Typically my blog involves medical issues, insurance issues, social security and medicare. Back in March I was asked to say a few words about the importance of a "yes" vote for facilities and a "yes" vote for programs. Both votes failed by a handful of votes. I have since come to know that due to "ballot irregularity" in the March vote, some of the ballots didn't even have the referendum listed on them. As a property owner, here in Niles, with concerns going forward, I attended the October 17th Golf Middle School "Open House" to learn about the Referenda. I spent nearly 3 hours there. During that time, I could count the attendees on one hand. The organizers indicated it had been the same low turn out at the other two "open houses." (They have one more to go on the 29th at Hynes Elementary School from 5PM to 8:30PM) Just as our presidential election has folks strongly going one way and strongly going the other, this blog entry focuses on those "on the fence" who can and will make the difference. An inspirational, young 14 yr old Pakistani girl was recently shot in the head, defying the Taliban, and encouraging other children to attend school. It shouldn't have to come to that here. As a chess player for over 50 years, I will always consider two or three moves ahead. I spoke with the officials at the open house about what would happen if we continue to vote "no." (In other words, they can't force a "yes" vote). When it got bad enough, the government would ultimately step in with their own people, dictating curriculum, hours etc. Is that what we want? According to a recent Patch article, Morton Grove and Niles spend over $97,000 on Halloween costumes. That averages to well over $1,000 per family which dwarfs what the tax increase would call for. A "yes" vote would benefit village residents in countless ways, with lasting effects, for far less money than they now pay for costumes to trick or treat and party ONCE a year. Our kids dont have a fire suppression sprinkler system. What if there is a fire? Money? The Golf District 67 Superintendent is the third lowest paid in the entire county. Wake up. I'm not talking to those of you already voting "yes." I'm not talking to those of you who will continue to vote "no" until the govt steps in (I realize your elevator stops at "5"). I'm talking to those of you still "on the fence." Personally, I'd rather cut back on Halloween costumes than cut back on the education for our young people. Are our schools worth saving? We all have skin in the game, whether parents, grandparents or homeowners. There is no other "new world" to which we can sail. In an environment of name calling, finger pointing and denial, this is a terribly important vote, not to be skipped or taken lightly. Instead of you paying $200 just so YOUR child can play in a sport, why not have a tax so EVERYONE'S child can participate? Instead of half day kindergarten which messes up the child's day and the working parent's day, why not go back to full day kindergarten? **Please visit www.golf67.net for further breakdowns, descriptions and explanations of what's at stake. Remember T.E.A.M. (TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE). Am I angry? No. At 65 years of age I find anger to be a wasted emotion. Disappointed? Embarassed for the villages of MG & Niles? You betcha. You have another shot folks. Don't blow it this time.