Letter to the Editor: Mount Abe revote on thoughtful path

On Dec. 6 the Mount Abraham Union High School Renovation Committee met and dug into the upcoming bond vote. They voted to hold that on March 6, 2018, Town Meeting Day, because there is pressing work that must be done.
This Town Meeting Day vote will give time for adopting a compelling community vision statement, for identifying some very creative changes in the budget, and for opening more opportunities for whole-community engagement. I predict 60 percent of the eligible voters of the Five-Town Community will come out to vote. This is huge! Thank you!
I am especially grateful to Bob Patterson and Kevin Hanson for their focused comments on moving forward in prudent, fiscally responsible ways. Bob’s story on the doors was breathtaking. I am grateful to Peter Straub for his comments on the need for a compelling vision. I am grateful to Su White for emphasizing the importance of using the survey results to guide the budget though the results of the survey may not exactly reflect the will of the whole voting community. I am grateful to Superintendent Patrick Reen for his steadiness and his openness. A lot was accomplished last night!
There is much more work to be done. If we focus on “essential upgrades to existing vital systems” at MAUHS we can get to a place where 60 percent of the voters will vote a resounding Yes! This will not be easy but it can be done because it must be done.
We will have to let go of some of the “wants” at least for now. We might cut the payback period from 30 years to 15 years.
We could consider moving the concept from “MAUHS Gym” to “Five-Town Community Field House” and the location well away from the sliding gravel bank. We might even toy with different funding sources for key items like the gym-field house.
We should actively engage local contractors in getting as much of the work accomplished as possible.
We should get students actively involved in solar energy design, eco-engineering solutions to the western sliding bank, systems that monitor investment improvements in learning and building health and efficiency, and other forms of hands-on learning.
As John Dewey wrote, “Without application, principles and ideals have no bearing or test!”
This is the path to getting 60 percent of the eligible voters who vote on March 6, 2018, to vote Yes. We seem to be on that path now.
Let’s get to Yes on March 6, 2018!
David Brynn

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