LETTER: Separate wants from needs in Rockford Referendum

To the Editor:

I was shocked to see that the Rockford School Board has brought back the same referendum that was defeated two years ago. They were told at that time that if they separated the wants from the needs they would stand a much better chance of success. But instead they returned with the same “wish list” and “threats”.

I went to their web site and when I finally found the well hidden link the the project list I found the font was so small that I couldn’t read it. But the ads for the T shirts was certainly visible! Shame on you ICS Consulting!

Certainly the running track needs to be repaired but do we need to spend a million dollars on synthetic turf while we’re at it? Of course not. If the rook leaks we should repair it but does that mean we must pave the walking paths? I have no problem with replacing an old boiler system but does another BB field go with it? We’re being asked for a quarter of a million dollars to re-construct the tennis courts even though the school has never had a tennis team.

I watched the videos on their web site. You should too. At one point we are told that an unknown “somebody” got up on the cat-walk in the auditorium and modified the stage lighting such that they’re no longer usable, so now we’re asked to replace them, not repair them.

A little “back of the envelope math” tells me that if the board had brought forward a referendum that had only the “needs” and none of the “wants” the cost would be well under $20 million, the “threats” would all go away and it would be a referendum that I could support.

Ron Converse