Source: Sherman Publications

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MC -- The Hammer
Bond puts voters between rock and hard place

by Megan Collier

October 27, 2010

Yes or no?

It's a simple enough question. Do you want eggs for breakfast, yes or no? Do you like winter, yes or no?

But, it turns out, making the decision to vote yes or no on the Feb. 22, 2011 school bond election is a little more complicated.

On one hand, there's an air of mistrust in the community when it comes to school officials handling money in general. I've heard community members remark something like, "I don't like how they handle the money they've got now. Why should I give them $25.5 million more to mismanage?" And that feeling is compounded by the two off-month elections the district one for the bond in February and one for board seats in May that will cost around $33,000 each.

The timing of the election begs a couple questions. Why wasn't the bond on the Nov. 2 election? The buses didn't suddenly become old. Technology didn't suddenly become outdated. And news about school finance troubles isn't new, by any means. Why did it take a strategic planning subcommittee to come up with going for a bond?

But, on the other hand, the ultimate argument: it's for the children!

The bond is for safe transportation and new technology to keep students paced with the rest of the world. Who can say no to that?

And somewhere amid those two arguments lies Lake Orion voters.

Ultimately, I say this: vote for the bond in February; then take a long, careful look at who on the board of education is up for reelection in May; vote out anyone who's been ineffective or counterproductive; replace them with boardmembers who are responsible; then hold them accountable.

By June, Lake Orion could have a whole new school board and administration (providing it has a permanent superintendent by then).

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