February 9, 2017
The lone dissenter at Monday’s Town Council “dress rehearsal” meeting for the second public “performance” on the school bond issue, now scheduled for February 21st, appeared to be as dumbfounded as this author at the path this fiasco has taken. Was I surprised, no, bemused and insulted, yes. Counselor Dan Harris indicated that the School Board (SB) stated last December that the public (their public at least, whoever they are) was in favor of both the new elementary school and the JH repairs on the bond issue. He then indicated that the school board had apparently become worried that if both items were on the referendum, separately, that the citizens might vote down the elementary school and vote for the cheaper JH repairs.
Earlier in the proceedings the chair of the School Board stated again, as they do, that there was “strong” support for the elementary school. There were no specifics as to the numbers of supporters or what percentage of the voters that meant. She also reiterated that the school board had developed concerns about putting 2 separate items on the bond proposal presumably echoing the concern that the voters would not approve the school but would approve the JH repairs.
Now think about that dichotomy for a second. Over and over we have been hearing about all this “strong support” the School Board has for the new elementary school while at the same time they were catatonic about the possibility that the voters might have voted the school down in favor of the cheaper JH repairs. Sounds like the bizzarre “alternate facts” we are getting out of Washington these days.
Here is another revealing example of the School Board’s “double speak”. On numerous occasions and in numerous meetings we have been hearing from the School Board, Town Council, and the Architect how remote a chance the town had to get state funding for the Elementary School. All of a sudden, as stated by the SB Chair in her additional comments, “we are going to aggressively pursue state funding for a new Junior High”, if it gets taken off the current bond proposal. So, by her logic, or lack thereof, we are taking our long shot chances from one (unaffordable) school, making the town cough up the $28,000,000 on that, and transferring those same long shot chances to another unaffordable school. There is more “fuzzy logic” here than on a peach skin. At the same time, we are going to defer the repairs on the Junior High, which apparently are not important in the first place.
If the majority of the taxpayers in Brunswick can’t absorb this entire fiasco, and see it for what it is, then your financial stability is in serious trouble. The February 21st presentation (not a “hearing” because that implies an act of listening which is only granted to the School Board and their supporters) will be a minor formality by the Town Council, granting the School Board their wish. The new revised bond proposal will go to a referendum as sure as the sun rises in the East. Then, it will be up to the true majority in Brunswick to finally show that they are tired of this charade. You have the voting power to do so.
As the quote on our web site says, “The most common way people give up their power is thinking they don’t have any”. If that is what the citizens of Brunswick think, they are seriously mis-informed. You can shut down this insulting lack of governing in a flash, if it comes to that, by casting one more vote against their actions than they can get in favor of their mistakes.