cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
There seems a very real sense in our community that bodes ill if the school board decides to pursue a re-vote on the same bonding issue from the spring election this fall.
Judging from the discussion that has ensued since that news was made public, whether or not formalized by the board at the time of its disclosure, the residents of the school district appear to feel very much opposed to the idea that a re-vote would follow so closely on the heels of the recent defeat. And, they seem to be especially opposed to a re-vote on the identical bonding questions.
We are able to observe the 'test tube' that is called Hartford and what we see in that situation could easily be what we'll see in Germantown unless the school board steps to the plate with a different approach. Even though the board used the services of a communications consultant, the communication seemed to be unidirectional. The district voters' response was this: "you talk to us but you don't seem to listen to us". That may be an over-simplification, but that is the essence of the problem today. In Hartford, now, when the real damage is done, the board seems to have realized that it might need to reach out and learn why. That may well be 'too little, too late' and that will be a shame because there are undoubtedly needs.
If the voters are 'given another opportunity' in the same form and in such a quick fashion, they may very well take that as an insult and seize that opportunity to really show their dissatisfaction. That will succeed in nothing more than polluting the well for a good long time to come.
There seems more a problem with feeling that the board has ignored the voters' feelings as expressed in the initial outcome, than outright opposition to anything the district wants to do. Although, the district is getting very close to the edge of that chasm, in my opinion, and really needs to step back, reassess and reformulate its approach. The outright distrust factor is growing and will only be overcome with earnest effort. It will not be overcome with 'in your face' tactics...and that is what seems to be happening today.
It seems from my vantage point that communication has been lacking. I know that the school board hasn't taken that approach intentionally; at least I hope that has not been the case. Communication involves give and take. It involves outreach in a form that seems more earnest than purely intended to show voters why the district is correct. The district may well be correct, but the voters need to come to understand that.
Just as all students don't learn in the same way, all voters don't learn in the same way. Maybe we need to slow the process a bit, engage the citizenry in other ways and have some earnest back and forth conversations.
My opinion is that a mistake was made when taxpayer money was spent on the Baird effort; it wasn't a lot of money, but it didn't sit well in the community. I think that simply having had board members out in the community would've been better providing they were each on the same page.