- It's going to cost us far too much money, they say. They say it with full-page ads in the New Paltz Times (which run $800, I've heard), and they say it with mass-produced lawn signs. The supporters are sticking to writing letters and repainting their old signs.
- They say it with a lot of landlords, who are paying taxes that will not directly benefit them or their children. Many of the supporters have children in the school system (although some of us are supporting it because it benefits the community, which we see as a home, not a revenue source).
- They never say they don't want to support education, even though some of them probably do. People get emotional about children (some love them, some hate them) and it's probably for the best to leave emotions out of the discussion because they just cloud the issue.
- They find interesting ways to frame their arguments. This week's paper has several folks pointing to the gym roof collapse is proof that this renovation isn't necessary. I'm intrigued - wouldn't a freshly-renovated building require less maintenance and be less likely to have problems?
- They never refute the claims that construction costs are lower now than they will be in the future, which lowers the project costs.
- They complain about the lack of community involvement in the process, which has been ongoing for three years and has included articles, blog posts, superintendent coffees in the morning, informational meetings with discussions at night, and two full election cycles that saw two outspoken supporters of the project win seats of the Board of Education. I think everyone has the right to air their views, but please don't insult my intelligence by suggesting that lack of interest on doing so somehow taints the process. Should Maria Rice have offered wine and cheese to entice you, or would that just raise your tax-dollar-wasting hackles a bit more?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
What the Middle School opposition is saying
I'm trying to read between the lines of the message being sent by those who are opposed to renovating the Middle School.