* Posed question was derived from a conversation that the SCPR had with a Canal Fulton resident shortly before the publication of this blog.
A month ago or so, yours truly came across the path of a Northwest Board of Education member at an area shopping establishment.
Mind you, this was close after the failure of the the 12.9 mill operating levy in May.
What struck the SCPR about this encounter was the perceived attitude of the board member. The best word that comes to mind in "cavalier." The member seemed to be dismissive of the significance of the defeat. A kind of que sera, que sera projection.
From the discussion of the levy defeat, the conversation turned to the shortfall on the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission funding. The member again, seemingly, evinced a perceived (by the SCPR) "I'm not concerned" frame of mind. We will transfer inside millage and take care of the problem that way."
So now we have the news that the imposition of a new tax in what appears to be planned for this Saturday, when the board meets at 9:00 a.m.
A very few days advance notice and on a Saturday at 9:00 a.m.?
Undoubtedly, a lead-notice time frame, a day and time that will lure Lawrence Township and Canal Fulton residents to participate. Huh?
A letter recently written by Superintendent William Stetler, on-the-face-of-it, presents a "damned if we do, damned, if we don't" dilemma. Really? A dilemma? $29 million at stake. Again, one must ask, a dilemma? Stetler has to be kidding.
Sounds more like passing the buck to the SCPR or, more sinisterly, an secretive manipulation.
Who believes that this board all of a sudden has gotten religion and now is is touch with its constituency?
As an interesting aside, Stetler and board president Steven Jones do not talk about in the letter, is the failure of the board in place in 2002 to anticipate delays that quite predictably would up the locals' share.
Not long ago the Northwest Board of Education appointed member Nikki Metzger to replace her deceased husband (who tragically died after a battle with cancer) in what President Jones termed a "no brainer" course of action as justification of making the appointment without opening the process to applications from the public at large.
The point being is that the Northwest Board of Education has a storied history of acting without minding the public.
In addition to the "no one but Metzger process," the SCPR is informed that member Gindelsberger was a board president's choice (rubber stamped by a compliant board) as was Superintendent Stetler.
Accordingly, to the SCPR, the "letter" is disingenuous to say the least.
There is no way this board is going to pass on $29 million, no matter if citizens are clearly against the maneuver at Saturday's meeting.
The end result is going to be that the Northwest Board of Education is sewing more seeds of distrust.
By imposing the millage transfer rather than putting it up for a vote, the board makes it abundantly clear that it distrusts the citizens of Lawrence Township and Canal Fulton.