Was anyone really mad
at the school board?
By Bob Rhoades
The firing of the coaches by the City School Board caused an eruption
of sentiment that ranged from support, to get rid of all of them.
I wrote on this site after it happened and offered a couple of
solutions for the problem of dealing with this board. There was a
recall petition of all of the board. That is a simple matter; all
it takes is identifying the act that would warrant the recall, getting
the petition signed by the correct number of people and then having it
placed on the ballot. I haven’t heard of that happening yet and
it probably won’t happen.
Then there was taking out a petition and gathering the correct amount
of signatures to get your name placed on the ballot to actually run
against these people that no one seems to like. I don’t think
that’s happened yet. I also made mention that if we the people
got rid of them, their names wouldn’t be on the brass plaque in the
hall way of the new school. That would fix them!
One of the board members questioned me on my motives for offering these
suggestions, especially the first one and the last one. Well you
see, I’ve watched things here for a long time. Previously some
people would write letters to the editor where they had to sign their
name. Now with chat boxes on two local web pages, there exists
the ability to publish in print ones likes and dislikes without ever
identifying one’s self. My suggestions were met exactly how I figured
they’d be met. Nothing happened!
If anything, some of the biggest complainers stopped complaining.
That’s probably a good thing or is it. What it says is that a lot
of people complain for an opportunity to vent. They have no
intention of actually doing anything about the problem, if in fact one
actually exists. There was obviously some sort of problem with
the people in question and perhaps we just don’t need to drag them
through the mud any more than has already been done. Perhaps we
don’t really need to know why they were fired. By the same token,
the board making decisions with an empty gallery at most board meetings
doesn’t say a whole lot about the rest of the people living in the
district. That’s probably the place to do your complaining before
the fact, not after.
So since the board isn’t getting impeached and no one is running
against them, that part is over with. Now to the task at
hand: We need to do something about our antique school
buildings. We have five of them. They range in age from 100
years old to 50 years old. The 50 year old one is still acceptable
mostly because of construction practices that were used in the 1960’s
when it was built. The rest of the buildings are falling apart.
That isn’t because they’ve not been taken care of, it’s because you can
only fix things so many times, and they are at their limit. The
energy inefficiency is only a part of the problem of the high cost to
run these buildings. The roofs leak, the pipes leak, the pipes
are buried in the floors, the electrical panels are obsolete and on and
on. We had the good foresight to pass an operating levy to keep
the district going. That was a good thing. A new building
that will operate at half the cost of the old ones will guarantee that
the operating levy will serve us well for a long time. Now we
have an opportunity to have the State of Ohio share in the cost of a
new energy efficient building and even pay for the dismantling of the
old buildings. If we keep the situation the way it is, we are
just throwing good operating money after bad situations.
Joe Payne was correct in his article, just because one thinks that the
board made a mistake on the coaches doesn’t give the rest of us the
right to make a mistake on funding a new school. The last
generation of people to have had to worry about a new school is almost
extinct. Let’s don’t try to compare apples and oranges
anymore. The new school is a separate issue and needs the
attention of all of us to get all of the facts and make an intelligent
decision on voting day. Traditionally about 30% of the 15,374
registered voters in the district vote on issues. In May when the
operating levy was on the ballot 20% of the 15,000 people voted.
So much for complaining where it really counts.