I agree with Marciaanne Funk, on her letter of May 22, and I will also vote no on June 12th. A no vote will make the bureaucrats go back to the drawing board. So please do not sit this one out. Go and vote no on this $13 million tax increase.

What they are doing at Appanoose, Williamsburg and the middle school should not cost more than $1 million, at a high estimate. That leaves $12 million for the new gym, expanding the track and some classrooms at the high school. I am sorry, but the school board members are not good stewards of the taxpayers’ money. These board members are like bureaucrats everywhere. They don’t care how much things cost or how much they spend because it is not their money. Just raise people’s taxes.

How much can you build with $13 million? Look around Franklin County for houses in the $250,000, price range (just the house, no land), or think of the size of house you could build for that. Now look at your school campus in Pomona. For $13 million you could build 52 houses on that campus. Say that you would like a bigger house with a pool, costing $333,333. You could bill 39 houses and 39 pools on that campus. I just don’t get it — $13 million is a lot of money and you can build a lot of things with it. But I just feel like we are getting ripped off.

Also the lack of concern that our school board has to harden our schools. I would vote for a $25 million bond issue if it was for the defense and safety of our children. In a May 1, 2018, letter to the forum, one of the committee members that worked to put this bond together said is was about $300 a square foot for bullet proof glass and that would be an astronomical expense. It does not necessarily need to be bulletproof glass. There are other ways to secure a building. It is that the school board is doing nothing to secure the buildings. You don’t even lock the doors during class at the high school. You are spending $13 million and nothing towards safety. What is our limit, Just how much do we pay to keep a child’s life safe? Is it $200 a square foot?

You could bring a lot of people along if you gave them some security to vote for. But no. It is that this school board has turned down anything to harden our schools. In talking with a school board member I was told, they turn down teachers or staff concealed carry, and said that will never happen here. They turn down a school resource officer that could carry because it was going to cost $50,000 a year per officer.

It was the school board that moved the shop class across K-68, knowing that would be unsafe when crossing that highway. Now that committee member is telling us we need to do this so they don’t have to cross the highway. If the school board’s assessment was that it was a danger to the students in crossing K-68, they then have an obligation to protect the students. They did not hire a crossing guard or have adult supervision at the crosswalk. They did not even have the shop teacher supervise crossing K-68. So I don’t know how concerned about student safety they are. I have observed that crosswalk at shop class time. There are no school zone blinking lights and the speed limit does not drop to 20 miles per hour and the students have to dart across K-68. And after school when the traffic is backed up, the students have a hard time crossing the highway to go home or on game night when a lot of them go to Casey’s for snacks. So be concerned for their safety and have a staff member serve as a cross guard or have a volunteer crossing guard. Just do something, anything to make our students safer in today’s environment.

I know the chances of something happening is low to never. And I am sure some of the schools that had something happen, they were thinking the same thing, nothing like that is going to happen here. But if anything ever happened here you would not be able to look at yourself in the mirror or have anywhere to hide.

Out of abundance of caution, go back to the drawing board and be like no other school district in America. That here in West Franklin Schools USD 287 you will assure and guarantee that each and every student will make it home on every school day, safely!

Until you can make that pledge I will vote no on any school bond, and I urge everyone to do the same.

— Joseph M. Nocero,