The banner headline in this morning’s Trib was damn good news. It means, if a sale results, that we won’t have to spend a quarter million dollars a year to maintain an empty building. Times three years that’s a lot of moola or has it been four years……who keeps track?
Now let me put this into perspective: Ten million dollars isn’t much for a district with nearly a $140 million dollar annual budget. Over the twenty year life of the typical school building bond its a mere half million dollars. It will probably be gobbled up quickly and if the School Board makes the mistake of putting it to use to cover annual expenses it means that once spent there will be a new hole in the budget.
Still, we won’t be spending a quarter million dollars (three and half teachers) a year on the empty building’s upkeep.
I have one huge concern about this piece of good news. I’m afraid the school board majority that has heedlessly pursued an aggressive legal challenge to Art Johnston will regard this as a vindication and embolden them to rush headlong into ten months of crisis by removing Art from the Board. Art’s been fearful of removal but I’ve kept telling him that the Board majority is just not that stupid. Now even I have my doubts. They may get cocky. It happens.
I’ve sent Chair Miernicki an email suggesting that it would be important for the two of us to meet together over coffee. I did the same about the time of the now infamous East Graduation before all hell broke loose. Mike chose to go to a golf game instead and ignored my request to reschedule a meeting later. Once the six allegations were thrown into our laps I gave up trying to meet with Mike. In a meeting with the Superintendent a couple weeks ago I found Mike’s best friend and my fellow school board member Bill Westholm there to greet me. I took this as a signal that Bill was standing in for Mike and was frankly glad to have a candid three-way conversation with the Superintendent. Still, Mike is the Chair not Member Westholm.
After last night’s meeting I asked Mike in person and not by email if he was up for coffee. He wasn’t sure he was at least not until Mary Rice makes her appearance. He told me my quoting him in my blog was a problem. I promised to keep our conversation off the blog. He wanted time to think about that. I did not consider that an encouraging response. I’m not sure I blame him. He seems to be looking to December with the eyes of a marathoner looking at the finish line as his chairmanship nears the end of the year and his possible retirement from the leadership position it entails.
There was more that I wanted to write about but I smell the pumpkin bread baking. The three inches of snow that was predicted seems to have fallen through. If I can’t make my Turkey day snow sculpture maybe I’ll take a picture of the crude modeling clay model I threw together and post that tomorrow. How disappointing.
Ah, but the fragrance of the pumpkin bread brings me relief from such petty gripes.