The Vermillion Rotary Club learned a bit more about the backgrounds of District 17 legislative candidates during their Tuesday, Oct. 31 luncheon meeting at the Al Neuharth Media Center.
Special guests of the club were incumbent legislators Reps. Donna Schafer and Jamie Boomgarden, and Sen. Ben Nesselhuf.
Joining them were two candidates for District 17 House of Representatives, Patricia Norin, Centerville, and Eldon Nygaard, Vermillion. Nathan Adams, who is challenging Nesselhuf, was invited to Tuesday's meeting, but was unable to attend.
Norin, whose background includes being a community volunteer and a member of the Centerville School Board for three years, told Rotarians that it is time for the K-12 funding formula to be changed. She noted that 60 school districts have signed on to an inadequacy in funding for education lawsuit against the state.
"Schools are asked to spend more and more on educating our kids, but the Legislature won't come through with the money," she said.
South Dakota may have to consider approving a penny sales tax to provide funding for education, health care and other services currently dealing with tight budgets.
Nygaard and Nesselhuf said they both agreed with Norin's assessment of education funding.
Schafer noted that it is important to remember that a majority of the state's general fund is already being allocated to education. "One time monies are also very difficult" to allocate to education because of the state budgeting process. She reminded Rotarians that resources for education funding in South Dakota are limited.
"Our constitution says property taxes must pay for education, so there are some monies that can't be spent on education," she said. "We are 37th in the nation in how much we spend on education, but 51st in teacher pay, so we have to look at how that money is being spent."
According to a recent study, South Dakota needs to find $133 million to adequately fund education.
"Who are we going to take the money from?" he asked. "Medicare and Medicaid are both losing money ? where are you going to get the extra money?"
Rotary International is a worldwide humanitarian service organization with 29,000 clubs. Members of Rotary are business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will and peace in the world. For more information, call Roger Kozak at 605-677-9030.
Holiday tour of homes
Plans are underway for the Holiday Tour of Homes Nov. 19 sponsored by the Clay County Historical Society. Gloria Barnes, event chair, has arranged for five Vermillion homes to be on the tour. This year, the tour will feature homes decorated for either the fall season or for Christmas. The Austin-Whittemore House will be decorated for Christmas and refreshments will be served there when guests complete their tour. Board members Maureen Goddard and Joe Hoffman will be in charge of decorating the house.
The five homes to be featured this year include: Robert and Gloria Barnes, 102 Forest Avenue; the Barnes have recently moved into their present home and have previously participated in the annual tour; Larry and Betty Smith, 24 South Harvard have also participated in the tour and this year they will show still more renovations that they have completed in their historic home; Douglas and Susan Tuve, 602 East Main, recently moved to Vermillion and will decorate their home for Thanksgiving.
Randy and Jane Uhl, 44 Cypress Lane, will show their new home so participants in the tour can enjoy seeing one of the newer homes in Vermillion; and Lori Whitman, 221 North University, will demonstrate her expertise with decorating for all seasons in her home.
Tickets are $12.50 and may be purchased at the Austin-Whittemore House, the Nook 'n Cranny, the Vermillion Beauty Shop and the Sir Stylists. The tour will begin at 2 p.m. Guests can begin the tour at any of the homes and hosts will punch each ticket as the home is toured. Refreshments will be provided by members of the Clay County Historical Society.
This year, the tour will be held during the afternoon. The board of directors is pleased and proud to host this tour and most cordially invite everyone to enjoy the homes, the refreshments, and the hospitality; they would also like to express their thanks and appreciation for the generosity of the homeowners.
Auxiliary names essay winners
The Chairman of the Ladies Auxiliary to Clay Post # 3061, Dorothy Lane, reports the winners in the �Get Out the Vote� essay contest held for all fifth graders in Clay County.
Alexis Logue, Wakonda School, daughter of Tom and Angie Logue, and Jordon Jorgensen, Wakonda School, son of Cory and Loretta Jorgensen.
Hannah Voudry, Jolley School, daughter of Marsha Voudry and Prairie Hanson, Jolley School, daughter of Sarah Hanson.
Sydney Kronaizl, St. Agnes, daughter of Denis Kronaizl and Sharon Gray, and Anna Hammond, St. Agnes, daughter of Richard Hammond and Sarah Chadima.