Shame on Northgate board

Letter to the Editor

Editor -

Shame on them. That’s really the only thing that goes through my mind when I think about the Northgate School Board after Monday night’s discussion regarding the coming financial insolvency of the district. Shame on them!

Shame on them for rejecting the motion to gather information. The stated reason for the rejection was that they “fear the message it would send to the teachers and staff if we gather information about potential mergers or regionalization.” Think about that for a minute. The members of the Northgate School Board fear information and fear that gathering said information would worry teachers. If the fear of information gathering by a school doesn’t horrify parents in this district, I’m not sure what else will. Shame on them!

Shame on them for disrespecting Bellevue and Avalon taxpayers. Repeatedly members of the school board said, “I’m willing to pay more than we already do to keep Northgate going.” Well, I’m glad they are willing and able to pay more, life must be good from where they sit. I’d love for those same school board members to visit with my elderly neighbors, my single parent neighbors, and my minimum wage earning neighbors who are barely keeping up with our already excruciating tax burden we carry in this district. Shame on them!

Shame on them for shrugging off sincere expressions of concern from residents exasperated by the exuberant costs coupled with the awful performance ratings of the Northgate School District with trite remarks like, “Since you pay less for more house in our community, you can afford more to pay higher tax rates.” That’s simply ludicrous and anyone who actually believes it doesn’t understand basic economics. Let’s translate that same argument to your next car purchase. Say you want to buy a used Chevy because your budget allows you to buy a used Chevy, but when you sign the paperwork the dealer explains that because your monthly payment on the used Chevy is lower than the shiny new BMWs and Audis being sold next door, your insurance costs and monthly fees will be higher to make up the difference. Do you still buy the used Chevy?! I don't. Shame on them!

Shame on them for scoffing at those who express concerns as “whiners” and “complainers.” I refuse to apologize for rejecting mediocrity. I refuse to apologize for acknowledging the fact that our district is plummeting head first towards bankruptcy. I refuse to stop fighting for our community whose greatest single liability to date is a fledging school district that sends more families packing for “the hills” (literally and proverbially). I refuse to allow my community, the community I was raised in, the community I’ve invested untold amounts of time, energy, and money in, the community I’m raising my children in, and the community that is finally seeing new signs of life be dragged down because a school board “feels” and “hopes” Northgate will bounce back [by] some unforeseen miracle out of Harrisburg. Shame on them!

As elected officials, our job is to gather all available data for the single purpose of serving our community to the absolute best of our ability. Information gathering is the single most important component of holding public office. When we fail to gather information and instead base our public service on hopes, feelings, and opinions, I don’t care what dream you have, it will never be achieved. The members of the Northgate School Board who rejected the motion to gather information should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. I’m ashamed I voted for some of them. I won’t make that same mistake twice.

Tom Fodi