When this week's "Random Thoughts" reaches readers the special election for a millage increase to fund a major renovation and construction project on the Helena-West Helena School District's Central High School campus will be history. However, as I sat down to write this piece I didn't know the results of that election.

That really doesn't matter because frankly that's not what this essay is about.

When this week's "Random Thoughts" reaches readers the special election for a millage increase to fund a major renovation and construction project on the Helena-West Helena School District's Central High School campus will be history. However, as I sat down to write this piece I didn't know the results of that election.

That really doesn't matter because frankly that's not what this essay is about.

I shy away from the social media in that I rarely find myself communicating on Facebook, Twitter or any other means to reach a mass audience. I still rely on what people tell me by word of mouth. However, I am almost ashamed to admit that I was not totally aware of just how ugly things had gotten by some of those actively campaigning against the tax.

At this point, it really doesn't matter which way you voted. As an editor I have always concerned my self more with curing the populace of the contagious disease known as apathy. I am a firm believer in the will of the people rules unless it is in direct disobedience to the Word of God.

This campaign appears to have gone way beyond the borders or mere opposition to a tax increase. It turned into character assassination, some all out lies and an attitude that I am going to get my way not matter whatever the costs, whether it be lifelong friends or self respect.

I have known Andrew Bagley almost as long as I have been a resident of Helena-West Helena, some 27 years now. Both Bagley and I will openly admit that we have not always seen eye-to-eye on every political issue that has cropped up during those nearly three decades. For a while we worked on competing newspapers. However, that is now all water under the bridge.

As school board president, I believe that Mr. Bagley and the newly elected school board have the best interest of the students at heart. That is something that the people of this community have not seen in recent years. There is no doubt the local school district is struggling. Helena-West Helena Schools were taken over by the state on two occasions for financial problems and academic underachieving.

Some tough decisions were made to bring the district back to state compliance including closing some neighborhood schools and selling off some of its property. Currently, Helena-West Helena Public Schools appear to be making a comeback of sorts. The J.F. Wahl Elementary School is currently expanding. The H-WHSD has returned to local control and has been removed from the state's fiscal distress list.

There is no debate that the Central facilities are in a deplorable condition and something desperately needs to be done.

These are the facts and that's what Bagley and the school board went to bat with.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I clearly understand why some are opposed to this tax. The people of this impoverished section of the Delta are clearly overburdened with taxes. Sometimes it seems as though we have taxes on our taxes.

I also believe people have the right to vigorously campaign against an issue if they oppose it. However, I do not believe the end justifies the means. I am downright ashamed of the behavior of those who stooped to name-calling and other socially unacceptable communication.

The proper way to campaign against an issue is with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Not with smoking mirrors, half-truths, and in some cases out-and-out lies. This particular campaign may have been politically correct but it was also politically ugly.

No political issue is worth losing friends over or hurting people in the process.

What kind of message are we sending our children with such a negative campaign? From my vantage point it appears the adults are saying that they are willing to sacrifice common decency for their fellow man or woman for "a cause."

I think I'll end my commentary with these lyrics from one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs. "You can't always get what you want but if you try sometime, well, you might find you get what you need."