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$48 million dollar Referendum, BOE: "We are a community and must share the burden of improvements in our collective community"


“You have a distorted sense of perspective. The fields represent approximately 2.5% of the total budget ($1.2mm). Installing turf at RHS and Stevens will have a dramatic positive impact on the RHS wellness programs and will, once and for all, solve the over-crowding issues that exist on our fields all over town. Furthermore, the full cost is paid for through debt service provided by the state. PLUS, the state is committing an additional $1mm of debt service to offset other areas of the referendum.

Yet, you would urge voters to vote the entire referendum down, unless the field portion is separated from the rest of the referendum, because you don’t like the idea! How selfish and narrow-minded can a person be?

Should we also separate the portions allocated to each school district, so that a person who lives in Willard (and does not benefit from or care about improvements in Hawes or Somerville) can vote against the portions in those districts? Of course not. But, that is precisely what you propose.

We are a community and must share the burden of improvements in our collective community, whether they be to our classrooms or to our athletic facilities, which improve their functionality and accessability, regardless of whether you benefit directly or have a personal interest.

Unfortunately, as our needs expanded, we failed to address small problems for years and now face a larger price tag than had we been more diligent. This is like a homeowner, who neglects a leaking roof for too long that would have cost a few thousand dollars to fix, only to find that the structure of the house has been damaged and now faces a serious repair that costs tens of thousands of dollars. When that time arrives, the homeowner doesn’t have the luxury of putting it off anymore. This is the circumstance, in which, we now find ourselves. Just as our classrooms are over-crowded and in disrepair, so are our athletic facilities. Both are important and must be addressed now. Some might say that it is a poor time in the economy to be considering such expensive projects. Others might say that, with historically low borrowing costs, this is the ideal time to consider such projects. Fiscal responsibility and the facts about our shared facilities favor the latter. But, regardless, of your perspective, we don’t have the luxury of putting this off for another 5-10 years, only for you to object again, then.

You may have no interest in the physical well being of thousands of Ridgewood children or their opportunity/need to participate in sports. But, frankly, your selfish apathy does not supercede the need that exists for those children and hundreds of Ridgewood families.

The referendum should not be split up and should be passed, in its entirety, for the benefit of our collective community.

If you choose to vote against the referendum, that is your choice. If you do so, you will have to look yourself in the mirror every day and look your fellow residents’ children in the eyes, knowing that you are the reason that the referendum failed. Perhaps you are willing to live with that shame. I am not. “

VOTE on Our Poll : Can Ridgewood Really afford a $48 million School Referendum?

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