Since the beginning of the new school year, I am being told that there is a very welcome change of attitude in the Frazee-Vergas School system.
Talk is of smiling faces, friendly exchanges, and a general upbeat feeling. This must seem like a breath of fresh spring air when compared to what has gone on for the past six years or so. This is great!
However there are issues of real significance looming on the horizon that the general population should be aware of.
At the September board meeting, the issue was brought up about extending the current referendum that expires after the 2012-2013 school year. I had been told that this issue would not be on the agenda for the meeting of the 12th but it was added to the agenda late on Friday.
This of course gave the public no advance warning of what was coming. Fortunately there were four board member with enough insight to vote "no" and keep the issue from coming up this year, an off-year for an election.
It was interesting to note that Laine's main reason for wanting the election this year was because very few people vote in an off-year election.
Then she continued with the statement that, "You all know what happens in a general election." In other words, let's keep as many voters away from the polls as possible.
This of course is what happened in 2007 when the referendum did pass.
Then in 2008, when a group of citizens worked very hard to bring the referendum back for another vote as provided by Minnesota Statute, Stender -- with the blessing of the school board -- went to court to stop the people from what was rightfully theirs. The right to vote!
I have in my possession, a copy of the bills presented by Ratwick, Roszak & Maloney, the attorneys from the Cities who represented the Frazee School District.
Stender, with the blessing of your School Board, spent $16,000 of your tax dollars to keep you from voting on an issue that you had a right to vote on as guaranteed by Statute.
Please keep in mind that two of those board members still sit on the present board and voted to bring the referendum extension back during an off-year election. Never let your guard down!
I have said in the past and I will continue to say this in the future we have to let the new board that was formed last January, have a chance to get their feet on the ground in an effort to head the Frazee School District in a new direction. -- Oscar Birkeland, Frazee