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Letter: D-428 board needs to answer land swap questions

To the Editor:

I am writing about the land swap deal that DeKalb School District 428’s board is pursuing.  According to the district website, the board’s goals are to “Govern the school district. Continue to shape with the community a mutual understanding of the purposes of the school district. Communicate the goals and monitor the performance of the district. Select the superintendent. Oversee basic legal and ethical standards and responsibilities and to analyze its own performance.” 

What recourse does the public have if this group of elected board members is not living up to those goals?

If the board were “governing the school district,” how did we end up in a deal that resulted in the $42,000 in annual fees when building the new high school? If they are to “shape with the community,” why have there been no community forums exploring the pros and cons of the land swap? 

I would not be able to list in only 400 words the number of ways they have not communicated their goals with the community. While I’m sure what they are doing is legal, is it ethical or responsible to waste precious natural resources? Or to do so without any consideration for the people, many of whom are not connected to soccer and will be affected by this deal? 

And analyze their own performance? Again I ask, what recourse do we have when the public doesn’t agree with their performance? They are elected for four years apiece. How do we stop them when we voted for them in good faith, believing they would represent our wishes, and they so clearly have not?

Lastly, I ask this: Is the school board once again being shortsighted by entering a deal that down the road will put more financial strain on the district? Isn’t that how we ended up here in the first place? Don’t they realize more students will have a dramatic impact on the schools? 

I feel that this board, which was elected by the public, should be expected to represent that public. Or at least answer the questions that public raises when we feel we are being misrepresented.

Kerry Larson

DeKalb

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