On Nov. 8, crucial ballot decisions loom. Locally, we must decide whether or not to support a $28.4M referendum proposed by administration. The “conceptual” plan offered creates a range of unanswered questions. There are better plans and for me, the only choice now is to vote NO and send the process back for further sharpening of pencils.
Saying NO doesn’t mean you’re against education or that anything will stop. Nothing ends by saying NO.
As a community, saying NO will allow more time for an improved, less-expensive approach that’s best for both education and the local taxpayers that fund it. Referendum debt lasts for 20 years and now Administration is selling possible interest rate changes to make it appear borrowing $38.4M is essentially ‘free!’ This referendum question is nearly three times what the 1999 referendum question was and we’re still paying for that one! Borrowing less is best.
It minimizes the affect of interest rates. Doing needed projects in pieces or stages may be better than bundling everything into one as we’ll have a better idea of where we stand financially at each phase. Public education is dependent on tax money and administration’s always seek more! That’s all they do yet they continue to waste tax dollars in so many ways that it’s clear to me what their true priority is.
The proposed two-stage gym will cost several million dollars alone, more than the current education process offers for Tech Ed at both the middle and high school facilities. It makes more sense to invest into Technical education than in gymnasiums. With student enrollment flat or decreasing, state subsidies will also decrease and any facility expansion debt will fall squarely on taxpaying residents, for 20 years!
The proposed link joining the middle and high schools will impede snow removal. Without being able to simply push snow to the East so it melts into the river, the district will be space-limited and may need to truck snow out, an additional operating cost if pushing it anywhere else fills up.
All district employees that don’t live in this community, specifically the Superintendent currently paid $158,988.12 annually with no local property taxes for our community, should NOT have any say with this referendum. They won’t be around to help pay for this the next 20 years but they sure push for it! When is enough going to be enough? The silent majority must unify on November 8th to vote NO and send the process back to the drawing board just like Campbellsport did. We can do better!
Bradley A. Petersen