A plan for a new elementary building and related issues such as wetland reclamation and congested traffic will be forthcoming after the bond issue is passed on November 5.
The “conceptual plan” for an elementary school with two wings is a “concept”. A concept is an IDEA, not a plan. Would you buy an expensive new car from an engineer’s drawing of his/her idea? Wouldn’t you want to see the car and take it for a test drive? Unfortunately, an “IDEA” for a school building can not be taken for a test drive until it is built. The “concept” we are being asked to support is an IDEA that began 18 months ago in a small group without public knowledge.
The “visioning sessions” in February gave parents a way to be part of the process that is now being sold as the best way to maintain SLPS excellent reputation and high test scores. The public was invited by an article in the paper, but posters appeared at only a few public venues. There was no poster at the Library until I requested one and placed it there. There was no public mailing to invite broad participation.
In March and April I spoke at Board meetings for the limited 5 minutes asking the Board to give voters a plan we could support for what we need, not everything we want. While Mr. Furton and the Board were respectful, they continue to SELL THE IDEA that we NEED everything they want! Supporters of the bond issue are optimistic that housing prices will continue to rise and everyone will be happy to pay more taxes, not only for $59.8 Million of loan, but $34.7 Million of interest PLUS the ongoing 5% or rate of inflation that legally raises taxes under Proposition A. This borrowing totals $94.5 Million to be paid over 27 years. Do you agree SLPS NEEDS everything on the list? Do you want to leave this debt for your children and grandchildren?
The ballot information is clear: “millage can be raised in certain circumstances.” If the bond issue passes, and revenue falls, taxes can be increased without a vote. This has happened in Coopersville! Are you willing to take the chance it will happen in Spring Lake?
— Bill and Connie Widdis, Spring Lake Township