Letter to the editor: Thinking outside the Mt. School bond
The $29.5 million bond over 30 years to provide a major facelift to our well-built but 50-year old school is moving forward toward the March 6 Town Meeting Day vote. I wish it was a $12-15 million bond over 15 years focused on addressing the lighting, ventilation, heat distribution, science facilities, and fair universal access issues. The latter option would pass resoundingly.
One thing is certain: Bond Three will either pass or fail. Hopefully 60 percent or more of the voters will turn out. Also, up or down, hopefully the community will be actively empowered in moving the passed Bond Three forward or in imagining and manifesting a very different Bond Four.
I remain convinced that a much smaller bond now is the best way to support Mount Abe and our whole Five-Town Community. I honor and am grateful for all of the hard work that has gone into the third bond. But in my heart-of-hearts I feel it falls far short of what we could do.
Some suggest that the best route forward is to pass the $29.5, get on the design committee and help move forward that way. Some argue we must do this to keep Mt. Abe in good graces with the higher authorities. I do not share either of these views.
I do not share the view that we need to pour money into Mt. Abe to attract new people to our community to help carry the debt.
I do not share the view that raising property values is the ticket to improving our public education.
I do not share the view that a public engagement process that is controlled from within the box can adequately serve that large part of the community that is outside the box.
I do not think that the architects have or are serving us well.
I do not think that wrapping a road around Mt. Abe is a way to security.
I cannot imagine building a $5 million gym — or a $2 million gym — in the spot that has been chosen.
I could go on, but won’t.
The point is that once we vote Yes to $29.5 million, we will be locked into what has been called a “50-year vision” and 30 years of debt that are not likely to match the educational, intellectual, economic, ecological, and recreational needs of our remarkable community or provide the educational experience that will serve all Mt. Abe students well in the exciting, yet uncertain future that faces them.
Mark A. Nelson of Bristol
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