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Beline Obeid

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H.W. schools: Face reality

To the Editor:

The votes were counted and the Harper Woods voters turned down the bond issue to spend $42 million. The superintendent, the mayor, the art teacher and many others were disappointed.

It seems the reaction to the defeat is, "Let's vote again!" If the issue fails again are we going to hear, "Let's vote again?"

Before there is another election, the superintendent and the school board should examine their facts and figures and possibly realize that their goal(s) may be out of reach.

Instead of "Let's vote until we get what we want," how about, "Let's work with what we have and make the best of it."

New is not always better. We cannot always buy a new house or car because the old one(s) need fixing. Budgets are a reality in today's world. Ask our governor, or even our own city manager.

As well meaning as the bond is, the fact is there is a cost involved. The figure of $31 sounds cheap, as it is intended to be. But the true reality is, that figure is deceiving. Tax money is paid up front and depending on your home value and income level, one can get some of it back. I urge the Grosse Pointe News to discontinue using that figure, because it is a figure used for the promotion of the bond issue and tends to mislead. The reality is how much the millage costs each taxpayer over 30 years. Somehow, I believe it ultimately costs more than $930 ($31 times 30 years).

The school board, superintendent and their supporters may be well advised to reassess their expectations before they spend more money (how much does this cost?) on another election. If the bond issue is defeated for a second time, they may have to accept the buildings for what they are and maintain them the best that they can. Lack of funds is a reality we all have to live with.

George V. Toy, Jr.

Harper Woods

George V. Toy, Jr
March 13, 2003

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