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Letter to the editor: Board botched bond election

October 20, 2010 - Dear editor,

There are several school elections going on in Oakland County next month, but not here in Lake Orion Community Schools (LOCS).

I am so disappointed our board has not moved to November elections for board seats and bonds costing $0. I have heard all of the arguments in favor of keeping the May elections, and at first I agreed, but during these tough economic times, I no longer think this is in the best interest of the students of LOCS.

If our elections were in November, this upcoming bond proposal campaign would be so much easier and less stressful. We need to convince our school board that these two elections in February & May 2011 are wasting money!

LOCS elections need to be changed to November ASAP. I am disappointed that our Central office administration and our board needed Strategic Planning to realize our buses, roofs and technology were outdated and that our current operating budget could not accommodate the costs to remedy these situations. As a result, they missed the window to get on the November 2010 ballot. This is almost hard to believe. Next year's elections will cost us around $70,000 (combined). Our students need this bond, but they also need a district with strong leaders who will make fiscally responsible decisions. After a 30 minute heated discussion at the Oct. 13 board meeting relating to a $50,000 expenditure for technology, I cannot believe that we are willing to spend $70,000 on elections. (On a side note: I 100 percent agree we need to update our technology to get these students competitive in the 21st century).

I agree that "community input is vital to this process," and "it played an important role in reaching this decision." I respect that. Still, our leadership should have been more responsible with the timeline. The previous two bond proposals I was involved in, one, that I co-chaired, we also had community input in coming up with the needs of our district, but managed to get the proposal on an existing election ballot. I am supporting this bond proposal because I want "what is best for kids." However, this $70,000 for these two elections really would be best spent our students.

This is vital to the success of the students of LOCS! Let's do it right with proper communication and understanding.

Karen Appledorn

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