To the editor:
When my daughter was a child, we used to read a Berenstain Bears story about a stubborn old bear who insisted on driving his wagon deeper and deeper into the swamp, because he refused to recognize that he had made a wrong turn. He got stuck! When he finally made up his mind to admit his mistake, he found his way safely home. The lesson is, it is important to be able to change our minds and get turned around when we find ourselves in a sticky situation.
Certainly, the Lake Placid community has found itself quagmired in a murky bog with our current school board and the decisions they have made on our behalf. It has been very disappointing to many of us to witness rampant misogynistic behaviors, wasteful spending and glaring disregard of our concerns. Petitions ignored. Judgments ignored. Parents ignored. Students ignored.
I suggest now is the time for the voting citizens to seize a genuine opportunity to effect a real and meaningful change by electing Mary Dietrich, Patti Gallagher and Martha Stahl to the Lake Placid school board. These three have strong credentials that make them ideal - starting with the fact that they believe all board decisions should begin with the students' educational needs as their number-one priority.
Their platform is direct:
1. Exercise RESPECT by governing openly and honestly - with responsibility to the community and listening to our voices. They will not stonewall us. They want to create a five-year plan - inviting the community into the process, using committees of local people who are collectively invested in our school and its future.
2. REDUCE wasteful spending: They will use staff abilities and skills to create a more cost-effective program and to eliminate/reduce BOCES services.
3. RESTRUCTURE: This team would consolidate administrative services, first within the school and then as part of a five-year plan, and seriously explore the feasibility of consolidating with nearby school districts for superintendent, business office, transportation/busing, sports, nutritionists and other possible shared services.
It is in everybody's interest to have a strong school district. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, value is added if the school is healthy. Currently, some families are leaving our school community because the needs of their children are not being met by this board and its superintendent. So, on May 15, join me and vote for Mary, Patti and Martha. It is clearly time to move forward and get back in step with the educational needs of our children and unite the school community again.
Glenda E. Mitchell