Letter to the editor on 10.20.20

Replace the Stillwater School Board

I am a substitute school bus driver for the Stillwater area schools. I have been paying attention to this issue.

Over the last few years the Stillwater School board majority has disparaged the purchase of a bus terminal as a boondoggle. Now when success is in sight, they claim victory and call it a state-of-the art facility.

Financial prudence made purchasing a bus terminal a good decision for the school district. Owning a facility improves our position when negotiating transportation contracts. Owning this property allows more money to stay in the classroom. Otherwise lease payments would come out of the operational budget that funds curriculum, teachers & technology. The Bus Terminal is fully paid for from the 2015 voter approved Building Construction Fund. Forever, the district will be the beneficiary of its increasing property value.

Yes, there have been speed bumps along the way. As other districts have found out,

very few properties are available for similar use in the metro area. Cities are hesitant to welcome such facilities due to the lack of tax base & a junkyard perception. Facing this challenge, the search took longer than planned while real estate kept rising. The final cost escalated, but the original referendum was still able to fund it.

Then the real drama started. The seller/developer failed in his contractual obligations to install water & sewer. The city prohibited the interim use of the facility. A vocal minority started a smear campaign against the administrators involved. Where was the school board during this? They were pointing fingers, launching costly investigations, refusing to release those findings and subjecting the district to expensive lawsuits. They fired the Superintendent & Director of Finance. They did not propose or seek a solution.

Now that the obstacles are nearly cleared, they claim it as their victory calling it a state-of-art facility. These people are asking to be elected or re-elected. I say no. It is time to vote in the challengers who have fought this unbelievable foolishness all along. Vote Alison Sherman & Bev Petrie for the 2 year seats and Katie Hockert, Matt Onken & Annie Porbeni for the 4 year seats.

Pete Kelzenberg

Afton MN

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