Not A Normal Referendum

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge all the residents of Newtown to vote and please vote Yes on October 5th.

This is not a normal referendum, there are no second chances. Voting “no” will not save you any money on your tax bill. It is already allocated; it’ll just be spent somewhere else. The reality is, the largest elementary school in our town is no longer suitable for use. Debates about building and rebuilding are over. There is no current way to absorb our SHS students into any of the other elementary schools or shuffle for a middle school consolidation without millions spent on upgrades and expansions. That was considered, debated and eliminated as an option. (As it was, SHS had the entire 4th grade in portables.) Hours of discussion video are still available online. This state grant is designated for a “new school to make us whole,” we don’t get to keep debating “better ways to spend it.” It is this, or the money is rescinded and all work so far, wasted.

If we turn this down, we save nothing, and likely face needing major renovations for our other aging schools and even a new school in the future – the cost of which would come directly from your wallet as this generous state allocation is limited to 12/14 recovery.

Please think of the long-term implications of this town and our future. Accepting this gift returns our school capacity to pre-12/14 threshold. It gives our kids a home in their own town and makes Sandy Hook an attractive place to live for new, young families. It’s the reason we all moved here. Refusing this gift derails a year’s worth of efforts, leaves our children orphaned in Monroe, discourages prospective homeowners and leaves the wound exposed that much longer.

We’ve all been through enough but most especially our children.  Bring our children back to Sandy Hook where they belong!

Beth Hegarty

41 Bradley Lane, Sandy Hook               September 25, 2013

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