Opposition is Good

The opposition ad.

Recently, a Stone County resident felt compelled to take out a small newspaper ad in opposition of the Stone County Developmental Disability Board vote coming up on Nov. 8. We on the Committee always take this as an opportunity to a) listen, and b) clarify.

We have been on the ground with an education campaign for the past 3 months–canvasing, attending every community function we could, speaking at every civic club, church and sewing club where there was an audience, answering every question and comment on social media until our fingers were numb…but it was clear to us that the author of this opposition was not fully informed (which is completely our fault).

Here is our response:

COMMENT: Another tax that won’t go away…
RESPONSE: This tax will sunset and be put before the voters in 10 years. If the voters decide the money is not used well, they are able to extinguish the tax.

COMMENT: We have State and Federal programs already in place…
RESPONSE: Many of the state and federal programs are available to families only through graduation, or are inaccessible because Stone County has no Board in place to take advantage of state/federal reimbursements for employment programs/day programs, or to apply for grants for housing projects, etc. For example,  the Taney County Board for the Developmentally Disabled (Developmental Connections) leverages federal Medicaid funds to more than double the dollars available to provide services to local county residents!

The “chart”.

COMMENT: The chart comparing Taney and Stone is why people want to live in Stone County…
RESPONSE: The chart referenced (on the right) shows that Stone County residents with special needs like Autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome receive NO services beyond case management. We are sure this is NOT a reason why people WANT to live here. In fact, real estate agents have reported that families with children with special needs choose instead to purchase property in the counties surrounding Stone that DO have these services.

COMMENT: Your rent will go up…
RESPONSE: Yes, it might. Your landlord will be assessed approx. $19 per $100,000 of assessed value. We agree that taxing for the wrong reasons is WRONG. We are asking for Stone County residents to support their neighbors–those who stand alongside them at church, in the supermarket, at school– who need these vital and basic needs met. (Read an article from a Stone County resident and business owner who understands the need.)

COMMENT: Stone County should pay their Sheriff deputies better…
RESPONSE: This initiative has no bearing on the wages of county employees. This is not coming from the same pool of money. The County Commissioners set the rate of pay for county employees.

COMMENT: Stone County should…just take care of what we have now…
RESPONSE: Well, we agree. And what we have NOW are about 250-300 residents (and their families) who are in desperate need of hope–hope for a productive, inclusive and opportunity-filled life for themselves or their loved ones.

With your YES vote on Nov. 8, a Stone County Developmental Disability Board WILL be able to serve its community well, and as residents, we will have made a difference in thousands of lives for generations to come.

These are some of the residents who will be supported by a Stone County Developmental Disability Board.
These are some of the residents who will be supported by a Stone County Developmental Disability Board.

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