Comment history

Two bankers win USD 348 board seats

Congrats to the new board members! I know they will serve our district well. Also, I'd like to thank everyone who supported my campaign and got out there and voted. If the time comes again when I can be of service to the community or the district, I'll definitely jump in and offer what services I can.

Toby Ebel

April 3, 2013 at 3:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

State about 25 percent short in payments to school districts

My apologies, Nancy, if I incorrectly lumped you in with Torch.

December 10, 2008 at 6:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

State about 25 percent short in payments to school districts

Torch and Nancy,

You two are being absolutely ridiculous and completely unfair to Mrs. Cleavinger. If I am not mistaken, this particular article in which you have elected to denigrate her has nothing to do with the passing of the bond issue. So, are you just taking any opportunity to get a cheap shot in, anonymously?

I have known Amy for some time now and I can tell you without hesitation that she wants what's best for this community that she chooses to live in and calls home. She has given generously of her time and money to make it a better place, including serving as a public official. I wouldn't be surprised if I heard she no longer wants this kind of attention when she has only tried to do her best for this community. And this is the thanks she gets? Cheap shots?

And for what? Because you don't happen to agree with her on some issues? Since when do we all have to agree in order to act like responsible adults and be respectful of one another and realize that there are many different ways to get things done, and differing opinions are ok?

Frankly, I am ashamed of you Torch. I would much prefer that you take your turn in any capacity serving the public and learn just how difficult some of these tasks are that we expect everyone to do flawlessly. But I suspect you don't have the chutzpah to actually try to do anything productive for this community, other than from behind your keyboard and monitor. Attempting to run decent people out of positions of trust in this community may be why you have so many problems with the leadership in our city and school district. Who would want to take you on when you can so easily stab them in the back with absolutely no risk to yourself whatsoever? I think maybe you are far more part of the problem than those we have in office.

And, for what it's worth, you can thank the overwhelming percentage of Baldwin City residents for the bond passing, not just Amy. I, for one, will say "You're welcome!" right now, because that bond was the best deal this district has ever gotten on anything they have ever purchased, in my opinion.

Toby Ebel

December 10, 2008 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letters to the Editor

Hi Sparky,

This is a fair concern, and one I myself had early on. However, all of the data from the demographer showed us that Baldwin will not experience significant growth over the next five years, and not likely over the next 10 years. I was dismayed as well, especially considering the intermodal going in in Gardner. But, I was assured by them that their data models are accurate to 98% for the first 5 years, and to 90% over 10 years.

So, based on that professional opinion, and the financial limitations involved, the district chose a building of this size...I think 480 students or so.

One other thing to note. A few people have mentioned erroneously that voting yes for this bond somehow locks us into voting for future bonds at set times in the future. This is not the case. However, it is true that the district has a long-term plan, and I think that is a good thing. This plan calls for future construction/renovation as the need arises. One of the triggers for that might be growth, but if that doesn't happen, then new construction may not be needed right away. However, we must all realize that at some point buildings deteriorate to the point where they are no longer usable, or are too costly to maintain. That might be another trigger. Ultimately though, it comes down to what the district board members, superintendent, administrators, parents/teacher/students think is in the best interest of our children's education. Regardless, I have not been told of any set plans for future bonds, and I have spoken with Mr. Dorathy and at least 4 of the board members about these issues.

October 30, 2008 at 2:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letters to the Editor

Mr. Kerwin,

I appreciate your concern about the well-being of the schools in Vinland and Marion Springs. I sat on the facilities committee that addressed these issues that you mention. We had discussion on this topic over the course of a few weeks, then we learned from the architects and the demographer what the costs/savings would be if we closed these buildings. The group as a whole decided the savings wasn't enough. We moved on, examining the other big needs in the district. The two biggest were the primary center and junior high and their need for major repairs. The estimated cost of repairing the primary center alone was close, if not more than, 75% of the cost of a new building.

We decided to move in that direction when we considered all of the other problems facing the primary center. Educational space, storage space, parking space, room for the pre-kindergarten programs, and other problems all pointed to a new building when weighed against the cost of just getting the basic repairs done.

To make a long story short and answer your concerns, the new building, as proposed, will not be large enough to handle all of the students that currently occupy BESPC, Marion Springs, Vinland, and the pre-kindergarten students. So, you can rest assured that the this bond and building will not manifest the closing of the outlying schools. In fact, they do just the opposite. With the BESIC and a new PC, we'll have just enough room for Baldwin City kids, so we won't have the option of closing the other schools. Therefore, this bond passing is a kind of agreement to keep them open.

However, having said that, it is ridiculous to ask a Board of Education for any kind of written or verbal agreement when it comes to how it should act and the decisions they have to make. They have to do what's best for the district, the entire district, and that could mean closing schools. No one can predict what our situation will be like 5 years from now, nor even who will be holding these Board positions.

October 30, 2008 at 10:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )