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Letter to the Editor: Brighton School Bond Being Spent on Unneccesary Fluff

Brighton residents Bob and Brenda Goebbel express concern over Brighton Area Schools' management and spending of bond money.

Everyone in the Brighton School District interested in preventing their bond money from being wasted should attend the school board meeting this Monday Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. to see how their tax dollars are proposed to be spent.

The Scranton Middle School football field, "piggybacked" on the "technology" and school improvement bond, as proposed, will now require annual use of school funds for operational and maintenance expenses.

Many Brighton citizens do not have issue with the installation of a new athletic field. The main objection is the move of the field from its original, voted on site and the addition of costly and unnecessary "fluff".

We have a problem with the surreptitious movement of the field to a new site on the school grounds without an impact analysis or notifying the public most directly affected by this move. We also vehemently object to the planned additional expenditures, not in the bond.  

We do not approve of bond monies for the purchase or installation of a P.A. system, restrooms, concession stand, press box or additional parking which the proposed 500 to 1,000 seat stadium dictates. This was not part of the bond and we can't afford to waste money on things that don't directly impact our students.  

There is more than a one-time expense associated with these additional amenities. The year round operational and maintenance costs (heating and/or draining of water pipes, etc) will be more monies attached to the general fund.

We haven't forgotten our teachers working without a contract last year and the almost annual threat of no buses for our students. General fund expenditures should be directly impacting the Brighton students, not SELCRA activities for which people outside the district participate.

We can't believe with the tight finances in Michigan, and in our district, that such frivolous expenditures are being considered. It's hard to imagine people voting for the millage renewal on the November ballot with this grossly wasteful plan which is being entertained by the school board. Is there a reason the vote to approve the new site for the football field and its amenities is not until after the election? 

Bob and Brenda Goebbel

Brightonmom October 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM
When did bathrooms at a public school venue become fluff?? How is a PA system deemed unnecessary for a football field stadium? Not sure why you consider these necessary items "fluff". Can we all stop over your house to use the bathroom during the game?
Brenda Goebbel October 21, 2012 at 10:14 PM
We've lived here 17 years and the school's porta potties have served just fine. The proposed lights, P.A., restrooms, concession stand, press box are considered "fluff" because the money would be better spent on Brighton students. How about we hire more teachers to reduce class sizes? How about we provide students with a textbook to take home? I'm an Ann Arbor teacher with 28 students max in my high school science classes. I can't believe some Brighton classrooms have 35 students and students don't have their OWN textbooks from which to study. I tell my students to leave their books at home as I have a class set for use in my classroom. The textbook issue isn't a problem for all Brighton students though. Some parents buy their children their own copy of the textbooks. But how equitable is that to the families in our district that can't afford to do so? The general fund can not afford to be apportioned further for the operation and maintenance of the "fluff" at the new facility every year, FOREVER. This is the same fund from which teacher's are paid and books and materials are drawn. We have been forced to live with some tough decisions like shutting down schools, lack of texts, and huge class sizes in the an effort to save the district money, so now to have the board consider approving the field "fluff" which will draw on these saved funds is outrageous. If I was a teacher or parent in this community I'd be furious!
Terry Hawn October 26, 2012 at 04:24 AM
I fully support the addition of what some might deem to be unnecessary "fluff" by the school board. What voters must realize is that by the school board redirecting needed education funds away from what students need to achieve in life, they are indirectly helping those same students by providing future employment opportunities. Someone will have to clean those bathrooms that are being installed at the expense of education funding. Well done school board! Pass the TP.
Craig October 29, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Cleaning bathrooms doesn't sound very promising when the school board is competing with better Asian and European schools using better methods, such as mentoring, a team of tutors, and longer class times. Take the millions from the limited-use stadium and strengthen methods to build and encourage students to perform at a higher level. Why do the teachers need so many in-service days??? When I taught we had maybe one a quarter. Let us suppose a stadium is really needed. Why not combine efforts with a facility being consider near Hamburg? If a stadium is built the lights and PA system WILL bother neighbors and the facility will not be utilized during a large number of months of the year. Another alternative would be to put a roof on the thing and use it all year. Corrugated steel roof on the soccer facility in Novi seems to work well. (the roof would solve the problem with neighbors) but not the access roads.

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