Letter: Referendum decision made by small group of people

To the editor:

Voters in the Clintonville School District should keep in mind the existing debt on the high school and the poor performance of the school on the state report card when voting on the referendum to spend $25 million on razing the old block of schools on Eighth Street and rebuilding a new, smaller facility.

In addition, what you don’t know is what the designers of a new facility told the task force about what could be done to rehab and update the existing facility. As a member of that task force, I was impressed with photos they showed of redoing old facilities. In the plan for rehabbing, they recommended saving the beautiful auditorium with updated sound and lighting. They also would have converted the gym in the 1918 building to a large library.

When the final vote was taken by the task force to make a recommendation, a very small number of the task force members were present. The school board based its decision to call for a referendum on that vote. I attended the board meeting and heard board member Ben Huber say he felt we were doing well with updating on a periodic basis but would vote for the referendum if that’s what the people wanted. Again, the recommendation was made by a small number of community members.

The make-up of that task force has never been made public. It was heavily made up of teachers and spouses of teacher or former teachers. I was one of a few not connected to the school. Board member Schultz was a member of the task force and is supporting the referendum publicly.

Please vote no and give us time to pay off that old loan. The amount of administrative staff time and money spent on mailings to promote the new building plan could have better been used to plan ways to improve learning in the schools.

It has been stated that the best way we can show our children that we value them is by building them a new school. I say the best was we can value our youth is to see that they get a top-notch education.

Mary-Beth Kuester,