There are some things that should not happen in Yuma.
Such as not purchasing a new school bus for six years.
The districts fleet was mostly replenished late last decade and early this decade. Transportation leaders accurately pointed out that the mill levy override passed by voters more than a decade ago, which generates more than $1 million per year, paved the way for new buses and vehicles.
However, board leaders then accurately pointed out that the recession finally hit bigtime in Colorado, and the legislature invoked something called the negative factor. That significantly reduced state funding to all school districts.
Yuma-1 was better able to handle the situation than many districts thanks in large part to the mill levy override already being in place. However, that also meant those extra funds were absorbed more into the regular district expenditures, and items such as buses, at a cost of well above $100,000 each pushed aside.
Approximately 80 percent of a districts expenditures goes to salaries. And keeping up competitive salaries is important as it attracts quality teachers and superintendents who also appreciate the rural way of life.
However, the time has come to focus a bit again on transportation, and, particularly in todays world, technology devices and, even more importantly, technology infrastructure because without a quality infrastructure it does not matter how fancy your computer or laptop might be.
Replenishing Yuma-1s bus fleet will take more than a decade as only one bus, due to cost, will be purchased at a time, and even in a best-case scenario likely will occur only every other year.
It is important, though, and needs to be a priority as a large number of our students spend quite a bit of time riding district buses. Faulty windows, troublesome heating systems, uncomfortable seats, can make for an uncomfortable time on the bus. More importantly, aging buses can lead to safety concerns, particularly with so many students taking such long bus trips.
It appears Yuma-1 will be looking at buying a new bus this year, the first time since 2012.
We here at Pioneer Headquarters think thats a great development, and hope it can return to being a routine part of district business for years to come.
The marijuana sales tax, that is.
Look, I know this is more confusing that what it should be. Its like we all ate one too many edibles before trying to explain it.
Its all rather simple, though (a moment of clarity in my purple haze).
One is only voting to put a sales tax on marijuana IF the sale of such is ever allowed to occur here. It is not an endorsement of retail marijuana.
Anyway, I suspect you fine Yuma folks perfectly understand the situation, but many likely feel they are implicitly endorsing the sale of retail wacky tobacky if they approve this sales tax. You are not. You are just giving the okay for the City of Yuma and, by extension, the rest of us, to benefit by throwing a sin tax on such an endeavor.
It would take a different vote for the people of Yuma to ever actually endorse the actual legal sale of pot.