The results are in, and I'm pleased to say I've been elected to the East Penn School Board! I will work hard to represent the best interests of everyone in our community, both those who voted for me and those that did not. Congratulations too to Mr. Earnshaw, Ms. Heid, and Mrs. Fuller, who also won seats on the board. I look forward to working with the other school directors to building on the tradition of excellence in our district.
I've learned an enormous amount over the course of this campaign. First and foremost, I've learned how much time, effort, and energy of others is required to run a successful campaign. I've received untold amounts of that help from many of you, some who I've known for many years and others who I've only recently met. Your tireless efforts, your insights, and your steady stream of encouragement are what made the difference in this election. This truly was a team effort.
This is it! I've knocked on over a thousand doors and written dozens of articles as part of this campaign. I've sent postcards, made phone calls, given public speeches, put up yard signs, and done all the work I've learned is part of this process. In short, I've done my level best to let our community know about the issues I believe are most important to our school district, and the ways I would approach those issues as a school board member. Not only that, many volunteers throughout the district have given hundreds of hours of their time and energy to help in the effort.
Now It's Your Turn
It is now up to the community to decide who would best represent them as school board members. Polls are open tomorrow (Tuesday, November 5th) from 7am until 8pm. If you are unsure of your polling location, you can find it here.
Please vote for me, Z.W. Munson, for school board. Please also vote for the other pro-education candidates in this race: Francee Fuller, Alan Earnshaw, and Rebecca Heid. We have not run as a unified "team" and may not agree on every issue. But we do share a common commitment to putting our community ahead of political party, letting the facts guide our decisions rather than the other way around, and doing what is right for the school district and taxpayers.
Have an Even Greater Impact
Want to multiply your voice in this important local election? Call a friend or family member, or someone at your church or workplace, and ask them to go vote with you. If every pro-education voter brings one other person who might not otherwise vote to the polls, we will win by a landslide.
Good schools really do matter!
How can we best keep taxes as low as possible while maintaining excellent schools in our district? A key part of any balanced, responsible answer to this question is the need for better regional planning and smart growth policies in our boroughs and townships. Uncontrolled growth creates more costs to taxpayers than the additional tax revenue it generates. The school district is hit particularly hard, as they must expand programs, hire new teachers, and in some cases build new schools to accommodate the families that move in to unchecked housing developments.
Ron Beitler recently made this point in a blog post discussing how preserving green space helps keep local property taxes low. Economic impact studies consistently show that building new housing subdivisions cost local taxpayers between $1.04 and $1.67 for every new $1 in revenue they generate (depending on the type of housing, its location, etc.). The private developers who build wherever and whenever they can do not bear these costs, taxpayers do...forever.
Fiscal responsibility means paying attention to facts about what policies lead to higher taxes. Reigning in uncontrolled tract home development is one of the many things our community can do to stop rising school costs.
(For more information about the economic benefits of smart growth, see the recent "Building Better Budgets" report that summarizes the findings of 17 different studies nationwide.)