To the editor:
In October of 2014 I had the pleasure of submitting a petition to the school board that requested the board examine using different revenue sources to afford the cost of installing air conditioning in the elementary schools. Then in January of 2015, the Mt. Pleasant School Board requested that Superintendent Wells invite three to five community members who were concerned about air conditioning and involved with the October petition be added to the Board?s Ad-Hoc Facility Committee. The committee submitted to the Board the proposal for approval before the additional costs were provided. The committee was comprised of over 70 persons (of which only about 40 percent participated in the meetings) recommended by Superintendent Wells.
After the request of the Board to add three to five persons related to the air conditioning issue, I and only one other person, Joy Conwell, were asked to join the committee by Superintendent Wells. I would like to point out that I was invited to a 6 p.m. meeting at 10 a.m. the morning of the meeting.
It wasn?t until pointed out by a committee member that the committee needed to elect a chair. This was done, otherwise Superintendent Wells would have run every meeting. It also was pointed out in the third and final meeting that maybe a secretary would be helpful since the minutes that were being taken by Superintendent Wells were full of mistakes. Therefore, Joy Conwell was elected by the committee but only served as a Secretary for one meeting.
This plan that is being presented as the plan that the Facilities Committee completely supports is wrong! We all didn?t vote for everything, there were dissenting votes and we also had no hard numbers for the cost of each initiative that was being discussed. We knew the costs on a few issues, but not everything, and we sure didn?t have a total cost for everything that was presented at the school board meeting in April. In fact, if you request to see the minutes taken by Conwell, which are available by request to the board secretary via the Iowa?s Open Meeting Law, you will see that the last request of Facility Committee was for financial cost figures, which Wells agreed to provide but the committee never received. And no additional meetings were called or held, so the committee did not have the opportunity to vote on the report, which was given to the board.
Additionally, I hope that every voter is aware that the school district is paying $6,500 for this special election that could have waited until September, when we already had a school election set. So, I encourage you to vote ?No ? Not now.? Because our school employees, children, parents and community deserve a plan that is better thought out and doesn?t tie up our funding stream through 2030.