, this crisis has highlighted the importance of our schools. Now is the critical time to invest in Monona Grove students. The impact of Covid-19 highlights the role public schools play in supporting families. Please join me in voting YES to renew Monona Grove’s referendum. If we don’t renew our commitment to students, there will be cuts at a time when students and families need resources the most.

David Peterson

As a parent and teacher in the Monona Grove School District, I am writing to express my support for the MGSD’s referendum. As a parent of three children in the District, I see my children’s teachers go above and beyond to make sure they are thriving and growing both academically and socially. As a teacher in the District, I see my colleagues work tirelessly to support all students and families. That work is more challenging in a virtual model, but teachers and support staff are working to build meaningful connections with students and their families while we all remain isolated.

This crisis has highlighted the importance of our schools. As we all do our best to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need this referendum, now more than ever, to ensure that MGSD students have the resources they need to learn and grow.

The proposed referendum of $3.7m replaces an expiring $2.6m referendum. Adjusted for inflation, the District needs $3.1m to maintain current programs supported by the expiring referendum. The additional $600,000 is designated to make teachers’ salaries more competitive. MGSD teachers’ salaries currently lag their peers in Dane County. If this referendum fails, it will mean teacher and support staff layoffs, as well as potential programming cuts throughout the District.

Please join me, and all the community members who support our students, our teachers and our support staff so they can continue to support students.

Sincerely,

Renee Gaudreau

Cottage Grove

As a parent, teacher, coach and longtime resident of the Monona Grove School District I urge everyone to PLEASE VOTE YES to renew the Monona Grove School District’s operational referendum. People who know me, know that I don’t typically speak out and am the last person who would write a letter to the editor in my local newspaper. However in light of the amount of misinformation being circulated regarding the referendum I felt compelled to write.

This referendum is not all new revenue: it’s a renewal of an expiring referendum. The current proposed referendum of $3.7m replaces an expiring referendum from 2016. If the referendum fails it will mean teacher and support staff layoffs which will then negatively impact our students. I see people in our community actively working to ensure this referendum fails due to frustration with the lack of voice and choice with virtual vs in person learning, but it’s important to separate the two issues. I understand everyone’s frustration with virtual learning as I am in the thick of it everyday but voting no only hurts our students and staff who have no control over the decision of being in-person or virtual for learning. I will be voting YES because our students deserve to continue receiving the resources, so they are not forced into larger classes when students return to classrooms. We aren’t voting for what’s going to happen this school year, we are voting for what’s going to happen the next several years. (This vote isn’t just for this school year, but for the future years.) The time is NOW to VOTE YES on Nov. 3rd because we are a community who rallies around our schools and our children regardless of the situation we are in. I love this community because we do what’s best for all students, and voting YES will give students what they need to thrive.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kevin Connor

Cottage Grove

Parking availability on

Tonyawatha

To the mayor and city council members:

First, thanks for the letter and opportunity to comment regarding “Change in Parking on Tonyawatha Trail”. During this pandemic, the foot and bike Traffic has been a parade of people. The parking restrictions were a very good idea.

No parking does present problems for the residents. When residents have lots of company for birthdays, mothers day, Christmas, Thanksgiving etc. parking only on one side is difficult.

We are not sure if the foot and bike traffic will continue after the pandemic. I believe that a wait and see approach is warranted. With or without the pandemic, if the foot and bike traffic continues, parking restriction would provide a better level of safety. If the foot and bike traffic does not come back after winter, no restrictions would be needed.

If we need to continue the “No Parking” restriction, I would suggest considering an alternative solution. Having a Two Hour parking limit on one side, from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM would be a compromise and still add a level of safety. It would allow overnight parking on both sides, and parking when resident have a lot of company.

With the additional boat traffic, parking at the two boats ramps is a premium. Parking on both sides of the street at both boat landings should be allowed.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ken Koscik P.E.

Former Monona City

Engineer, 1970-1975

Local Yard Signs Stolen

To the editor:

The first amendment to the Constitution ensures our right to freedom of speech. This guarantees that my neighbor can fly the confederate flag in his yard unobstructed. It permits the people down the street to write to this paper and express their political views unhindered. It also allows people across town to attend a political protest without fear of repercussions.

Yet it does not advocate for opposing viewpoints to be squelched, repressed, hindered, muzzled, or silenced. This is what is happening in our town.

My choice of political candidate has continually been infringed upon!

Six of my Trump yard signs have been removed in the last four weeks. The Biden yard signs are untouched, but mine are not. This is not freedom of speech. It seems that freedom of speech is only for some people, but not for others. The person(s) removing my signs are apparently above the Constitution. They reserve the right of freedom of speech only for themselves. Opposing views are unacceptable and not allowed in our free society.

Please respect the rights of others, no matter what they may be. The voices and views of all citizens should be protected by that wonderful document – The Constitution.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Cordes

Cottage Grove

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