"Being a school committee candidate, I need to balance the best education for our kids while staying within our budget. I am voting No to the current plan because our kids will not be getting a quality education waiting in trailers while construction of the proposed schools goes on for at least 4 years.
Meanwhile multiple Holyoke schools sit vacant. The proposal is both unaffordable, takes away money from current classrooms that need repair and has not thought through the impact on our children during the 4 year transition. We need a better approach than this plan on the table!"
Linda Vacon, Holyoke Ward 5 City Councilor, "No on debt exclusion for 2 new schools"
We have had a number of meetings to complete our due diligence on a matter that has a huge and long term (30 years) financial impact on our city.
Click here to continue reading ...
John Aubin, Holyoke resident, architect and builder:
I am voting NO on November 5th to the two new middle school proposal.
Improving our schools is a daunting task that requires hard work and hard choices that go well beyond our public school system. The two new middle school proposal has been irresponsibly conceived and designed without regard to cost or the different populations they are destined to serve. It will give the appearance of change without addressing the fundamental issues affecting our children’s education or our community. This proposal will also result in an across the board 6.8% tax increase which will severely curtail economic development and perpetuate the concentrated poverty at the root of many of these issues.
I support improving our schools including renovating existing school or other buildings, building one new middle school, or a combination of these done within the city of Holyoke’s existing budget and as part of comprehensive plan that includes addressing poverty and segregation in our community and in our schools.
Wilmer Puello, City Council Candidate:
“As a product of the Holyoke Public Schools I’m proud to say that they absolutely work when we set goals and strive to achieve them. This tax override proposes to further strain our businesses and residents while failing to adequately address what our students actually need. We must stand up for our children’s future and unanimously reject this 30 year burden, vote no!”
Keith Davis, Holyoke Taxpayer:
"Enough is enough! The schools are already in receivership. Do we want the City to end up that way also? Did you know that a Prop 2 1/2 Override means that the City will be "double dipping" in collecting taxes. Why? Because an increase in our property tax will mean the CPA fee we pay will also be going up as it's based on a percentage of your tax bill. Seriously look at the alternatives such as renovation. We all know that success in education is not from the building, it's from the quality of the teachers and the curriculum. Please Vote NO November 5th!"