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Let's make an educated decision

Published March 22. 2014 09:00AM

Dear Editor,

I attended the March 10 meeting, and Mr. Ahner presented information showing renovating schools could be less costly than a building plan.

Our Superintendent Cleaver disputed his facts, and after admitting the amount was less costly to renovate, said it wasn't $20 million but maybe $10 million cheaper. It could be more.

The bottom line is $1 million, $10 million, $20 million, it doesn't matter. It's still a lot of money.

Have people lost their perspective? We are becoming desensitized from all these numbers as if a million is nothing!

How much plainer can the district's residents tell you: We can't afford it. And we can't count on maybe reimbursement money to pay for it. The tax base isn't there: 20 percent are seniors, 8 percent are unemployed, maybe 4 percent are affluent, but the remainder and majority live payday to payday.

The number I'm interested in is ONE. This makes kids individuals and grows confidence and esteem. They are not cookie-cutter molds on assembly lines.

Our product is people's lives. The payoff is down the line 20 years when they mature and aren't afraid to stand up for themselves.

I've been told they'll adjust to a big school life, but will they adjust to not being individuals? This is what small-town districts with four schools give them.

Therefore, when they advance to upper grades, the seed has been planted that they are a face, not a number, and they are someone special. We can name wings of the center after the four schools, but does that really give them the individuality four schools gave them?

Maybe it doesn't take a village, but it does take four small villages to make a district.

Mr. Cleaver gave a presentation to clarify various points. The only thing it clarified to me was that anyone who had concerns about a building plan was tried to be discredited for opposition and concerns.

No questions were really answered, and some facts given weren't accurate. He even talked about a 60-year-old boiler in the middle school. Sorry, but the building is not even that old!

All we want is our opinions heard and taken into account so the buildings are properly fixed or built. It seems to me that for whatever reasons, some are trying to rush this plan through. What is the hurry about? Let's make an educated decision on the project.

Our board president said "smaller attendance at meeting might be good thing." Don't interpret this as confidence in the board. All through the district, people are disgusted and feel we have no say.

Only one person has told me they are for the new school. People keep telling me we can't afford it and this is wrong.

Please, board, heed the residents' wishes and remember you represent our will, not your own desires. And residents, please do your part; come to meetings and learn the facts for yourself.

Lastly, as delicately as I can say it and with all due respect to our superintendent, the people in the district are paying this bill. It's harder to incur a debt when it is your own money at stake.

Betty J. Wolfe


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