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Pangborn: 'It's like a Pentagon toilet seat'


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February 20, 2014
Cindy Pangborn blames the technology bond debate on a lack of communication between the board of education and administration with the voters in the Grosse Pointe Public School System district.

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, voters will decide to reward a $50.2 million, 10-year bond proposal or send the district back to the drawing board.


Pangborn, who has served the board of education from 1995-99 and since 2009, said technology is needed, but this proposal has too many extras.

"The reason why we're at these crossroads is because the community was not involved in the process," she said in an interview the Grosse Pointe News last week. "Let's get a committee of experts from the community to help us with these decisions. And why do we want to just catch up? Let's be a leader in technology.

Pangborn, a Realtor, grew up in Grosse Pointe, graduating from Grosse Pointe High School in 1964.

"This community is important to me," she said. "We raised our children here. Our grandchildren go to school here. To me, this is the most important election we've had."

Pangborn believes the bond is for too much and for too long. She would like to see a 7-year proposal with the total emphasis on technology.

"There are plenty of red flags here," said Pangborn, the only member of the board to vote no on putting the Feb. 25 proposal before voters. "This is too much. It's like a Pentagon toilet seat."

Pangborn said cloud technology works for the city of Houston, the University of Michigan, Amazon and the city of Minneapolis.

"Why can't it work for us?" she said. "They have thousands using it at the same time. I don't think enough time was put into finding answers here. This high tax may tie the hands of the municipalities and could stop growth in the Pointes."

If the proposal fails, Pangborn said there will be some choices to make, but there is time to come forward with a slimmed-down proposal that addresses the technology needs.

"The board didn't stay on task," she said. "To have a bond issue that is all or nothing backs people in a corner. This holds the community hostage. The sky's not falling. Our students will go to good colleges, armed services and trade schools. We need to do what's best for the community."

Part of doing what's best, Pangborn said, is forming partnerships with residents who own businesses that would help reduce the cost of upgrades.

"I'm sure there are partnerships out there," she said. "We can put a proposal out there no one will question. One that makes sense. We need to take the extras out. This is way too vague for $50 million."


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