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Letter: LP-A needs a more reasoned approach to school problems

I was a school board member in the Audubon district during the advent of the pairing and sharing agreements and talk of consolidation.

I have listened to the debates over the past years regarding the declining facilities in Lake Park and Audubon. I was very pleased to see the letter to the editor on July 2, describing a very reasoned approach that has been absent in the past.

For too long there has been an attitude of "all or nothing," perhaps on both sides of this debate. What is clear to me is that trying to pass referendums in such a sharply divided community harms the community, fostering an environment where people stop listening.

The approach taken by the four concerned citizens, with the three board members and the superintendent seems very reasonable. I agree with all the proposals, but most importantly is probably to sit back and wait a good year and listen to the people and arrive at a clear consensus where the community is not so sharply divided.

Listening to voices other than architects and engineers, who have a vested interest in the process, makes a lot of sense. Hearing independent advice from someone without a vested interest cannot hurt. One cannot hope to learn if they stop listening.

Failing to arrive at a clear consensus from the majority of concerned citizens does the citizens a disservice. Forcing referendums and failing to listen -- not only to the concerns of the citizens but also to their creative ideas -- will not solve the problems.

This does not have to be a "winner take all" proposition. Rather, it can be a situation where all involved feel like their concerns are met and we solve the problem of failing school facilities.

However, this reasoned approach is impossible when egos become vested in one position at the exclusion of all others.

The process taken today will affect future problems the district will undoubtedly face. The attitudes of all involved, as well as the methods used to move forward, will become applicable when it is time to consider new issues -- for instance, future levy referendums.

By taking a more reasoned approach now, those issues in the future may meet with less animosity. Unfortunately, in the past, referendums in this district have been all or nothing. These votes have deeply divided the community.

Presented before us is a path with less rancor. We ought to thank, help and support these four individuals that are trying to take such a reasoned approach. -- Robert Eilertson, Audubon

Shriners driving is unsafe

My husband took our sons to the Water Carnival parade on Sunday. When they returned, my husband said the Shriners seemed to be out of control with their vehicles and he had pulled our boys to the back of the crowd for their safety.

Today, we heard that further down the parade route, a man and his children had been injured by a Shriner go-cart that ran into the crowd.

It seems that in recent years, the Shriners have become more and more unsafe in their driving routines. That doesn't make for a fun time for anyone. I hope that the parade organizers will consider carefully whether or not it is wise to ask the Shriners to return for future parades.

We also wish for a quick recovery for those who were injured. -- Jennifer Heimark, Detroit Lakes

Great to see DL marching band

It was great to see the Detroit Lakes High School band in the Water Carnival parade! Good to have you back, Lakers. -- Joyce Heisserer, Detroit Lakes