Thursday, September 19, 2013

Update on Save Hoover

Now that the school board election is over, where does the Save Hoover effort stand?

The short answer is: full speed ahead. It would have been great to elect our chosen candidates, but, from the perspective of revisiting the Hoover decision, there are a lot of positive signs coming out of the election. First, the mere fact that six of the nine candidates supported keeping Hoover open is a good sign, and is evidence that nobody really thinks that the public is on board for closing a school on such a flimsy rationale. Two of those six, Tuyet Dorau and Chris Lynch, were the top vote-getters in the election. Moreover, there are signs that two of the remaining three candidates – including Brian Kirschling, who was elected – may be having second thoughts about the closure. The one incumbent candidate who voted for the closure, Karla Cook, came in fifth place and was defeated, only two years after winning by a large margin. All of that has to play a role in the new board’s assessment of whether the public supports the closure.

As the board moves forward on facilities issues, it will be forced to make decisions in which the potential closure plays a role. Every time that happens, we’ll be there to remind them why it makes sense not to close Hoover. In particular, the board will soon have to confront the fact that it has only so much money to work with, and that it has to prioritize the projects in the long-term plan. In that context, I think it will become clear that closing Hoover (and rebuilding that capacity elsewhere) is at best a very expensive luxury. Will the board really choose to spend ten to fifteen million dollars on that project, at the expense of other projects in the plan?

I’m hopeful that if we keep making good arguments and reminding the board of public opposition to the closure, we can get the board to reverse the decision. But we have to think of it as a continuing project and keep advocating as strongly as we can.

I can’t thank people enough for all the support they’ve given and continue to give to the Save Hoover effort. If you’d like to be on the Save Hoover contact list, please email SaveHooverIC [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com. I’m hoping people will be willing to keep the Save Hoover yard signs up, though I understand that not everyone wants a sign in their yard forever. If you’ve lost your sign and would like another, let us know. If you’re ready to take yours down and are willing to donate it back to the cause, please let us know that, too.

I’ve also added a “Follow by E-mail” link in the sidebar to the Save Hoover website; if you fill it out, you’ll get notices by email of new posts to that site. (I have one on this site, too. I’ve subscribed to other blogspot sites this way and it has not caused me to receive any unwanted spam.)

One more project: A lot of people have written to me to say why they support keeping Hoover open, and many have forwarded me the letters that they’ve written to the school board. I would like to collect letters like that and post them on the Save Hoover site. If you’d like to add to that collection, please send your letter to the email address above.

Thanks again!

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