Transparent Candidate

Oct 16, 2019

To the Editor:

I read a letter by Susan Southwick (“No Hidden Agendas,”10/9) that confused me a bit in regard to hidden agendas and transparency.

At the special meeting in August, I heard former board President James Donahower use the term “pie in the sky” when describing the $18 million proposal for the EJ building. The “pie in the sky” proposal was defeated 2-1 by the taxpayers of LBI. As a taxpayer, I am offended by the previous attempt to milk the taxpayers for over $10 million (not very transparent).

In the same edition of The SandPaper, I read Bonnie Picaro’s campaign ad. Bonnie lays out the facts as simply as possible. She does not appear to include any personal agendas. She is responding to the wants of her taxpaying community, who voted 2-1 not to move forward with the $18 million  “pie in the sky” dream school.

In her ad, Bonnie points out that we can accommodate all of our 180 Island students and the additional 40 choice students, from out of district, in the existing LBI building. The $7.6 million the board is seeking will make the necessary repairs and updates needed for the LBI School in Ship Bottom.

At the August meeting I did witness 15 to 20 parents speak passionately about their personal wants. What you need to see if you are looking for transparency is the fact that hundreds voted against this proposal.

Bricks and mortar are bricks and mortar. What is most important is the quality of the educator, and I would assume that we have the best educators possible. Our teachers are the highest paid in all of Ocean County.

It appears to me that Bonnie has been very transparent. Facts are facts. Figures are figures. It is reasonable to me that the slightly over $7 million the board is seeking in December will enable the district to make the necessary repairs and changes to the LBI school to accommodate all of the students and staff. I’ll be voting for Bonnie and for the referendum in December and would encourage like-minded taxpayers to do the same.

As a special education teacher of 33 years in a public school, I am all in when it comes to the children. I am kids first and want nothing but the best for the little groms and gromettes of LBI.

Let me remind you in closing that this is public education, not private education. If parents feel the need to control the educational process, they would be better served in a private setting where “pie in the sky” proposals are often entertained and acted on with private funds. I recommend focusing on the facts listed in Bonnie Picaro’s ad.

Brian Bowker



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