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Our Take

December 20, 2008

The Times-Republican rolls out a new editorial feature this week Our Take on the News. It's a weekly look at news items from the local, state and national levels that caught our eye and our reaction to each.

Senior Center

The Marshalltown Senior Citizen Center has approached the city council seeking a reduction in its rent. The organization is hoping it can pay $1 per year in rent to help stave off future financial problems.

The organization has roughly $61,000 cash on hand, with an additional $11,700 set aside for restroom renovations in the upcoming year. But annual rent payments of $9,600 are hurting the center's overall financial picture.

The city already foots the center's $22,000 per year utility bill, a tab the taxpayers are picking up. The county has agreed to pay half the rent so, having the city kick in the other $4,800 is not going to add that much to the taxpayer bill.

Our Take: The council has now considered the request at two meetings and the time has come to move past consideration into approval of the request.

Illinois scandal

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is trying to figure out his legal options while the state's legislators are considering their own actions in a scandal that has left his career in shambles. He met with a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer as he weighed his legal options.

Legislators, meanwhile, began the process of considering impeachment of the governor for his alleged attempts to "sell" the state seat vacated by president-elect Obama.

Despite all this, the governor refuses to resign his position.

Our Take: It's time for Blagojevich to go. He should resign his post immediately and let the state get back to the normal business of dealing with more important matters.

District in Need of Assistance

The Marshalltown Community School District reported this week it had completed three out of five steps required as part of being a District In Need Of Assistance under federal No Child Left Behind guidelines.

Those steps include the audit, diagnosis and design phases of plans to correct the district's status.

The most recently completed design phase developed goals and action plans for the district to improve learning. In addition, the plans have been submitted to the state and approved.

Our Take: The district is making real progress in changing its status under the No Child Left Behind mandates. We encourage district staff in their efforts.

Library opening

The new Marshalltown Public Library at 105 S. Boone St. opens next week on Monday, an event which many of us have been anxiously awaiting.

We're eager to see the fruits of so many people's labors. From the original committees to the architect and builders, they have made the new facility a showpiece for our community, while still being a much-needed wealth of space for the library to continue on its path of growth.

Our Take: Stop by the new facility, take a look around and if you don't already have one, get a library card and start enjoying the new building and the plethora of information inside.



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