Time for highway safety
Buses will be running, school bells will be ringing and students at Northland Pines, Phelps and Three Lakes will return to the classroom next Tuesday, Sept. 3.
It’s time to think about highway safety, because nearly three months have passed since motorists saw students waiting for buses on narrow rural roads, crowding crosswalks or biking to school.
State law dictates that all motorists stop their vehicles when they see flashing red lights and an illuminated stoplight on a bus, even on the four-lane highways that surround the city of Eagle River. Though nobody would knowingly risk the life of a child, injury or death could result if motorists don’t think twice about the bus stop they might encounter over the next hill.
Students need to remember that according to the law and the protections it provides, pedestrians should walk on the left side of all roadways that don’t have sidewalks and cyclists should ride on the right side of the road, moving with the traffic. Parents should accompany children until they master those points.
It’s also time to renew our commitment to education. Districts here contain some of the most experienced, most dedicated professionals in education today. They say it takes a community to educate a child, and so it is with any school system. It’s a big investment that pays big dividends, as Wisconsin’s schools are the envy of the nation.
Our tax dollars are not being wasted on mediocre education, but instead are being invested in the leaders of tomorrow. The entire community should take pride in knowing we have some of the best schools in Wisconsin.
Equalizing values is good,
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue recently released the 2012 equalized property valuation figures to counties, municipalities, schools and the public, the purpose of which is to adjust values of various classes of property to match market conditions.
The Department of Revenue is often criticized for inflating property values and increasing taxes, but neither is true. What they do each year equates to fairer taxation in the long run, determining the change in value for each class of property based on actual arm’s-length sales. Those adjustments lead to local changes as assessors eventually keep pace with changes in the marketplace.
No state department can increase property taxes. It is only school boards, county board, town boards and technical colleges that can increase property taxes — through the tax levies they set every fall.
Unfortunately, lingering recessionary times have caused a decline in North Woods property values for the fifth straight year. But commercial values were on the rise last year, signaling to state officials that dropping property values are beginning to stabilize.
The good news is that compared to residential values in many parts of Wisconsin, property values in this premier vacation and retirement area are still very strong.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:51 PM|