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Anne Boyer
May 8, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I'm sure most if not all have seen the great Reinbeck commercials running on TV. I'm proud that our town is working to grow and I think that it is money well spent promoting the great things Reinbeck is doing. That leads me to the purpose of my letter. I would like to reach out to the members of our community to express my concern and hopefully my encouragement for the support of yet another expansion to the Little Rebels Learning Center. The center is in desperate need of more room as they are turning families AWAY! That means people are choosing to move elsewhere. I would like to start by saying that while the daycare and preschool were a key component in our decision to move to Reinbeck, I personally have nothing to gain by this expansion as neither of my children require their services anymore. With that said, I believe we ALL have something to gain from the expansion because it supports the growth of the school and ultimately our community! Just to provide some background, the initial center was funded by the city and school district- each paid half. For the second expansion the community (which included some very generous individuals) pulled together and fully funded the build, because the city said it was the community's turn and that they didn't have the finances to support a contribution. For this third expansion, the G-R school board has agreed to fund $180,000, the city is being asked to contribute $180,000 and the remaining will need to be funded by private donation and the Little Rebels Learning Center themselves. You may ask what is different this time around with the city's finances? To answer this question, the city received a significant and generous gift from the Grimm Memorial to the tune of approximately $500,000. I sat at the council meeting last night and listened as they discussed a possible contribution to the expansion. I was discouraged to watch the meeting as it seemed our Mayor was working in an underhanded matter and appeared to be threatening the council members and making them feel as though they weren't doing their job if they supported the contribution. All 5 of the council members are intelligent and capable individuals and were elected to make decisions that are best for our community. I felt that the audience and council was treated in a very condescending, disciplinary and insulting manner. I could expand my discussion of the political nature of the meeting but I'd like to get to what's important- the learning center expansion. Mayor Johnson made it very clear that he has no interest in supporting funding for the expansion. In fact, it was clear he had done a lot of private planning to "make his case" for this, but I believe he fell short. His explanation of his concern to save the money for city bills is certainly an understandable and logical one but his argument doesn't hold value when you dig to the core of the problem and REAL physical and financial growth of the city. He expressed that the city council is responsible for a list of items, streets, water, etc. and nowhere on that list is a daycare. I heard about a slide at the pool that needs to be fixed and roof leak at the fitness center that needs fixing among other maintenance items. What Mayor Johnson failed to discuss was how city funding works and what it takes to grow that on a long-term basis, so I'll cover that now. I think that the council needs to ask themselves basic questions when they try to understand what their responsibility is. Where does the majority of the funding for city bills and functions come from? Taxes. Where does the tax money come from? People. How do you get more tax money? More people. How do you get more people? You provide the BASIC services to support their family and provide them with a great place to live and work. I'm certain that fixing the slide at the pool won't bring them in. I'm fairly certain the fitness center isn't going to bring them to town. I'm confident that jobs, housing, schooling and CARE for their children WILL be what brings people to town. We shouldn't be relying on gifts to support our everyday budget and basic maintenance bills. Our current tax base should support those functions. I think it would be irresponsible of our council to not utilize that gift money on something that supports GROWTH of our community. In my eyes, that's LONG-TERM planning which is something our close-minded Mayor wants to ignore. I think Mr. Grimm would be pleased to know that a portion of his gift was utilized to develop and support this community for many, many years to come. Only a portion of the gift money would be utilized, leaving a significant amount (the majority, in fact) for continued support of our community. I would like to personally acknowledge Council members Linder, Muller and Bunz for seeing the big picture and having vision for the growth of our community! It is my understanding that the matter will again be discussed at the June council meeting. I would like to encourage our community members to reach out and express your support of this expansion by private donation or encouraging your council members to do the right thing to support and GROW our community. Let's keep making Reinbeck the town that does good things better- Please support the Little Rebels Learning Center Expansion!

Sincerely,

Anne Boyer

Reinbeck

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