Great work has been done by Ossining Citizens for Schools to get the YES vote out next for the bond next Tuesday, March 6. My attention has largely been focused on launching the Energize Ossining program, but I did take some time to write the below letter-to-the-editor that is now up on The Patch.
Ossining school bond and budget votes have become hotly contested elections in recent years. This bond is dramatically smaller than the one that was defeated by voters last year. If it fails our schools will still need to make repairs and upgrades. They’ll just get done when there’s a crisis, and likely without the benefit of NYS Building Aid and low-interest loans.
Next Tuesday please grab a friend, go to Ossining High School, and vote YES!
Fellow Ossining School District Voters,
The most compelling reason to vote YES on the school bond Tuesday, March 6, is to consider what will happen if the bond doesn’t pass. We will continue to waste significant amounts of taxpayer dollars. The Ossining School District estimates it could have saved $180,000, by using natural gas instead of oil last year alone if the boilers had been upgraded sooner. Absurd!
Our buildings don’t even meet current safety codes. And the amount of money we waste on outdated, inefficient boilers using #6 oil, which costs more and is becoming nearly impossible to purchase, is shameful.
The bond up will take advantage of low interest rates, historically low commercial construction costs, energy costs savings from more efficient systems, and an estimated $22.2 million in NYS Building Aid which we risk if we wait to address each issue as it becomes a crisis.
Anyone who understands the disrepair and inefficiency of our school buildings has a right to be angry. Community members are welcome to attend school board meetings and ask important questions. How did our schools deteriorate to this point? How will we prevent ending up in this shameful condition again?
Ask hard questions. Engage in the conversation. Work to support budgets that include ongoing repairs and improvements so we don’t face a must-pass bond referendum like this again. That’s what will keep our schools great.
And right now, tell everyone you know to vote on March 6. And vote YES!