Finding a solution

I created this blog because I hoped it would be part of a solution. Our community daycare isn’t perfect. It is, though, very important to this little village we call home. I’ve said it in other places on this site–my wife and I don’t care if we, personally, lose our daycare service in it’s current form. We have other options. I have put hours and hours of my volunteer time into this project because I know child care is so important to our community’s future. I also recognize this relationship between the City and the School and the community as something really special.

This blog, I hope, will create a dialogue that has not been available before. Talking to each other, right in front of each other, about this issue IS the solution. Fighting about it and spreading misimformation (from both sides) and keeping the discussion in camps and filing petitions is NOT a solution. Neither “side” is right, and neither is wrong. We will never “solve” this, or anything else, unless we all are willing to enter a discussion with an open mind. None of us can learn anything by telling–we have to listen. We each need to enter this conversation with the possiblity that we might learn something that will change our opinion or worldview. If not, we’re all wasting breath.

I’ve said it before–dialogue, not legal fights, is the only solution that will fix this issue. An election will fix nothing–it just means that some people will win and some will lose. It won’t change anybody’s mindset. Open conversation is the only path to a solution.

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9 comments so far

  1. KRISTEN HEAD on

    I am a huge proponent of good quality daycare that is safe, comforting, educational & reliable. I haven’t spent any amount of time at the daycare, but I think we have that here. It would be great to keep it. I don’t think there is one soul in the community or who are clients of the daycare that would argue the importance of having the facility that is here.

    I believe the true issues are (1) who should provide the funding for any financial shortcomings at the daycare? AND (2) how should it be done? Unfortunately, the real issues have been clouded by a lot of immature and unprofessional personal attacks by. The people who have written blogs, made comments on the street, in social settings or in official meetings are mostly experienced, professional people in various positions of responsibility in life AND YET so many have behaved in such a manner that is really disappointing and leaves me disgusted. If I hear, “my sources told me blah blah blah was said,” from anyone again, I’ll be ill. No one here has sources. None of us works for CNN, the FBI or obviously, any other intelligence gathering organization. Sources equate to heresay. Unless you heard it with your own ears, it doesn’t count.

    Daycare is a business, albeit not a highly profitable one, I would like to see it break even. The daycare can’t run in the red for perpetuity.

    Is it fair for people who pay property taxes in the city of Montrose to have to subsidize daycare for people who have made the conscious decision to have children and work? Is it fair for people who do not pay taxes in the city of Montrose to use city tax dollars to ease their daycare expenses? Do I think I should have to pay for someone else’s child to receive daycare and would I expect someone to do that for me? I don’t think so, but life is not fair. This is a complicated issue with very good and reasonable arguments on both sides.

    A lot of children receive public school educations whose parents never, ever pay a dime in property taxes. We, as South Dakotans, have chosen to forego state income tax in favor of other forms of income. The theory exists that those who can afford to own property can afford to subsidize taxpayer programs. Willie Ellis always said, “If you have to pay taxes, don’t bitch. It means you’re making money.” But, all taxpayers like to say where our tax dollars should go and typically it is for the programs that will benefit that particular taxpayer the most OR programs that the particular taxpayer has an emotional attachment to. I don’t think I should be required to subsidize someone else’s daycare bill, but that’s not my area of interest, since I have no children.

    It would just seem to me, that the budget is so close to being balanced, there has to be a logical solution. But we have to remember, logic has nothing to do with emotion. All parties involved need to use their heads and set their hearts aside. I want to see an end to the bad behaviors and insults.

    As far as the numbers, I don’t know what to believe. I have seen three different sets come out of the city finance office in two days and other people seem to be quoting yet other numbers. The only way to resolve this may be to involve impartial outsiders (the courts/lawyers) or the ballot box. The citizens in this country are all endowed with a certain set of inaliable rights. This means people on either side of any issue and they should not be degraded for exercising their rights even if one does not agree with them.

  2. joe bart on

    It’s funny, Kris, that you scold me and others (deservedly so) for complaining about people’s actions with insults. It seems to me you’re doing the same thing here, right?…

    Actually, I thank you for it. We’re all grown ups. I’m glad you air your opinion on this blog and wish more people would. Your point is well taken with me, and I’ve crossed out any referrence I’ve made to heresay in posts on this site.

    The last thing on earth that will solve this issue in our community is the courts or a lawyer. As you know, in the court and at the ballot box there is always a winner and a loser. If your assumption about people wanting a daycare here in our community is true, then nobody has to lose. There is only one way to find that “logical solution” you and many others seek–it’s real dialogue. Not rumors or mudslinging or backstabbing. Real conversation, with an open heart and mind. I invite you to help lead us in that direction.

