NOTE: The following letter to the editor appeared in the November 3, 2010 edition of The AlmanacDecisions on high school must benefit all
I have attended school board meetings, and have been actively involved with the current high school project.
Lately the last few meetings have been very distasteful to observe. I have witnessed behavior from adults who are in favor with the school board, and who have been unbelievably disrespectful to anyone who wasn't in agreement with them.
This certain group has belittled, ridiculed, laughed, and passed notes writing things such as, "she doesn't know what she's talking about - she's an idiot".
As the note passes around, each person takes their turn laughing in lieu of listening to the speaker. One man actually was tapping his pen as though to suggest he was the time keeper for the speaker and as to imply, "you are running over of your time allotment".
That's disgraceful behavior. I can't decide if this group rules the school board or if the school board rules them. Either way, no other voices are being heard because nobody wants to stand up and be ridiculed by these people.
We didn't have to go down the path of pitting one group against the other. This is all our community not just a certain group. Decisions should be made for the benefit of all.
I think everyone is in agreement. The high school needs a lot of major renovation, no doubt. We need a school that is safe, healthy, clean, and to be a functional learning environment for the children. We certainly don't need grand entrances with major wasted space. What is the purpose of this? Why are we spending the money for grand entrances? This is a school to serve one main purpose....to teach our children. Can't we compromise and do away with these excessive expenditures, and keep some of the long term taxpaying residents in their homes?
We already borrowed $75 million, why isn't that enough? Other major school districts have built entire new high school campuses for that amount yet we can't? Everyone knows and expects estimated projects to exceed their expected budgets. The total now is $113 million. Even adding a modest 8 percent cost overrun...revises the total to $122 million....and growing.
I sold real estate for eight years throughout all of Mt. Lebanon. No potential buyer that wasn't from the community ever asked me if we had a turf football field or a modern sports complex or even if we had a swimming pool. They did however ask where Mt Lebanon ranked on the national and state levels for grade averages and academics.
Why do we need all of the additional glamour added to the school? It will not make our students better students. It's all just an unnecessary added expense to the bottom line of the budget.
I am asking this school board to have a heart and put this community back together. Keep people in their homes. It's never too late to take some of the unnecessary expenses away, and make this community whole again.
On a project of this size, the people should have had the right to vote and be heard to make it morally acceptable. If the people were giving the right to vote to approve the project costs then so be it.....but the majority haven't spoken so let's not have it all come down to a group of people that bully any opposing speaker yet to be heard.
Labels: carole orlansky, high school renovation, school board, school district