Dear friends of Williams County:

I am writing this letter in support of the upcoming vote for combining school districts 8 and 1.

I would like you to understand my perspective as a physician in this community since 1995. This town has struggled immensely in attracting various physician talent for years.

I have heard for years that we are not competent at recruiting physicians.

I have spent a great deal of my personal time over years trying to convince these people to come to our community.

One of the greatest concerns has been what our local school system can offer our children. I have stated repeatedly that this group of teachers was able to take a feeble minded person such as myself and place an MD after my name.

This only goes so far. The candidates drive around town on their tour and always ask to see our schools. Built in the 50’s, built in the 60’s, but our newest (grade school) is newer — built in the early 80’s. This is usually the end of the discussion.

We (and I mean WE) as a community, which is not just Williston, need to come together and decide how we shall educate our children. We can be forward thinking and choose to support each other in our quest to educate in an ever changing economy or we can look backwards to days that have escaped us.

I realize that there is a massive mourning process for long-term District 8 families if this process is successful.

Taxes will increase for District 8 more than District 1 if said combination should fail. D8 will need to provide a high school. This will occur by placing the high school students in the current Missouri Ridge complex. While the current elementary children of Missouri Ridge would be placed in modular buildings. Needless to say running a high school has many more costs associated vs a elementary or middle school.

Returning to my original concern; If we attract a new MD to town and they choose to live in D8 district and their children will be educated in a modular building — I know the answer to this recruiting process and it will not be in our favor.

Thanks for letting me express my opinion. I am in 100% complete favor of combining D8 and D1.

Dr. Robert G. Kemp MD


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