For nearly all of the past 52 years I have lived in or near one of the finest small communities in America -- La Crescent.

Responsible county, city, township and school district officials and their employees have provided my wife and I a safe, secure, healthy and welcoming place in which to live and raise our children.

A critical element in the fabric of this community has been the extraordinary service provided first to me, then to Bobbi, to our daughters, and now, gratefully, to our grandchildren, by the La Crescent-Hokah schools.

Before retiring, both Bobbi and I were fortunate to work with the children and their parents who live in our district. As a parent and as an educator I know that the district has done and will continue to do its best to provide high-quality education for our children.

I was dismayed last Fall when, as a community, we failed to support our children and their parents by not voting in favor of a needed operating levy. The district has provided all the information I needed to understand that passing this operating levy is not just necessary, it is critical.

If you have any doubts or questions, attend an informational forum, check the district's website or call the district office. They'll be happy to share the facts.

On Nov. 7, I hope you will join me in supporting our community by voting "yes" for our kids.

John D. Haugan, La Crescent