January 14, 2017
Are you kidding me……
There is an article in the current issue of the Mid-Coast Forecaster dated January 13, 2017, page 3, entitled “Brunswick track project may require town funding.” There is a sub paragraph with the heading Coffin School. The gist of this section is a discussion of the possible uses of the school once it is “abandoned”. Apparently our Facilities Committee, made up of School Board members, has brainstormed (and I use that term lightly) this issue. Additionally, our Superintendent of Schools states that the building will be utilized.
“If we build a new school, Coffin will have to be used as it is currently being used until the new school is finished, probably 3 years from now”, Paul Perzanoszki stated. The article then goes on to say that if the town embarks on repairs to the Junior High, or rebuilds the High School (this would seem to be a mistake in the article) with state funding, pending an application that would have to be approved in 2018, Coffin would house Junior High students during construction. Our Superintendent is then quoted as saying that there are options (for Coffin) “depending on if the department keeps the building in the district or gives it back to the town.”
Sarah Singer, Facilities Chairwoman and a member of the School Board, is quoted as saying that “because it has a gym and kitchen, it would support a community recreational program.” It gets worse.
On the other hand, the article states, if the School Department moved its current administrative department offices into the building (presumably the Coffin School), its current location (the School Department’s) at the former Hawthorne School could be given back to the town. Hawthorne is one of the elementary schools, a beautiful structure in town that was given up awhile back, upgraded at some cost, and made suitable for the School Department itself. It gets even worse.
Finally, and stay with me folks, I am not making this up, the article again quotes Sarah Singer as saying that the “rearrangement” would reduce the number of Town-owned school buildings, and the agreement could strengthen the department’s relationship with taxpayers, who are being asked to fund Coffin’s replacement. Huh?
So here we are, the taxpayers of Brunswick, being told by the School Board, after they were given the go ahead by our “impartial” Town Council to “go big” for a new school because Coffin is unsuitable for use, that the Coffin School is now just fine for multiple other uses. At the same time, a School Board member is offering to give us back the perfectly functional former Hawthorne Elementary school building that they have been using for their offices, once we build them a $28,000,000 new school that we don’t need.
This proposed “rearrangement” is essentially the Town of Brunswick “shell game”, now you see it, now you don’t, then now you do. Oh, and most importantly, this “Kumbaya” moment of bonding, and magnanimous gesture on their part, is supposed to strengthen the School Department’s relationship with all you Taxpayers who are also footing a bill of up to $37,000,000 for the current School Budget, 80% of which goes to salaries and benefits. The average taxpayer stagnates or falls behind financially, and they move ahead, with your money.
Doesn’t anyone else in Brunswick care that they are being manipulated and taken advantage of? Some of us do. Taxpayers of Brunswick, you get what you allow, and maybe what you deserve.