St. John Valley

Points you may want to consider before straw poll vote

To the editor:

Tomorrow is SAD 27’s opportunity to voice its direction with continuing the process of the Valley Unified school.  All three regional school districts joined in this endeavor a few years ago knowing that we would eventually have to come to an agreement of a site.  

As a site selection committee member who participated in this process, I can attest that we were charged with a task and the task was fulfilled.  Some say it went too fast, others not fast enough. With that said, that process is complete and now we are onto a straw poll to see if there is public support of that decision.  Failure to get support by voting no during the straw poll is a message that will be sent to the Department of Education that we are not ready to work with our regional partners and this will end the chance of a new state of the art school with added programs and facilities. It will also end the chance of getting ALL of the information to make an informed decision on if we want a new state-of-the-art school with added programs and facilities.  

There are some very nice posters and mailers that went out in the past week in opposition of moving forward.  These posters state:

Vote no to save our teaching jobs – FALSE: As it was reported by the administration.

Vote no to save our high school – FALSE again: Yes it wouldn’t be on Pleasant Street however it would be 9 miles from the alternate site that wasn’t selected, right next to where students already attend if they take part in the programs offered at St. John Valley Technology Center and we would be in a NEW State of the Art School with Added Programs and Facilities. 

Vote no to keep taxes affordable, FALSE once more: We have zero comparisons and costing to make this determination at this point in the process, the same can be said with lowering taxes (that was put there for a reason). 

Vote no to save our town – FALSE once again: Unless there were any feasibility studies done by the town to analyze the impact of a NEW State of the Art School with Added Programs and Facilities 9 miles from the alternate site that wasn’t selected.  

You see, folks, we don’t have any of those answers yet and even my responses can be debated, the opposition intends to end something before you and I have a chance to get all the information.  I have requested from the opposition over a week ago to share with me their data to help me understand where they are coming from. One person told me twice it was coming, and I still haven’t seen anything and the other was silent.  This tells me something, they don’t have all the data either.  

There are malicious posts in social media from all communities involved that are ridiculous.   In some cases, these individuals are being exploited like they are the majority from their communities and the threads are being used to try and create hostility amongst our own community towards them.  At the end of the day we will still shop locally, we will still work together, and we should respect each other’s opinions. We do however, need to do it respectfully.  

I encourage all people to get out and attend these important meetings and straw poll votes to move the process forward. Vote “yes” now, so when the referendum comes in step 13 of the process, we have all our information to make an educated decision.  Now is the future for our school, our children and our community for years to come.  

Douglas Cyr

Fort Kent

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