To the editor:
A recent article noted that voters were concerned that 2005 school bond funds were not used for their intended purpose and may still cause suspicion among voters. School Superintendent Rick Doll disagrees, stating that such arguments are not accurate. As a former school board member, I have to disagree with Dr. Doll.
At a board meeting that I presided over in 2006, a discussion was had regarding the construction of a $40,000 tower at Lawrence High School for aesthetic purposes. I disagreed with the proposal. The proposal to construct a tower was not in the original plan. The board promised the public that bond money would only be used for necessary projects such as improved science classrooms. After a lengthy discussion, the board voted 6-1 to allow construction of the tower. I believed the decision went against what the board told the community when we asked the voters to support the school bond.
In a 2006 article in the Journal-World, following the meeting, former school board member James Hilliard said he was astounded that the board had proposed construction of the tower and voters would feel like the “board had pulled the wool over their eyes.”
My commitment as a school board member was to provide the best resources possible to enhance educational opportunities for our students and teachers. Achieving this goal requires integrity and transparency. If this current school bond is approved by voters, then it is essential that the board proposal be accurate, equitable and honorable.