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July 31, 2014 7:15 am

EDITORIAL: Commissioners wrong to spread false information about boundary agreement

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs down to two Park County commissioners, who are members of the Park County Boundary Board, for spreading disinformation about the proposal to expand the boundaries of the Powell school district.

Commissioners Joe Tilden and Loren Grosskopf made false and misleading statements during a radio interview last week. They claimed the district could pocket up to $185,000 for adding students from the Mammoth-Hot Springs area to the district.

The students have and will continue to attend school in Gardiner, Mont., but the state of Wyoming will reimburse the Montana district for its costs. However, the commissioners claimed, incorrectly, that since Wyoming spends about $5,000 more per pupil than Montana does, Powell schools would pocket the difference.

Wrong. Park County School District No. 1 Superintendent Kevin Mitchell was blunt: The district will not make a cent off this. It’s something that has been explained to the Boundary Board before — Gardiner schools will be repaid for the cost of educating these Wyoming children, who for some reason have never been part of a school district.

The commissioners are claiming their assertions are based on information they received from the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office.

We trust they are not playing politics and stirring up resentment of the federal government with a Republican primary election just ahead. We’ll hope they were merely confused.

Let’s move on from this topic, commissioners.

Thumbs down to the loss of the Powell High School alumni all-class reunion.

Organizers told Powell Tribune Publisher Dave Bonner last week that the 2015 gathering, the 100th annual event, will be the last such celebration of the community and its schools. However, there is a potential the event could be revived.

They are planning what sounds like a wonderful reunion next summer, with a barbecue replacing the banquet, music and sporting events and a parade. While those are tentative plans, they sound promising.

The fact is, the people who have put on these events are tired. They have served long and well. We think there is a great deal of potential in a relaunched all-class gathering.

Who’s going to step up to make it happen?

Thumbs up to the continued impressive performance of the Powell school district in handling its budget.

The school board recently received a report from Mary Jo Lewis, the coordinator of business services, who said the district is in “excellent financial condition.” Its reserve funds are holding steady. Employees are receiving raises. Even the food service program, which in other districts is struggling with new federal guidelines on fruits and vegetables that must be served to students, is doing very well.

Board members applauded the administration for its foresight and expert work with finances. We think local taxpayers should join in that hand.

It looks like straight A work to us.

Thumbs down to the use of the term “retarded.”

It hurts, it’s wrong and it’s a lousy choice. Please pick another term when you wish to express such a feeling of disdain or disagreement.

Right now on Facebook, a photo of a cute little girl, who apparently has Down syndrome, is circulating. She is holding a sign that states: “Please don’t use the word retarded. I am a beautiful person. I am Isabella!”

Isabella is smart and knows how hurtful the “R-word” can be, so please learn a lesson from her. For more information and insight, go to www.r-word.org.

Thumbs up to another enjoyable Park County Fair.

It’s hard to believe the annual summer celebration has passed and now we must wait 51 weeks for its return. But we enjoyed the sights, sounds, the people and the animals, the food and the fun.

It was more than fair — it was fabulous.

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