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Salaries should overshadow buildings

All of the talk about building a new school reminded me of a discussion I had with a city employee years ago. The employee told me that every time they would ask for a raise, a young city manager would remind them that the city was and would always be a bedroom community of Kansas City.

The idea of building a new school is to “be able to compete on a level with Kansas City!” I have always been told that businesses and schools here pay within a certain percentage of the salaries of Kansas City, but we must not pay equally. Why not?

If a district or a city, for that matter, wants to compete with a large city such as Kansas City, shouldn’t pay be commensurate with what that position is in Kansas City?

If the answer is that we don’t have the money to pay for salaries, maybe you also don’t have a good enough tax base to support a brand new building. If you don’t have the revenue to support a building for quality education, maybe you shouldn’t build it.

There has been conversation in town where Harvard College has been brought up. The answer has been Harvard has a large endowment. True, but it also shows that if there is enough money that will lead to a good education, success will be attained no matter the type of structure there is, even if it is old.

John Reese

St. Joseph

It’s never too late to say thanks

When times are good, be grateful, and when times are tough, be graceful. —Dustin Poirier

Our 2020 season ended in a way no one in the office could have ever expected. After months of pre-planning, innumerable adjustments to 25-plus year policies and procedures, and pounds of anxiety, not only did the 2020 Adopt-A-Family season end successfully, it was completed earlier than any year in current memory! This blessing would have never happened without the generosity of our faithful donors, volunteers and adopters.

An early finish to the season definitely had its benefits. The apprehension and anxiety adoptees experience as they wait to hear from adopters was alleviated days before the holiday instead of stretching out to Christmas Eve. It gave them time to wrap gifts, stuff stockings and enjoy their time together. Loyal adopters and donors could rest easy, knowing all applicants had been helped without last-minute adoptions that can include frantic, last-minute shopping and delivering. Agency staff and devoted volunteers were able to enjoy the holidays with their families as well, some spending time with family on Christmas Eve for the first time in years.

Who would have thought that a year that started so stressfully for so many of our friends and neighbors could end so joyfully and bring peace to so many families? For more than 30 years the Adopt-A-Family program has relied on our community’s generosity to provide for those who need it during the holiday season. It is remarkable that this community has always come through and never let one of them down.

Many organizations will say they cannot succeed without community support, but this program would not exist without all of you. It’s more than making a donation, giving your time, or going shopping – it’s understanding the importance of giving and knowing just how devastating it can be for the children, seniors and adults who would otherwise go without. On behalf of our agency staff, board and the families adopted in 2020, thank you. To them, and all of us at AFL-CIO Community Services, you are the best gift they can possibly receive.

Penny Adams

Executive Director, AFL-CIO Community Services

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