To the Editor:

One of the issues before the voters this year concerns a budget override for the Vail Schools. I would like to provide some reasons why everyone should vote in favor of the override.

Reason #1 – The cost/benefit ratio says to vote yes. Vail is a community comprised 83% of owner occupied homes (source: The median value of those homes is $215,000 while the median value of homes in Arizona is $166,000. What makes our homes more valuable than homes in the state as a whole? It isn’t our beautiful lakes – we have none. It isn’t the pristine forests, we have none. It isn’t our huge manufacturing base, we have none. It isn’t the great Port of Vail and the international commerce it brings – there is none. It is the quality of our schools. The Arizona Education Department places Vail as #9 in the state and #1 in southern Arizona (source: AZ Education Department). At a cost of $5.00 (yes, five dollars) per month we can maintain the excellence of our schools. It is the excellence of our schools that drives the premium we can realize for our homes. I challenge anyone to drive along Route 10 from the New Mexico border to the California border and look at the billboards. Other than Vail, not a single one of them advertising homes for sale uses the school district as a selling point.

Reason #2 – The price we pay for defeating the override says to vote yes. My wife is a retired teacher. She taught in the Vail schools as well as a school district in New York State. In New York one year, a radical Taxpayers group got control of the local Board of Education and proceeded to save the taxpayers money by eliminating teachers and the courses they taught.They eventually trimmed the teacher roster and the course listings down to the State mandated minimum. As a result, the students in that school district found it very difficult to get accepted to any 4 year college because they had only the minimum educational preparation.We, the adults, will pay a price for such foolishness if we defeat the override. Our children are the people who will be paying for our Social Security. They can either fund it with high paying jobs, or not – we make that decision this November.

Reason #3 – Remembering why we came to Vail says to vote yes. Vail itself exists in only two places –the US Postal Service and the School District. Otherwise, it is simply an unincorporated expanse of desert with no character and no function. Our sense of community is wrapped up in our schools. The better the schools, the better the community. We have a moral obligation to provide the best for our children, including the best in education that we can afford. With a median household income in Vail of over $75,000 per year (source:, I am sure we can afford $5.00 per month.

There are more reasons to vote YES, and they all center around what is the RIGHT thing to do. The only reason to vote NO that I can think of revolves around $5.00 per month.

Steven Katz, Vail Resident

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