Weekly Feature

2011-12-08 / Editorial

Disappointment lingers one week after vote

Bee Editorial

Not one of the 548 no-voters who rejected the special district vote last week made their presence known Monday night to provide feedback for the West Seneca Board of Education.

The district had published legal notices about the Nov. 29 vote; held a public hearing to discuss details of the project — this also happened at a few other regular board meetings, which are always open to the public; mailed flyers to taxpayers; and published all the necessary information about the vote on the district’s website. District officials were also willing and, to the best of our knowledge, did field all questions from the community.

Nearly all media outlets were exhausted to notify the public and to make it more aware of this vote. The proposal was to simply issue a bond, acquire land, expand the East Senior property and ultimately — proactively — im- prove student and school safety. Even then, the vote had the lowest turnout in years, according to one official.

While the issuance of a bond is legally required by the school district, it didn’t have to go to such lengths to promote the vote. Yet, it did so to uphold the power of democracy. The school district wanted residents to be as best informed as possible.

But residents have since spoken, and the district respects their decision — surely the reason why not more board members joined the lone two who voiced their disappointment Monday night for the rejected proposal.

Only one other yes-voter, a resident who frequents board meetings, voiced his opinion. There were 447 other residents who voted yes last week. Where were the rest of them?

The district went above and beyond to communicate with the public, yet the public denied the board the same favor by providing very little to no feedback Monday night, nor at any of its other meetings.

How can any of the no-voters call our Bee Heard line to have their complaints circulated to thousands of our readers, but not say what they think in public to the people to whom it matters most? Aren’t we all on the same team?

While The Bee does not know the value of each resident’s home, we feel that the district’s bond proposal was indeed a bargain for what it gained in return. As a resident, to provide an average of $4 each year for five years is an incomparable price to pay when talking about the life of another person.

Without a resolution, student safety continues to remain a concern.

And since you can’t measure the success of proactive measures, the defunct theory of “good enough” continues onward.

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