Merger deserves second chance

By LARRY McFADDEN

This is an urgent letter regarding the Westfield-Brocton school merger debate.

The time has come to revisit the merger. Now that the dust has settled from the vote last October, why hasn’t a petition for a re-vote been called? The Westfield and Brocton school boards can petition the state Education Department to re-vote on the merger as was set by the merger study.

The person or persons who sent out the negative letter to each Westfield resident has put their head back in the sand. They are not facing reality and are living in the 1950s and ’60s. They were so proud of their negativity that they wouldn’t even sign their name.

What does that tell you about them? They had not one ounce of care or positive thought toward the futures of our schools and our children’s future. They should be ashamed of themselves.

All of the merger committee, the consultants, both Westfield and Brocton boards of education were positive for the merger. Much time was spent in research and a good deal of money to reach the conclusion of the merger between the Westfield and Brocton schools. The decision by these groups and individuals was unanimous to merge.

Also $25 million was offered by the state toward the schools, provided they merge. Wouldn’t it be entirely foolish not to try a re-vote. Anyone can obtain the true facts on the merger from either Brocton or Westfield board of education.

Look at all the economic downfalls in our immediate area. Businesses are not being started and the businesses here are closing at a scary rate. Fire companies are hurting, hospitals are hurting or closing, and the school census has gone way down. Slowly but surely classes and positions are being eliminated in our schools. We can’t let that happen. It’s not fair to our children and our towns’ futures.

Don’t let one or two negative citizens in your town convince you to turn this tremendous opportunity down. Go to your school boards to get the real facts and the true positive facts on a merger.

Remember both schools are on the verge of bankruptcy. Read the true facts on the study. Don’t let the state Education Department step in and force a merger, which would be on their terms and without the $25 million bonus.

What have you got to lose by re-voting after all the money and time that was spent on the merger study?

Westfield residents who voted “no” on the first vote, you lose nothing but you gain a state of the art school and everyone’s taxes will go down, not up.

Westfield and Brocton boards, please set up a re-vote in October. We owe it to ourselves but mostly to our valued students to vote a second time.

Larry McFadden, a Portland resident, was a member of the merger committee for Brocton and Westfield schools.