Jump to content
You bring up a very good point Pete - this issue is dividing this community and it is apparent that there will be lasting repercussions after this is over.
I put this question back to the school board - you’ve maintained that you spent countless hours getting community buy-in from the start of this process, and yet here we are with an opposition group that is growing by the day. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt and say that you truly thought that you were presenting a solution that the community was behind (per your year of meetings) - it is pretty evident now that this was not the case, even if no one will admit it.
If this was truly the right plan, you would be working with the community right now on an action plan vs. trying to convince everyone that it is what they want.
The reality is you have now achieved what you originally set out to do - mobilize the community behind this important issue. You have everyones ear, and the opportunity to take a step back and really develop a plan that the community can get behind. My guess is that ego will get in the way and prevent this from happening, but the opportunity is here to stop, revisit the plan and get a true community buy-in to move forward.
Our family is voting NO on this issue and urge other families to do the same, and then become part of a solution that we can all get behind. More here at http://www.citizensforabetterplansteamboat.com.
"If the NO folks have their way nothing will improve for years. A NO vote means no plan nothing. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen."
Correction Russell - a no vote means that we take this back to the table and come up with a plan that works. The all-or-nothing scare tactic is just that - a tactic. Remember Russell that parents on both side of this issue want nothing more to improve our already stellar school system, regardless of how negative you paint the other side.
"We understand some have called for a “better plan.” But their objections were raised late in the process, are mostly centered around personal conveniences and ignore the input of hundreds of parents, educators, business owners and other community members who spent a considerable amount of time deliberating this past year to create the “best plan.”
Come on Scott - this is absolute nonsense. Personal conveniences? Please elaborate so that I can full understand what selfish acts are going on over here. Your continued portrayal of the opposing group as a bunch selfish parents vs. a group that wants to revisit what we consider to be a rushed plan is insulting and just continues to lower your groups credibility in my eyes.
Ken - your continued assumption that we are parents who care only about our needs is the only thing that is insulting on this blog. Do you really think that this is the driving force behind those of us that disagree with this course of action, that this is our “primary focus”? The high school location is a large part of this discussion, but it is only a part of it and there are many other reasons behind our desire to find a different solution.
And your label of us as “elitists” is laughable. It is a slap in the face of all of us that have moved here to make a life for ourselves and our children - many at a cost to their own time and needs in the hopes of providing a better life for our children. As a relative newcomer to this town, you might want to get to know your neighbors a bit better and revisit that offensive label - this is a debate around a proposed plan with elements that this community disagrees on, and we will continue to function as a community when it is over. Your tactic of belittling your neighbors who disagree with your opinion is out of place in a place like Steamboat, but my guess is that it will do little to stop you at this point.
We are voting no on this proposed plan, and you can see why at http://www.citizensforabetterplansteamboat.com
Ah Russell, the tune may change but the song remains the same.
Let’s address yet another creative name given to the group who would thinks that the current proposal just does not work- the “sarcastic folks” or “Johnny-come-latelies” as you stated in your previous post. Lets put some fact behind the claim that all of these people just happened to show up out of the blue and oppose this great “yearlong” plan. A question for you to answer Russell:
-When was the first meeting held on this subject?
If I am reading “year long” right, then the first meeting was held back in 2014. The claim continues to be that all of these meetings were held and no one spoke up, so lets determine how many meetings we are talking out and move on from there.
Quite the contrary Russell - our group is far from negative and backward looking. Simply because we are “against” this current initiative does not make our statements negative - rather we see a different path to achieving the same goal. If the roles were reversed, your objection to the proposed initiative might seem negative as well.
I would argue that we are taking a more pragmatic approach to this issue - preserving the neighborhood school that all hold so dear and not jumping on a plan that not only destroys that ideal (and the argument that we will have a middle school there does not justify it in my mind) but puts a new tax burden on this community. We say no, and we say that we can still achieve what we want by other means.
Ken - it looks like we shared the same experiences growing up as I was a Gwinnett County kid (Brookwood High) who watched the area go from farmland to sprawl overnight. I agree that we need to avoid what was done there at all costs - we moved here from downtown Atlanta 5 years ago and are not looking back.
I think this is a discussion that has proponents on both sides, and both sides can present a credible argument. I appreciate the respectful tone taken here and look forward to a lively debate gong forward!
Ken - I am going to politely disagree in that this issue does boil down to a new high school. I think we can all agree that we are seeing issues around overcrowding, and we are all trying to peer into the crystal ball to see where the numbers will be in the near future. There are a number of options out there to help alleviate the issues (retrofit existing buildings, build a new elementary school) and the new high school options has emerged as the top choice of those moving this forward. There is a large contingent of residents that believe - as I do - that the high school and its location are a top priority for this town, and that we do have other options to consider instead of moving it.
I also think that the apparent lack of involvement on the issue has alot to do with timing - this was brought up right before summer break and a large number of folks are not here to really engage. With the new school year coming up quickly, there will be alot more involvement from parents who will be affected by this decision.
And one of the most interesting comments on these threads was from Charles Brewer, the founder of Mindspring and previously of Green Street Properties in Atlanta. His urbanist development approach created a number of great developments in Atlanta, focusing on existing, walkable urban centers while much of Atlanta was trying to push everything to the suburbs. I want to repost his comments because I think it really sums up the feelings of those of us want to continue exploring other options:
"The recommendation to move the high school out is the kind of thing one might have expected to see in the dark ages of urban planning of the 60’s or 70’s. It is very surprising to see today, when the overwhelming importance and benefits for towns of having walkable centers that include important assets like the high school are much better understood and appreciated. From my recent visit I would say that the high school is perhaps the most important single institution for life in the town. Yet this overwhelming important factor seems to have been barely considered in the recommendation. I find this nothing short of amazing.
Moving the high school outside of town would be a disaster regardless of how many playing fields, parking lots, or other amenities might be included on the remote site. It would be a huge step towards making Steamboat just another generic have-to-drive-everywhere-all-the-time-to-do-anything part of Suburban USA. Steamboat deserves better.”
Thank you Steph - it continues to frustrate when you hear those that are driving this initiative proclaim that this is the popular opinion. I can show you a large number of people downtown who won't be voting for this either, as well as a good number of people who come in from the east.
I agree that a neutral polling group should come in and get a real read on how this community feels. There is a big distrust around here with those that are trying to push these big initiatives through without really vetting those that it will affect - and if 28 people is what they are basing this "support" around, then they are in for a long process.
And I agree Russell that we need to come together to address these issues (and appreciate your passion around the issue as well!) - but there are a large number of folks who aren't buying this one. It's way too soon to say that this is the right way to go.
I will say, however, that the new trail out there is great and much needed- here is hoping that we can find a permanent solution soon!
"It also became clear it was the most popular choice of community members who attended a series of meetings to discuss the future of school facilities in the city."
If you attended these meetings you would know that this statement is far from true. I agree that the meetings were open, and people did not want a bandage solution, but building a new high school was far from the popular choice here.
Last login: today
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2015 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.