This Monday's debate in Glen Cove about a second, smaller bond referendum was indicative of everything troubling the country these days, and maybe more importantly, seemed to be a good example of how governing bodies should act. Concerned, informed voters with varying opinions came out to speak their minds and the board and superintendent really seemed to be listening. One member of the board insisted the meeting continue late into the night until he truly felt that the public had spoken their minds and he understood what they wanted. A renowned opponent of school spending even said that this was the best meeting he has seen, where the school really displayed exactly what needs to be done.
The issues are hard, almost impossible to solve. There are major problems in Glen Cove, like boilers that could go at any time, leaving the school in a position to deal with no heat in the middle of winter, and roofs that could go at any time as well. The public noted bathrooms that are unusable and the fact that they are building a track to have invitationals, but have locker rooms that would be an embarrassment to visitors attending these invitationals. Taxpayers fear that while they don't want to pay more taxes, their home values go down and Glen Cove risks losing population if the schools don't appeal to new potential residents.
What can they do? No one would argue that this board has the hard position of facing expensive repairs that should have been done long ago. But even an additional $33 a year seems unappealing to many people. The board does seem to be trying to figure out exactly what Glen Cove will let them do right now, balancing the wishes of those who want a better school and those who want conservative spending. We'll see this week if they feel like taxpayers will let them do anything or if times are just too hard.