Smile Politely

Unit 4 Referendum is a “must win” for Champaign

Unit 4 Referendum

Fortunately, for most of us, this will likely end well.

The discussion over the current Champaign Unit 4 Referendum has been ongoing for some time. Long before the past two in 2014, and then again in 2015. There’s no question that our schools — the facilities that allow a public education — are in need of some serious attention.

That’s almost undeniable by now.

The landslide opposition to the referendum in 2015 was borne of a pretty fundamental dissatisfaction about both the process, and the selection of a site. Just a year and half later, the school board has almost entirely turned over, they’ve published a transparent record of everything they’ve discovered in their research, and concluded that the voters were right: Central needs to remain in the heart of Champaign.

Essentially, they’ve done everything that almost everyone was asking of them.

For those that are thinking this costs too much, I can actually sympathize with some of you.

There will always be voters that refuse to pay more in taxes, no matter the situation. These are fundamentally flawed thinkers, politically speaking. No need to acknowledge them.

But there are those that carry significant property are starting to realize that the Illinois economy isn’t what it once was, and they know they are going to take a hit. The very large, and sudden, reassessment of property values is coming at the worst possible time, and I stand in opposition of Brian Christie’s decision to execute in one fell swoop. It could have been, and should have been, graduated. None the matter, the cost will be re-directed to the consumer, just as fast, and in the meantime, it will be challenged by those with the most land, and it will mean courts and lawyers and time and energy for a lot of folks who could be better off doing other, more important jobs.

So that is why it’s no longer worth a plea. The state of Illinois is broke, and it’s time to lend some local coin to the folks that work so hard to give our kids a shot at learning a little more, and feeling safe while they are doing it.

Yes, these plans call for more prevention from school shootings as well. That’s a thing, if you remember. In America, it’s totally fine to buy a gun and secretly carry it around with you.

But I digress: you’ve heard from a few different folks who’ve submitted to Smile Politely by now. If you live in Champaign, more than likely, you’ve heard the arguments. At this late hour, this won’t change your mind, one way or the next.

My guess is that, at a minimum, you know someone who knows someone who works for Unit 4. And let me tell you that you will be hard pressed to find one of them that doesn’t support this.

That should tell you something.

My prediction is that it passes, because goddamnit, this community makes the right choices, a lot of the time.

As I said, this will likely end well for most of us.

A note about the Cubs

Hot damn, wasn’t that something? Yes. Yes it was.

Watch that video below, and you will see 6th and Green explode into mania as the Cubbies clinch the World Series, and that, above everything, is the reason I am sharing this video. It’s a good one.

Editor’s Note, 11/8/16 9:25 a.m.: Evidently, you can’t view the video because the Marketing division at AB In-Bev are true ad wizards.

In defense of Hamilton Walker’s

In my entire goddamned life, I’ve never seen so many billboards asking me to do something, and simply not being able to do it. “Meet me at… HAMILTON WALKER’S!”

Yes, yes, I would LOVE to! But alas, it’s not open yet. Soon though, if the signage going up is any indicator.

I’ve longed for a Downtown Champaign steakhouse for years now. From what I can tell, the Libman family has put considerable time, effort, and money into the place. For better or for worse, I appreciate that. My Poppy loved old Italian-American Chicago Steakhouses, and so for me, it feels like childhood.

I think it’s going to be real good. A treat kind-of place.

And I like the gaudy sign. It’s alive. It’s memorable, and that’s more than I can say for plenty these days.

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