To the Editor,

These are tough times. Upper Scioto Valley is still in recovery mode, but none the less has adopted a heritage of taking care of our students and we can't let them or one another down now.

As a community, we have a civic responsibility to cast our ballots on or before May 7 for two important issues in our district, and I hope voters will take the time to inform themselves about the 1.7 millage permanent improvement 3 year levy and the 4.8 millage, five-year operational levy renewal that will be on the ballot. The permanent improvement levy will provide money for repairs of the roof and other areas of the building, while the renewal levy is for continued operating money.

It is important voters first understand the 4.8 millage tax renewal, which means no additional money is being requested for a period of five years. It is important to understand that both levies are property tax issues. The renewal for most will be a zero increase in cost, and depending on the property, the tax for school purposes could actually be less. Actual figures vary from property to property. The 1.7 millage issue is also property based, and will be a net cost of $52 per year per $100,000 worth of home value collected only for three years. It is not just the district that will suffer if the issues fail, but our self-esteem, our pride our honor and most of all our students.

Your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and family friends are the students of our future. Our school is truly the best thing the RAM community has. The district has an incredible number of long-term residents that have raised their families and taken advantage of the education offered in the Upper Scioto Valley School District.

As a board of education member, I have been active helping progress our district forward. It is fairly common for many to say the schools need to cut more. I would encourage you to look at the facts behind the numbers. Cuts have been made from staffing, postage, electricity, cleaning supplies and paper, there have been cuts across the board. Many different stories can be told using the same data.

If you disagree with personal, salaries, administrative positions, coaches among other issues; those are issues related to those elected to the Board of Education. Sending the message by voting to derail our educational system and our efforts to fix our facility is not the answer. I hope we can place ill-fated feelings in the past and continue to support a district and administration seeking to rebuild and grow.

As a sophomore board of education member, I am biased about the need to pass this renewal levy, but I also understand the need. As a recent graduate of USV, I received an outstanding education which began to prepare me for my future. Certainly, I am biased.

However, I believe there are a lot of residents who share my bias and passion for this community and this school. The hundreds of community members who enjoy watching a sporting event in the Alumni Field House, the residents who support our students in the theatre, or even the community benefits for those in need; residents always seem to show up and step up in big ways and support our students. It is time to stand up and send the message that our school is distinguished and deserves our continued support and restored confidence.

Please join me and vote YES for both levies and ensure a bright future for our students and our community. Just like at a sporting event, I believe in USV. Do you believe? If you have questions or concerns regarding these levies, please seek out those answers from district administrators. Be part of the solution for the best interest of our students.

Spencer C. Williams

USV Board of Education Member