Letter to the Editor

Reader believes better plan can be put together

Sunday, August 17, 2008

To the Editor:

I am sitting here reading a recent Letter to the Editor and wondering where the writer has been over the last year.

The author states that he trusts the school corporation's decision as to what to do on a building project based on his "observation and simple reasoning."

Last August, I might have read his letter and agreed, but I started asking questions and checking facts when the school corporation proposed to spend $53 million on a project that did not include any new school building, just renovations to existing ones and more than $6 million for a maintenance facility and new central office.

If it is a matter of trust, some school corporation employees lost my trust when it came to spending money on buildings when the statement was made, repeatedly, and after being given references stating otherwise, that the Capital Projects Fund was "not for construction."

I may have to trust them to run the buildings, but how can I trust them to spend money when they do not know the purpose of the funds that they control as set by the Indiana Code? I am just not that trusting in the face of what has transpired.

Trust is something that is earned and easily lost. I learned in high school that even a textbook can contain errors and not everything you hear is the absolute truth, most of the time, because there is simply not enough time to go into all of the details.

I am not an "expert" and I would not claim to be if I had all of the knowledge in the world. I am a person that checks facts before making a decision. A person is an "expert" only in another's eyes. A self-proclaimed expert is not worthy of being listened to as they are a fool. To blindly follow the advice of people whom you believe are expert without doing even the most basic research is to abdicate your responsibility to think for yourself and decide.

While I, and others, feel that the school board made the wrong choice on the project, I can understand how they may feel that they are doing what the public wants.

The fact is, confirmable from the minutes of the meeting when the vote was cast, is that three citizens spoke against the project and more than 20 spoke for it. However, it should be noted that most of the people speaking for approval were employed by the school corporation and, therefore, stand to gain intangibly from the project.

Those who spoke for approval who were not connected with the school corporation except as parents of students and as taxpayers numbered three or four, showing that the issue was about evenly split in the eyes of the general public.

We can and should come up with a better plan. We need to think for ourselves and put forth the effort to do the best thing the best way. We owe that to ourselves and the future!

Leo Southworth,