Public input needed on school space [UPDATED]Published 1:16pm Thursday, December 6, 2012 Updated 1:20pm Thursday, December 6, 2012
The Outdoor Facilities Bond Referendum that would have provided upgrades to much of the athletic fields and green space at Kennedy Secondary School, the Roosevelt Education Center and Cleveland School was voted down 54 to 46 margin in the recent election. The school has now gone back to the drawing board to come up with a new approach. While we think upgrading the outdoor facilities is a good idea, the school should reconsider the magnitude of the project and hear more public input into consideration.
Despite a price tag of more than $6 million, a 46 percent showing of “yes” voters tells us that there are plenty of community members who would like to see the upgrades become a reality.
School representatives put a great amount of emphasis on “educating” the public, with the idea being, if voters were “educated” on the issue, they would understand it was important to vote yes. It is almost insulting to say 54 percent of voters were not educated on the issue. We think there were plenty of voters who had a thorough understanding of the proposal but made an educated decision to vote no.
We think more emphasis needs to be placed on putting together a proposal that the community will accept. Communication with residents through public meetings and comment periods is needed. Listening to what district residents are willing to commit to a project like this is the only way a plan should be made.