To the editor:
The Salem vote on March 11 to renovate Salem High School will have a huge impact on the economic vitality of the town. No one who has visited the high school can deny that it is dangerously worn out and no longer suited to educate students for the 21st century.
The high school is the centerpiece of Salem, and it is a reflection of the people who live in the town. If people are negative or indifferent to its children or the upkeep of its resources, in the long run they will see a negative impact on the value of their own properties. Outside businesses that might want to invest in Salem and young families that might want to buy a house and raise their families here will look to locate in towns with more energy and civic spirit. Some people have not forgotten that Salem was the second to last town in the entire country to adopt public kindergarten.
Seniors like myself who don’t have children in the school might vote to be “penny wise and pound foolish,” saving a few dollars on the tax rate now but losing thousands of dollars in the value of our houses when eventually we have to sell.
Some might say we can put it off for now. That logic leads to the old saying, “Pay me now or pay me a lot more later!”
Seniors like me might not have children in school but we do have grandchildren in other towns. In those places, grandparents are paying for my grandchildren. I feel I should do likewise for them.
Remember that it takes a village to raise a child!
Richard J. O’Shaughnessy