To the Editor: New Eastwood elementary is sound decision PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Sherri Sheffler   
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:31
This letter is in response to the letter "Concerns voice over Eastwood board" in the Oct. 23 issue of the Sentinel-Tribune.
First, I want to know specifically what "lie" or "half-truth" has come from the Eastwood Board of Education. It is easy to say that someone has lied, but it is harder to specify what the lie was.
To me, the board and Superintendent Mr. Welker have been very honest and up front, especially  about the finances of the district. In his community e-mails, Mr. Welker sends out monthly statements detailing all financial aspects of the school operations. The information is clear, concise and accurate. If one follows the monthly reports, the conservative fiscal management of the district is evident.
Mr. Welker and the board promised to live within the current operational funding, and so far they have.
The issues on the November ballot  are not for operational funds, and the operating issues on the ballot in the next two years are renewals - not requests for new money. Perhaps one way perceived lies and half-truths could be cleared up is through participation in the district finance committee.
Secondly, how have the voters been "hoodwinked"? This word, according to the dictionary, means to trick, cheat and conceal. At no time have the voters been tricked or cheated. In additional, nothing is concealed All information about the school - educational, fiscal or otherwise - is available from a number of sources like the superintendent's e-mails, the school Web site, public forums, board meetings, etc. One just has to read or attend.
As an Eastwood graduate, a retired teacher with 32 years in the Eastwood classrooms, and a candidate for the board of education, I do agree with one statement in the letter. Yes, education makes a school.
But a school district also has business component. Look at the elementary buildings with a "fiscal eye". These buildings are expensive to maintain, energy inefficient and outdated in a number of ways. The buildings are like a clunker car. There is a pint at which the car costs more to repair than to replace, so too with the elementary buildings.
The $8.5 million from the state toward the almost $19 million elementary building project is the best fiscal option the Eastwood voters will get in the foreseeable future. Also the estimated $350,000 yearly operational savings from the new building will allow the district to "live within their budget" for a longer time. A new elementary building is a sound fiscal decision.
Sherri Sheffler

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