5 Things People Said About the Farmington Public Schools Bond

Residents weigh in before officials vote 6-0 to put two bond questions on the November ballot.

Bill Largent, Farmington Kids First. Video credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
Bill Largent, Farmington Kids First. Video credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
Farmington school board members listened to comments from more than 20 residents Tuesday, before voting to put two bond proposals on the November general election ballot. 

Proposal 1, for safety and security, infrastructure, technology, and classroom and media center remodeling, comes to $154.6 million. Proposal 2 focuses on high school performing arts centers, outdoor athletic field and track resurfacing and a technology refresh, at a cost of $31.6 million.

Here are some of the points people made during the meeting at North Farmington High School, both positive and negative: 

1. Robert Zucker told officials they should move the last two items of proposal 1–technology and remodeling media centers–into proposal 2, which would get proposal 1 closer to $90 million. "I think most people would support that," he said. 

2. Bill Largent, speaking on behalf of Farmington Kids First, "the same group that worked to defeat the August proposal", said that if officials would delay the bond for a year and allow the group to help engage the community, the group would guarantee passage of the bond. 

3. Kelly Goldberg, who supports the proposals, said she's concerned that kids don't always have access to technology at home and can't count on using a library computer. "The idea that it was good enough for me ... so it's good enough for my kids, that's outdated thinking," she said. 

4. Supporting the bond, Jenn Garland said, will free up general fund dollars currently spent on building issues, and that money could be used in the classroom. Supporting the bond is supporting teachers, she said. 

5. Several residents said officials need to "sharpen their pencils" when it comes to the cost of bond projects. Some said they would support a pared down proposal. "I think they want to vote for something," Ed Cleland said of those who oppose the bond, "but I think they want to vote for the right thing." 

What do you think about the Farmington Public Schools bond proposal? Sign in to the site and share your thoughts here: What's the Future of Farmington Public Schools?
Irving Ginsberg August 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Last night all who opposed the previous bond proposal said they would support a proposal that addressed the crying needs and imperatives for security, for non-routine maintenance and repairs, and for meaningful technology upgrades that improve student achievement. Mr. Largent's proposal to convene a committee with diverse views to work together for a bond proposal that all could support makes sense.
shelley August 27, 2013 at 01:07 PM
I didn't go to the meeting, because having a meeting the night before a decision had to be made seemed pointless. The school board already had their minds made up. There is nothing that anybody could have said to change their minds. All, we the voting public can do is to vote NO once again on the bond issue. Sell the old schools/buildings first, streamline administrative bloat, then look at improvements that will actually improve education. Let's get multiple bids for the projects and then let the people decide. Right now, it sounds like this bond issue is very similar to the Detroit jail funding project.
Sue Burstein August 27, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Shelley, you are absolutely correct, the fix was in. In fact, when opposition members met with Zurvalec and others, the districy told them the amount, so my guess is, since that Meeting took place a week after the election, that they had it planned before the August vote. And it was opposition members who contacted the district to sit down and talk, not the other way around as it was presented. The district has no interest in what we have to say. So, they will lose again in Nov (which traditionally is a harder time to pass millages) when they could have been working with us as Bill Largent and others offered,them. As one board member stated, this will be a referendum vote on the board and administration. And so far they aren't doing so good.
Sue Burstein August 27, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Joni, I just read that the Huffington Post, another AOL owned online news outlet is requiring posters to use their full names, no monikers or aliases. Is the Patch planning on doing anything like that? I for one would welcome that transparency.
Ann August 29, 2013 at 08:06 AM
Sue, I don't see what difference it makes if people use their full names or not. When I comment about things here, I prefer to have a little privacy and use my first name only. In this digital age, people can look up your name and instantly find your address--complete with a map to your house. If I speak freely about what is on my mind, I don't want someone who opposes my viewpoint to leave a dead rat on my doorstop, or worse. If people must give their complete name, many will stop posting. Then it wouldn't be a true measure of what people think about the different issues.


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