Sometimes ‘good’ isn’t good enough

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

When it comes to building a better community and laying a stronger foundation for success, we should not just settle for good.

James C. Collins, made this point in his book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.”

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools,” he wrote. “We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

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When it comes to jumping the hurdle from good to great, money is often at the root of the problem. When it comes to schools and local government, the much-needed money for projects that propel districts or communities from good to great comes from the taxpayers’ pockets.

No one wants to pay more taxes, but we understand there is a price we must pay to create more opportunities for our children and our community.

The Clark County Board of Education explored the option of raising its tax rate last week and ultimately decided the proposed increase wasn’t in the best interest of the community. The board opted to keep the tax rates the same for 2018 rather than implementing the allowed increase of 2 cents per every $100 of assessed value on real and personal property.

We applaud them for this decision, but more importantly, we applaud the board for being good stewards of the Clark County taxpayers’ money in recent years.

The district has done so many positive things including much-needed consolidation, new facilities, free meals for all students and picking up the cost for basic supplies.

It is this good stewardship that allowed the board to make a decision that gives taxpayers a much-needed break from the regular school tax increases that have become expected in recent years.

The proposal would have equated to about a $20 annual increase for someone with a home assessed at $100,000. While that seems like a small price to pay for some, annual increases can add up to be a large burden on the taxpayer. While we know this decision not to increase taxes will cost the district about $150,000, the district is in a good financial position with a hefty cash reserve.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be an opportunity to explore how a tax increase can benefit the district in the future.

Next year, we challenge board members in favor of the increase to bring detailed plans to the table as to how they feel these additional funds could be used to improve programs and attract top-notch educators. We hope to see those in favor of the tax rate increase “sell” it to the community and to their fellow board members.

We also hope the community shows more active interest in the process by attending the tax hearing and making their voices heard.

Part of any proposal needs to center on marketing the district to potential residents and making sure everyone knows all the great things going on here in Clark County.

Good simply isn’t good enough when it comes to our schools and our youth, but a measured approach will pay off in the end.