To the editor:

Since when did the discussion of expending $40 million become a perception of community negativity and bitterness? I try and read the paper editorials. I discussed the referendum on the street. I found people lively and excited about the referendum to spend $40 million. I found no bitterness or negativity ... except that "no vote" vote.

Losing a referendum is not akin to people having a negative attitude.

The referendum was simply a matter of perspective. In politics, you have a choice to make. After you make that choice, you live with a decision.

The school board has expressed interest in swaying the public's opinion to their point of view. I would implore them to take a long look at the division in the community. The vote totals indicate a super majority. Any attempt to revive this issue should be moot at this time. It will take a long time for the school board to regain confidence necessary for such a project.

The exploratory committee was a great group of community individuals. The sales pitch was the best that the school system could hope for. Unfortunately, their efforts fell short. It is unfortunate, because the schools need repair. But you can never sneak important issues by the voting public. That referendum was sneaky.

I can only speak to my own attempt to get answers about the break down of expenditures. The Madison Courier has a record of my questions. The school board was submitted this same copy of the same questions for the committee to consider and respond to. The superintendent was faxed a copy. My questions were never answered in the public meetings or personally.

I will always vote for extra money for public education. It's a matter of fact, that we will only be placing fingers in the dike. Public education doesn't have the support of the government in our state. As long as our state tax dollars get redirected into faith-based education via vouchers, and private run charter schools get state dollars, the constitutionally established "common schools" don't have a prayer. A local initiative, like our referendum, simply feels like double taxation.

Now that the public trust has been mismanaged with this referendum, private education in our community received an uncontested slam dunk!

Marc Gray