The Daily Gazette weighs in with an editorial supporting the sale of Bacon School.
Here is something to think about if voters rejects the sale: it would mean that our community would forego $460K on the sale of the school to achieve two goals: to prevent the Buddhists from buying it and/or to preserve access to Sassafras. In other words, our community would be valuing those things more highly to reject the bid.
That said, let me twist the scenario above and pose a question for today: would voters support spending $460K if it meant reopening Bacon School and thereby preserving access to Sassafras?
I think that referendum would be met with derision to say the least and undoubtedly decisively defeated.
As of 2006, voters decided that if even a handful of dollars might be saved, it was worth closing Bacon school and putting access to Sassafras at risk. Educational and community impacts be damned if we can save a buck to two! ***
But today, not even $460K is enough if it means putting access to Sassafras at risk and letting Buddhists practice there.
If voters reject the sale, you can reach one and only one conclusion and I assure you that it has nothing to do with Sassafras.
And if you are going to harp and advocate for getting stuff on the tax rolls as a prerequisite to bid and buy property in the city, then you should petition the council to legislate that condition so it is a fair process to ALL buyers BEFORE the process. You cannot after the fact impose a set of requirements on bidders who legally have every right to bid and purchase property. It’s outrageous that this demagoguery is not called out for what it is. And it’s even more outrageous to exact a fee on the referendum from one buyer but not the other.
My favorite line in the editorial is this: And the city’s more-enlightened public officials — whether they work for the city or school district — need to speak up on behalf of the Buddhists soon, lest the xenophobes be allowed to ruin this unexpected opportunity.”
Speaking up around here is not what we do; that upsets the centuries old order of things; and we certainly cannot upset our esteemed community leaders by asking them to stand on principle when, let’s be honest, to embrace principles requires that you have them to embrace in the first place.
I’m not keen on Amsterdam of late and it gets less keen day-by-day.
*** I emphatically dispute cost savings from closing Bacon; I’m merely reflecting the prevailing “wisdom”