Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 28, 2013

Vote ‘Yes’ April 2 for bond issue

Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Dear Editor,


I would like to share some facts asked for by Dave Brown in a letter published in the Daily Iowegian on 3/26/13. I plan to state facts and will advise if I dip into my opinion.

Taxes were raised in 2012 vs. 2011. This was published in board minutes and explained at the school informational sessions. The board did this to build the cash reserve back up to an acceptable level to cover summer costs paid out while not receiving revenue in, avoiding interest costs some schools incur by not having this reserve. The cash reserve decreased after the school budget cuts of 10 percent in 2009-2010. The reserve is now at the acceptable level, helping offset the proposed bond payment without impacting current tax rates.

The school bought the old trailer park and storage units on the adjacent lots.  This was voted on by the school board, coming out of the SILO tax funds.  This is a normal operating decision school board members are allowed to make.  This was a growth decision for future needs, not land locking the school property. The school receives approximately $1,000/month in rental income from the storage units.  This income alone provides a payback to the school within five-six years. That is better than some for-profit businesses expect from their investments.

There are 17 students graduating, which we will not have to accommodate in the future. Moravia has record numbers of students housed in the current structure. Classes were bigger in the 1960-1970s, there was also a three story building for the elementary, which included a gym. Education requirements and expectations are different today.  The elementary classes are experiencing the growth with projections not going down for several years.  Three high school class rooms have been turned over to meet current elementary academic demands, athletically we are letting this group down. The high school and junior high are utilizing rooms not intended for large groups of people or splitting a room in half with a partition to offer the classes needed. Where will they all fit if we don’t add more classrooms practice facilities? Are we looking ahead at future needs? The school board has.

I am glad teachers see Moravia as an employer worth making a commute for. I trust they are being hired on merit, not their address.

The Facebook statement referenced was in regards to a one-on-one conversation the individual had with someone and was trying to “jab” them about their age as a joke. Whether it should have been on a public domain can be debated. People were encouraged to get the “facts” so thought I would provide them, not aware of anyone reaching out for them before now.

Different government agencies have confirmed there is not a Mr. Dave Brown in the Moravia community school voting district.  

Word count limits only allowed me to state facts, not my opinion. Please consider these before casting your vote on April 2.

Not ashamed/embarrassed sharing my real name,


Michelle Babbitt