Swords/Plowshares 26 – The people’s will

Disclaimer

It isn’t just the 9 to 1 lead in the School Board’s email in-basket. It isn’t just the 2,300 likes and 600 shares in Don Ness’s Facebook page. Its now a recent poll you can find on the Duluth News Tribune’s webpage that shows an 83% majority of online readers who want Central High sold to Edison. As of 9:30 PM its 2008 “YES” votes to 348 “NO” votes. A polster who brought this to my attention explained that this was significant because these results were from the more youthful online community. I have no doubt that if older folks who have resisted the computer age, but who still vote more reliably than online geeks, were added to this mix the results would be even higher.

If our new School Board chooses not to sell Central, or even consider any negotiations, it would probably doom the passage of critical future referendums for operational levies. How could our School Board justify asking voters to pass higher taxes when they turned down the best offer we will receive for a financial sinkhole like the empty Central High? In fact, by the time you throw in the savings of over a million dollars on a demolition we won’t have to pay for, the $15 plus million we get for Central will almost double what we raised in the 2013 operational levy referendum. That levy provides $1.8 million annually over five years or only $9 million dollars.

Although its not a fully trustworthy scientific poll here is what the DNT asks:

Should the school district sell the former Central High School property to be used as a Duluth Edison high school?
Yes
No
Not sure
Vote
View Results
Previous Polls

As I type this I’ve been told that Duluth’s public employee union leaders are pulling out the stops, as they did at the Monday public comment meeting, to scuttle the deal. I am appalled. I have heard of a number of teachers who are burning out with current classroom numbers and planning on much earlier retirements than they ever imagined for themselves. These union leaders don’t care about our children; they don’t care about their union members and they sure as hell don’t care about our community. They are the Iranian mullahs who would refuse earthquake aid from the United States because we are the “Great Satan.”