Letters

Better Plan Needed

Dec 04, 2019

To the Editor:

I want to thank the Island communities for all their dedication to our students the last few months. After the August special meeting, it was readily apparent the eventual goal of this referendum is to close the Ethel Jacobsen School in Surf City.

After that meeting, I went back and forth with Bonnie Picaro and Eileen Bowker, asking them if they would consider working with the community to create a new plan that would gain full board approval and broader community support. I offered my help as a creative consultant. I said I would happily present to the board, sharing ways to come up with new ideas and how to realize them. I was always met with “let the people vote.”

Last Tuesday, board President Bill Fenimore and freshman board member Eileen Bowker made a choice for Island residents. President Fenimore negotiated the sale of the E.J. School with the mayor without the board’s knowledge or consent. And Bowker, a Long Beach Township resident, met with the Surf City mayor alone to discuss the sale without the board’s knowledge before the meeting, where it was announced. Both admitted these facts during the recorded meeting.

This referendum will not create a modern educational space for our students. It will only structurally repair a 70-year-old building.

Please vote no on Dec. 10.

A no vote will keep both schools in our district and give the new board in January time to develop a proper long-term strategic plan based on what is best for our students. Both buildings are checked each year and can continue to safely house the students while a new plan is formed. Long term, structural repairs are required for both buildings. For now, the priority should be preparing our district and our students for the future. The educational landscape is changing as well as the physical landscape of our island. Please help us make a better plan for all.

This community raised me, fed me, comforted me, and supported me through good times and bad. My only agenda is to give back to LBI in any way I can. I am forever grateful to call this little sandbar my home.

Kristin Power

Surf City

 

 

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