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Beline Obeid

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To the Editor:

I have been a resident of Grosse Pointe for over 30 years and enjoy living in a community that is caring, diverse and educated. However, there is an underlying current in the community on some policy matters that is very troubling.

I am speaking specifically to situations where there is concern and, perhaps, disagreement over an issue that deteriorates into rancor by the proponents rather than discourse or civil debate.

The most evident example of this is the Sept. 26 Grosse Pointe News editorial, "71% of voters OK needed school bond," on the outcome of the school bond issue. The remarks in the editorial categorized those residents who had some serious questions about the project and the process as "Scrooges." Further denigration was made to some honest citizens in this community as "narrow-minded" and "shortsighted" because they expressed concerns about fiscal integrity and outcomes of a very expensive bond issue.

In early July, the Grosse Pointe News promised the citizens of this community it would provide information on the planned capital expenditures and why they are necessary. The News' reports seemed more like press releases from the board of education. There were no hard questions asked as to how the elements of the project were developed, how cost estimates were established, what transaction fees are for a bond issue of this size.

I know others had similar questions and looked to your paper for some of the answers.

A strong free press is the backbone of our nation and I fully subscribe to the tenets of the press as the "watchdog" of our society. Your editorial, therefore, is doubly disappointing to me because the recent remarks provide a chilling effect on our community.

I hope our caring and educated community continues to question our public officials on fiscal and other matters to assure that the best results are achieved for all.

Margot Parker

Grosse Pointe Park

Margot Parker
October 17, 2002

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