Obviously there is a great deal of interest in next Monday's vote on the Bond Referendum. Since joining the BOE in 2010 I have been listening to many discussions about our need to fix the roofs. Though I was not part of the Facility Committee I was impressed with the hard work and long hours they put in to get all the facts straight and come up with the most financially prudent decisions for taxpayers as well as stakeholders. The decision to float a bond was not done in a vacuum. We tried going solar but without new roofs that was not feasible. And obviously our maintenance reserve did not come close to having the funds needed to undertake this massive project. (You can call that poor planning by previous boards or massive state aid cuts- but the facts are the facts.) Plus with historically low interest rates the time was right (just as it is in Princeton where they are also floating a similar referendum next week). That being said- these schools are old and need new roofs.
As you may know I with Mark Friedman and Gretchan Ohlig did not support having one bundled bond. But even though the majority voted differently, I still support the bond getting done now. Facts are simple- we need these roofs to be replaced. And as for the Turf Field, I feel the brand of Westfield (the market values of our homes) will benefit in the long run by staying competitive with other districts in all aspects of what makes a town attractive. That is also why I fought so hard to push through our new Technology Initiative earlier this year.
But the bottom line –Just vote on the facts- not what anonymous bloggers want to throw out there. This decision is up to you. Just vote- That's what matters most in a democracy.
As Springsteen says, "So Walk Tall, or baby don't walk at all"…
Member, Westfield Board of Education