Source: Sherman Publications

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Goodrich bond: Spending foolishly?

February 09, 2011

Dear Editor,

I have to wonder if the Goodrich School Board thinks it's Christmas or are they just ignoring the requests and concerns of residents once again?

The school board passed a resolution to place on the Feb. 22, 2011 ballot a bond proposal to extend a millage for an inordinate period of time to fund purchases which are not necessary, especially in these precarious economic times. Most of the $15.4 million the school board wants to spend will not enhance our children's education, instead they propose to spend "waste" money on such items as team rooms for the athletic field (what will be the added costs to maintain, heat and light these new facilities?), install synthetic turf, the cost of which is exorbitant and not a necessity. I also have to question why we will need three additional classrooms made out of the existing administrative offices; is it to house the additional students brought in to Goodrich when the school board passed schools of choice over the unanimous objection of the residents or is it justify the building of new luxury administrative off-ices. I must also question the request to add a new cafeteria at Reid Elementary. Reid is the oldest school building being utilized, why would you spend money to renovate or add on when the renovation will last longer than the building itself?

Look at the poor planning and oversight by the school board when they constructed the middle school and Oaktree; how many repairs have had to be made already because they failed to do their homework? When the millage was passed to construct these schools, for which we are still paying, they based it upon property values rising. Since the taxable value of most properties have deceased to their lowest level in decades, will the school board come back to us next year and request an increase for both millages to make up the difference?

We should not support overspending by the school board. The department of education has a list of 43 school districts with general fund deficits; will Goodrich be next because of their fiscal irresponsibility?

For schools in severe financial hardship, a state house member has proposed a bill which will see elected leaders suspended from their jobs, lose their pay and they will not be able to run again for 10 years. Is this what it takes to control our elected officials from overspending?

I will be voting no to the extension of a millage to pay for items long past their life span or usefulness.

Jan Drumm