I’ve lived in Brookfield for almost 12 years, and as a homeowner for about nine years. In the time that I’ve owned my home, it has nearly doubled in value. I’ve made modest improvements?”air conditioning, some paint, windows and so forth.

This house has been a tremendous investment. I challenge anyone to show me a return of this magnitude during the same period of time in their 401k or stock portfolio. For many of us, our homes are our biggest and best performing asset. …

The health of a community is based upon a dynamic and changing mix of young and old residents, investments in the business and residential properties, good schools, excellent public safety and health care, a good public works infrastructure, proper civic management and quality of life.

The common thread among all of these is continual investment and upgrading?”and a community that has a voice in the process and makes itself heard. Debate is healthy. Challenging the decisions of school boards, village trustees and other elected officials is good. We want accountability.

But we also want to make good choices for the overall health of our community. For those opposed to these referendums, take a good look around and tell me that you are making the right choice for your community?”not just for your wallet.

Tell me how you would spend the money to improve this community. And if the referendums pass, don’t slam your doors and grumble behind them?”take your energy to hold the folks who asked for the money accountable for how they spend it.

I’m going to make a choice on March 21. I choose to vote, first and foremost. I also choose to vote “yes” on the school referendums and make the investments that we need to improve our schools and sustain the quality of life that keeps me in Brookfield.

Patrick Cunningham