‘Let the dust settle’
School board urged to be patient
By Erik Buchinger
The Clintonville School Board was cautioned at its May 8 meeting not to move too quickly following the failed referendum on a new elementary school.
At the previous school board meeting on April 24, the board discussed how to move forward and talked about sending out a community survey soon.
After a recent conference call with Bill Foster of School Perceptions, Superintendent Tom O’Toole said Foster wanted the board to be in the in the same direction prior to sending out a survey, and “it is not all that bad to let the dust settle.”
Craig Uhlenbrauck, vice president of education at Miron Construction, and Matthew Wolfert, president and architect at Bray Architects, have been involved in the referendum process throughout. They spoke at the board meeting.
Uhlenbrauck said the board must come to a consensus prior to sending out a survey about the failed referendum.
“I think the consensus of our discussion was that it doesn’t pay to go through that process until the board can come to some kind of consensus on a direction that you want to go,” Uhlenbrauck said.
Uhlenbrauck said it is important to work through the summer to get on the same page.
“Our recommendation right now is that the board should use this summer to really try to come to some type of consensus of what type of direction you would want to go,” Uhlenbrauck said.
Uhlenbrauck said if by the end of the summer, the board came to a unanimous decision regarding the direction, then a survey could be sent out by the fall.
Prior to the referendum vote, the community was sent out a survey, which was close to even, and Wolfert said the school board being on the same page is very important.
“We’ve seen it many times where it takes unanimity amongst board members, key communicators and key community members,” Wolfert said. “When we have that kind of data, we find success. I think our intentions are that this summer into next fall, that is where we end up as a board, whether it is either behind a direction or a couple of directions that we all feel comfortable and confident with moving forward.”
School board member Jim Dins agreed the board must be unanimous when making these decisions in the future.
“I won’t support another referendum unless everyone agrees,” Dins said. “We totally blew it. We all have to agree on something. That’s the only way I will support it.”