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Letter: Resident Disagrees With McGrath Letter On Bond Vote

Response to August 25 Letter Titled “A Concern of the BOE Vote to Place Bond Vote Before Voters on Oct. 26”

I just finished reading John McGrath’s letter in the Aug. 25 issue of the Mineola American. His letter, laced with hyperbole, half-truths, untruths, fails the sniff test.

Now, in order to torpedo a viable plan he writes this letter, inserting words like radical, obliteration and overwhelming, to stir up fear in the community as it tries to educate itself on the pros and cons of the plan. He suggests the average taxpayer will see no tax relief.

This is just plain false. As a matter of fact (not fiction), if approved, the $6.7 million bond will begin being paid off at the same time as the prior bond is paid off with a lower principal and lower rate. During the bond’s 10-year payoff the taxpayers will save upwards of $42 million. How this doesn’t translate into tax relief is beyond me.

During the meeting, Mr. McGrath suggested the plan wasn’t good because it did not offer an educational “Promised Land.” His letter further fans the flames of fear by using the term “radical school reconfiguration plan” or a form of it, ten times’ he even added (RSRP) but never bothered using the acronym, I guess it wasn’t hard hitting enough.

When he speaks of the “overwhelming” community opposition, I can’t help but wonder what community he’s been listening to.

His hope is for the status quo. Make no changes. I have news for him, the community, overwhelmingly has demanded a change. $31,847 is currently spent per student in Mineola. The New York State average is $15,990.

His suggestion that 5th grade in the Middle School and 8th grade in the High School will negatively impact our students need only be faced with other facts.

I believe our Board of Education has come up with an excellent plan and the community needs to educate itself on its merits. It should expect true transparent facts from the members of the board and not inflammatory statements meant to coerce.

This community can no longer sustain the current configuration. Consolidation is in the best interest of the taxpayer and student alike.

The majority of the board sees this and has taken the steps expected of them. Only one current member of the school board voted to expand the district by building the Willis Avenue School. Now he refuses to admit it was a mistake.

 Artie Barnett

Mineola Resident