Two weeks ago on this page I published a letter to the editor from Kirby Holden. That letter was like others he has sent me and other media outlets the past few years: critical of the Platte County R-3 School District. Which — before I write another word, this needs to be said — is OK. The R-3 School District is funded with taxpayer dollars — mine and yours — and it’s a good thing when people inquire and ask questions and engage District officials in give and take. To a point, anyway. At first, I was going to treat the letter like other correspondences Holden has sent me the past several months — by ignoring it. While I normally embrace letters to the editor from our readers, I decided last fall to not communicate with him. Primarily, it was because Holden had questioned my integrity, ethics and professionalism on his website and quoted Adolf Hitler while doing so. Yeah, that Adolf Hitler. Anyway, I decided to publish the letter mostly because Holden has in some respects put his money where his very active mouth is and filed for one of three R-3 Board of Education spots up for grabs in the April election. A tenet of Holden’s campaign platform will no doubt be this: that R-3 officials, and specifically Superintendent Dr. Mike Reik, are purposefully providing misinformation to R-3 patrons on a variety of topics. Say what? Holden’s letter published in our Jan. 29 issue infers that Reik intentionally gave a Citizens Advisory Committee flawed student enrollment projections. The CAC was formed by the District in the wake of the April 2012 election, when an R-3 tax levy increase District officials say is needed to fund a new school to meet enrollment growth, was defeated by voters. The CAC was charged with analyzing data made available to it by the District, exploring reasons why the tax increase proposal failed and making a recommendation to the District about how to move forward. The letter points out that an enrollment study done for the District after the CAC had met and made recommendations to District officials about moving forward with a new tax levy proposal, projected lower enrollment growth numbers than a 2010 study supplied to the CAC. This study was made public a few months ago, both during public Board of Education meetings and on the District’s Web site. It’s true — the information is different. Projected enrollment is lower. But this should be noted: both the 2010 and 2013 studies outline three different projections — a high, medium and low. It’s not too difficult to make the comparison that the high end numbers for the 2010 study are ...... well, higher than the low end numbers for the 2013 study. But — and this is all documented on the District’s Web site — the R-3 2013-14 September student enrollment number of 3,782, while below the medium projection of the 2010 study, was still slightly above the low end projections. The point is, I could fill the rest of this page shaping numbers and plugging them into an argument either for or against the District. The fact of the matter is the CAC, which met from January 2013 to June 2013, was given the only enrollment figures available at the time; the 2013 study was not conducted until a few months later, when District officials had current enrollment figures available. The bottom line is whether it’s by this number or that, R-3 enrollment is either nearing, at or over capacity at District facilities. Another question that begs an answer: why would R-3 officials make public a study that shows enrollment projections have decreased if they are only interested in passing a tax levy increase? Wouldn’t they do just the opposite? And by the way, the District announced last month that it would not take a tax levy increase issue to voters until 2015. Sounds like a pretty nefarious plot to me. Like I said I would in my comments prior to the publication of the Holden letter, I have since had conversations with Reik and R-3 Board member Gary Brown, who also served on the CAC (though he was named to the CAC before he was elected to the R-3 Board). I may continue this discussion in this space next week, with the results of those interviews, or I may decide that I have spent more time on this than it deserves. Tune in next week to find out. Thanks for reading. Lee Stubbs is owner/publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 858-5154. Follow him on Twitter @leejstubbs.