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Jay to the World: June 2018

I know I told you last month that my Cal Ripken-like streak of putting out newsletters might come to an end this month since my editor Tricia wasn’t going to be around to make sure I didn’t say something stupid or offensive (like that’s even possible). So please keep an open mind and enjoy another month of unedited thoughtful incoherence.

Before we get to the light-hearted portion of the program, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss our school situation one more time. I had the opportunity to meet with two school board members and Superintendent Croghan last month and came away very encouraged by what I heard. Our school board is in the process of finalizing a long-term strategic plan that will serve as the blueprint for the future of the district in terms of curriculum, student achievement, marketing, and facilities. Each of these topics could cover an entire newsletter by itself, however I’m going to focus right now on the facility component. After attending a district-wide meeting a few weeks ago to discuss options of what to do with the Chantry elementary building (my guess is it will be eventually torn down) and from my one on three meeting with Mr. Croghan and the board members, I can honestly say that everybody agrees that the best thing for the district is to get K-12 under one roof. After hearing everyone talk about the efficiencies that come into play when a school is at one location, we simply have to come together as a district and make it happen. With all of the money being spent on facilities in the districts around us, we cannot survive long-term with two antiquated buildings. I know a bond issue scares the heck out of everyone reading this but the districts around us were able to get bond issues approved and it’s our responsibility as citizens of this district to at least request that our school board let us voice our opinions on the topic and put it up for a vote. And the board is willing to do just that.

Now this is the uncomfortable part of this month’s newsletter because I’m going to give you my opinion on what I think needs to happen to make every town in the district come away with good feelings about having the school in one location. And remember, we’re all on the same team here :)

Here are my thoughts: All four towns in this district have one thing in common – a major shortage of adequate housing. We all have too many houses that either need major renovations or need to be completely demolished and replaced with new housing. The difference between our towns is that Malvern NEEDS the school located here to keep the main street chugging forward. Hastings, Emerson and Henderson don’t benefit directly from the location of the Nishna Valley campus. It’s convenient, but if the Valley campus wasn’t there none of those 3 towns would suffer economically. If the entire district was located at the Valley campus, Malvern would have a hard time selling houses to young families that work in the city and even if they did move here, they’ll just open enroll their kids in Glenwood because it’s on their way to work and because of the perception that you get a better education at a larger school (which is not true, by the way). Under the “everything in Malvern” scenario, I would then make it my top priority as a banker to revitalize the housing situations within the entire district as the metro area continues to slowly work in our direction.

Whether it be land acquisition, house renovations, house demolitions, or simply building brand new houses, it is
time to address this problem head on and I can make it happen. I would love to sit down with the citizens of
Hastings, Emerson and Henderson to discuss why I think we would all win under this scenario. You’ve all
known me long enough to know that economic development is my strength and I know I can sell this plan to the
masses. The only thing stopping these towns from better housing, better main streets and better parks is access
to capital and a bank that is willing to make loans. I represent both of those things.

So I need a favor: I need to come up with 200 signatures that I can turn into the school board to show that there
is a legitimate interest in the one-building concept. Not just from Malvern – I need people from the entire
district to band together so we can show the districts around us that we’re not going away. Nobody around us
thinks we can do this but we’re going to prove them wrong. Remember, we’re a team here. I’ll have a petition
here in the bank, and I’m also going to lean on friends and customers from throughout the district to help
circulate petitions and line up town hall meetings. Every district around us has figured this out. I know we can
do this.

Anybody know where I can get a “Make East Mills Great Again” hat?? #MEMGA

One more East Mills-related topic: I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Janette Schraft singlehandedly
carried the Wolverines to a 2nd place OVERALL finish at the state track meet last month. That is
simply amazing. Well done Janette!

I’m starting to get a little worried that the Trump/Un summit might be in jeopardy. But even if it doesn’t happen,
it is good to know that Mr. Trump has been hard at work and has reversed one of President Obama’s rulings that
protected baby bears and wolf pups in Alaska from being shot in their dens. Thank Goodness. If there is one
thing I think we can all agree on, it’s that we need to do something about these sleeping baby bears and baby
wolves. Now if there was just something we could do about all these puppies and kittens polluting the country
with their cuteness….

May 20th was the 25-year anniversary of the Cheers final episode. Can you believe that?? I can honestly tell
you that at least twice a year when someone asks how I’m doing I respond with Norm’s line “It’s a dog-eat-dog
world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear”. Classic.

I recently read about the double-amputee who conquered Mount Everest. Talk about toughness. Heck, we had
ants in the bank’s kitchen last week and I didn’t go back there for 3 days.

Did you see that China is implementing a massive surveillance system that will be used to track it’s 1.4 billion
residents in an effort to rate each person’s honesty and trustworthiness?? I don’t know, this seems a little
intrusive to me. I can’t imagine something like that here in the United States. Just last week I jaywalked,
illegally dumped at the compost pile, and told my kids that Santa personally wrote me to discuss their behavior.
I love this country.

And finally, I’m sure some of you have seen the billboard in Omaha that asks ‘where are you going, heaven or
hell?’ Am I the only person whose very first thought was ‘well it depends which one has a non-stop?’
Yep, I pretty much know where I’m going. Hurry back Tricia.

Until Next Time….


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