    Nobody wants to see our little village sink. I beleive we all want it to grow and thrive. We as a community have an opportunity to heal some wounds and work together to come up with a better way of providing an important service here. If there is a better way (and there certainly is), then let’s do it. I think everybody would agree to that. But we won’t find that better way by bickering and referrendums. Petitions are certainly everybody’s right, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right way to solve THIS issue.

  3. KRISTEN HEAD on

    Obviously, I’m not the proficient and clear writer that I thought I was. In my comment, I did not point a finger at either side and thought I had been successful. Alas, I have heard the “he said, she said” from people who are on both sides and from neutral parties. Apparently, we all deserve to be scolded.

  4. Charla on

    “Open conversation is the only path to a solution.”
    How will we do this in ourcommunity. This blog is certainly not the answer. We need to find a means to communicate with all generational types of our community in a positive manner to get them to understand the economic importance of daycare in our community.

    Most of the “silent generation” (born in 1924-1945) and “baby boomers” (born in 1946-1964) probably do not have access to a computer to voice their own concerns on this blog.

    “Generation X” (1965-1976) and “Generation Y” (1988-1997) will have no problem learning and getting info from a blog.

    So where does the communication need to begin.

    I think that it would have been best to discuss it rationally and open mindedly with the parties involved rather than taking the irrational route and file a petition.

    If all it would take to get in the ‘black’ at year end is to raise rates a few cents, then discussing that would have been better than the lashing out in whatever way it was done.

    I know the negative way is the easiest way, myself included. It is hard to be positive in a world that thrives on negativity.

    Lets all step back, take a breath and work on a positive solution.

  5. joe bart on

    Charla, you are so right about this blog not reaching a big portion of our community. I beleive it is not too late to have that rational and open minded conversation. Why don’t we set up a community gathering of some sort?

    Please, everyone, share your thoughts on this…

  6. KRISTEN HEAD on

    Thanks for a GREAT & POSITIVE post! I was feeling really frustrated up to this point with all parties involved. This is refreshing.

  7. joe bart on

    This is a comment that Darla, a former Montrose resident who still owns a house here, asked me to post for her. I do not know Darla, but she does read this blog, so if you have comments for her, please leave them here….

    “I am one of the homeowners that are trying to sell their home in Montrose. The daycare has been a long on going issue. If at the time the daycare would have gone to the vote of the people who is to say that it would not have been approved. The issue has always been if the daycare is making money or not? If the council would have been up front all along with the numbers maybe this would not have happen.

    I feel that there is a need for the daycare in Montrose; yes it might provide just a few families. But it is a good asset whether should the city should be involved in the owning it is an issue. I know from the realtors whom have shown houses in Montrose the prospective buyers always ask about the school, if their are daycares in the area. I feel that this issue has gone too far and it has gotten way out hand. If the people of Montrose would just cool down including the council and it board and the finance officer would stand back and think about and the other parties involved with the petition just try and do what ever is best for the whole community and realize that we are in the 21 st Century, and gone are the days of stay at home mothers and fathers. If they are going to pursue this issue.

    What issue will be next the pool and the ball fields? After all any one who is a resident of Montrose can run for council. I think if people just calm and down and try to figure out some positive things for the community instead of this fighting things would be better. I do think the council needs to think more about what is best for the whole community and not vote themselves a raise and the finance officer a raise when all the people of the community here is the city doesn’t have any money things would go smoother . If the current finance officer is going to get the kind of raises she has been getting than the finance office should be open more than just a few hours in the morning. After all the other finance officers who proceeded her were only part time and did the same amount of work she does and did it in less time and none of them ever had an assistant to help either . A small town like Montrose doesn’t have to their council members be paid. After all other people who serve on other boards in the community don’t get paid. Everyone in the community should all work together to improve the community and not try and all tear it down. Lets all remember the community and the council all deserve to be informed as to what is going on, not just a select few. Communication is a great thing if it is only is used in the proper way.”

  8. Young Man on

    Darla, you need to slow down and put some thought into what you write. I think I understand what you are trying to say but the less structure you put into your posts the less serious people are going to take you.

  9. Ann Holman on

    I am writing in response to Darla’s comment. Wow. I am shocked. I guess I thought this was a daycare blog not an out-and-out ‘bash on the Montrose City Council’ blog. First of all, school board members DO get paid for being on the school board therefore the city council isn’t the only group of board members that get paid. Please get your facts straight. Secondly, you talk about city council members being all fired up about the daycare issue. Unless you talked to each and every one of us personally how can you know how we felt. I don’t recall you being at any city council meeting either to find out. Last I checked you don’t even live here anymore.

    I am not trying to be mean or say you don’t have a right to your opinion but take some time to read your personal attacks. If it makes you feel better to write those things about the city council and the finance officer that is fine but I didn’t think the place for it was on the Daycare blog. I can take constructive criticism but not personal attacks.


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