Vic Celentino, Ingham County Commissioner, forwarded this press release to neighborhood leaders:
Several proposals will appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Lansing and around the state. One of the proposals is for an increased millage to create a Building Site Sinking Fund for Lansing School District.
Reporter Rebecca Kruth produced this WKAR report outlining the proposal. Assistant Deputy Superintendent, Jim Davis, shares his perspective on why the millage is needed in this Lansing State Journal article.
The Lansing School District had sent informational packets and invited neighborhood association leaders to attend an informational meeting on October 23rd. Unfortunately many of us could not attend because it was scheduled for the same evening as our Candidates Forum sponsored by our Southside neighborhood associations.
School board member Myra Ford came to the Candidates Forum to pass out informational brochures before the event. She received several questions from residents and did her very best to answer them. However, the school district had not provided her with the answers to the questions residents had about the specific expenditures and how the money and repairs would be distributed across the buildings. She and I agreed to work together to continue seeking more of this information that residents of our southside neighborhoods were seeking.
I submitted these questions to Steve Serkaian, marketing and communications consultant for lansing School District. He arranged for Ken Jones to attend our monthly meeting to answer our questions.
Ken Jones, Lansing School Board member and Averill Woods neighborhood association member, presented the following information in response to our questions about the millage proposal.
I've also added my notes to include additional information he presented. I also included some of our responses to his answers.
In general, my editorial review is that (a) folks understood the serious need for repairs in many of the buildings and greater community support for the public schools. Yet there was a (b) desire for greater communication from the school district and engagement of the community in discussions about financial decision-making. But there is also the (c) recognition that lay persons might not recognize the critical needs to be addressed and prioritized compared to a maintenance engineer. Ken affirmed comment by Bill Fude that that many of the necessary repairs would be invisible deepin the infrastructure of the school buildings. Ken noted that there can be a big difference between what stakeholders might want for their school improvements and what a maintenance engineer would say is critical.
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