Was it a threat?
Or was it a realistic appraisal of financial conditions, changed to reflect changes in those conditions.
People are asking that of Berlin-Milan Schools' apparent readiness to restore school bus service to high school students, should that district's levy succeed at the November polls.
People are also asking that about Margaretta Schools' backtrack on eliminating the sports programs which constitute so much of the societal cement in that community -- also hinging on the success of a tax issue at the polls.
It's a threat, cry the cynics (and those made cynical by tighter budgets all around) -- a threat designed to get us to vote yes.
Well, yes -- even if that's not the intent. It's also realistic. If we don't have the money, we can't do certain things. If we have the money, we can. It's the same argument people make for voting no, in one of the few instances they can decide what their taxes will be.
Most school district voters don't like having to say no. Most school districts don't like having to ask. But they're in the positions there in because, a decade and more after a court decision that said it had to be done, the state of Ohio still hasn't repaired a system of school funding that became increasingly disparate as property-based wealth concentrated in some districts, leaving the less fortunate to make do.
It's a task upon which, Gov. Ted Strickland told us as he settled into office, the success or failure of his administration would be judged.
But what rides on this is something much more important than Strickland's legacy, and that is Ohio's future.
And we might as well lay the blame -- and more importantly, the responsibility of fixing the problem -- where it belongs: the intersection of Broad and High streets, in Columbus.