Idea or plan?

To the Editor: Dear readers and all who support excellent schools, Having attended all Spring Lake Public Schools meetings from February-May 2013, and more recently the public meetings on October 16 and 23, I am convinced voters are being asked to support an idea more than a plan.
Oct 28, 2013

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



Love your article. I am wondering where the money has come from for all the YES brochures, YES shirts worn in the Homecoming Parade, YES signs, etc. If it is the general fund, then I am assuming that the NO group would also have access to some of the money in that fund. Just wondering...


well...that's pretty obvious since those materials all have the proper, legal language that identifies the source of funds used. my yard sign clearly says 'Paid for with regulated funds by Education Boosters...' As do all the printed materials that say YES on them.

The question would be who paid for the NO signs? They don't seem to have the same proper legal language...hmm...I think you're on to something. That said, who cares?!

Vote YES!


The NO Signs do not have anything written on them because there is not a COMMITTEE. we were not given the same opportunity that you were. the education boosters address is the HIGH SCHOOL. hmmm you are right we are on to something here... The NO people have signs that are paid for by the people for the people FOR THE KIDS SAKE!! We did not need FUND to voice our opinions, we have our children, we have the people that PAID FOR their own signs. The signs are all by word of mouth. people ask for them.


Did my checking: the address is not for the High School...the Education Boosters is not using school funds or a school mailing address. If you state something as a fact, at least do your homework.


Here is the webpage of the Spring Lake Schools Foundation

If you would like to make a donation below is there address which is the Middle School/Intermediate School address. All checks are to be made out to the Spring Lake Schools Foundation per their webpage.

Spring Lake Schools Foundation
c/o Spring Lake Public Schools
345 Hammond Street
Spring Lake, MI 49456

Hopefully that clears it up for you two.


The Middle/Intermediate School is also where "Central Office" is located. The Superintendent, Director of Operations, Curriculum Director, Accounting, etc. are all located in the Central Office.


The schools foundation and education boosters are separate entities. Neither is school run.


Just to clear up, the no signs are paid be each individual. If you want a no sign, you need to pay for it out of your own pocket. But my real question would actually be why wasnt anyone contacted during conferences (like the yes people) to be able to support the no side of the bond. Or hang a no banner at the football field? Or even putting a letter on the school website (like the promoting that is on there) saying why we should vote no.

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