Former Leeds Student and Current Coach Speaks On Tax Vote For New Athletic Complex

By Jesse Turner | January 21, 2019

Tomorrow is a huge opportunity for our community. I was asked to write an editorial listing five reasons I am supporting the property tax increase. I got worried because I could only think of two. I racked my brain for other reasons why I would be voting yes, did research on the subject, and talked to several people I trusted to try to help me come up with three more reasons. After hours of thought and research, I realized that I didn’t need five reasons to vote yes tomorrow. I just needed two — the kids I love and serve, and the community who made me who I am and proudly serve today.

I am a teacher and coach by trade. In my opinion, the most important part of my job is to always do what I think is best for my students and players. Having said that, I believe that voting yes is an opportunity for me to do my job. The students I serve every day will see direct benefits from our yes vote. And let me tell you, they deserve it. Our kids are humble, tough, and thankful for all that we have. I’ve never heard one of our kids complain about the numerous challenges that the current facilities present. They’ve never asked for more, they’ve never been ashamed, and most importantly they have always taken care of what we have. This is an opportunity for us to give them the facilities and resources they deserve. I’ve heard all kinds of political back and forth surrounding this vote, but this vote is not about politics — it’s about our kids. I’m not voting yes because of politics, I’m voting yes because I have to stand in front of those 14-18-year-olds every day and I can’t, with a clear conscience, do so knowing that I didn’t seize this opportunity to make our community better for them. 

When people ask me where I’m from, I always proudly say, “Leeds, Alabama”. Most respond with a puzzled look and say “Birmingham?”. “Nope, Leeds.” is always my reply. I’m from here. I was raised here. Leeds helped make me the man I am today. I’m not from Birmingham. I’m from Leeds. I’m a proud Greenie and will tell anyone who will listen about our wonderful town. It’s given me my most fond memories, my most tremendous opportunities, lifelong friends, and an unnatural love of Kelly Green things. I’ve always thought I could never find a way to pay back this community for all that it’s done for me, but tomorrow is my chance. By voting yes, I’m giving back to the community that has given me so much. Leeds is such a special place, and we have the opportunity to take a step forward tomorrow. I’m forever indebted to Leeds, Alabama. My approximately fifteen additional dollars a month pales in comparison to what I owe this community for all it has done for me. So why am I voting yes? Because I’m from Leeds. 

There’s plenty of numbers, facts, and statistics floating around regarding this vote. They are all tremendously helpful and enlightening, but they are not the reasons I will be standing in line to vote yes tomorrow. I can’t give you five reasons to vote yes, but I can give you the only two that I think really matter. The kids and community that I serve. They’re my reason why. They can’t be put into a table or on a flier, but they are the most obvious and glaring reasons to support the proposed increase. 

Roll Greenwave,

Jesse Turner