Dear Editor: I am writing to express my complete disappointment with our current school board. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me was the recent vote to spend even more money on the artificial turf. When will this kind of spending stop?
Since this board was seated two years ago, they have spent money wildly and from what I read in the Journal, they have ignored policies and have allowed others to do the same.
First it was the new administration building which the old board capped at $1 million, but the new school board allowed a $3.5 million building to be constructed. Then came the artificial turf which was presented to the old school board four years ago at a cost of $600,000 and was rejected due to an incomplete payback plan.
But, this board approved over twice the amount, $1.5 million with no payback plan.
Then there was the wrestling fiasco where it became painfully obvious that a few board members were pursuing personal agendas at a cost of $50,000 in attorney fees. Now the overrun on the artificial turf is going to cost another $66,000 due to inadequate planning since it was rushed through so as not to give the public time to react.
So, if you tally all this up, we are looking at over $5.1 million spent on optional noneducational items with no assistance from the state or federal governments. What makes it worse is they didn't even attempt to secure grants for the turf, which are readily available.
The school board needs to start focusing on education rather than spending our hard-earned money on optional, noneducational items. I understand that the value of a mill is about $250,000, so $5.1 million would be around 20 mills. In these tough economic times, why not delay these expenditures and lower the property tax millage by 5 mills per year over the next four years, which would have given us a 20 percent decrease in our property taxes?
To add insult to the whole situation, over the past two years I continue to see articles with the mention of infighting within the board and a five-member majority that dictates decisions for the rest. Then I read about policies being broken, with the most recent situation being the Career Technical Center.
I am losing total confidence in the board and hope they get it together soon. I noticed in the primary elections that the advertising for three of the candidates was the Gernoviches. I heard that this five-member majority went out and recruited these three candidates because they didn't like the qualified slate of candidates. Sounds like partisan politics to me.
I certainly hope they're not trying to stack the deck to give us more of the same.