Statement by North Royalton School Board Member Dan Langshaw on Proposed School Improvement Bond Issue at May 10, 2012 Special Board Meeting

Tonight’s vote on a Resolution of Necessity is the first of two resolutions to put a 35 year $54,300,000 School Improvement Bond Issue on the November 6, 2012 General Election Ballot. This vote is not a cause for celebration. As a School Board Member, 2004 North Royalton High School graduate, an older brother of three siblings who have been educated in our school district, and someday in the future have kids who will be in this district; I know there is a necessity to fix our aging buildings to maintain education in the North Royalton City School District.

Beginning in 2003 the district has conducted assessments and reviewed alternatives to address our facilities’ needs. None of the proposed solutions was considered feasible given cost and timing issues. The proposal we are considering now is half the cost of prior proposals and provides a solution for decades. It disturbs me though that school districts like ours are forced to confront our facilities issues with no assistance from the state. Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly have done nothing to channel Ohio School Facilities funds to districts such as ours. We all must continue to voice our concerns to the Governor and our lawmakers in Columbus!

Our economy is still trying to recover, I hear from many constituents that they are just trying to get through these tough times. The timing for a bond issue may not be the best for folks, but we have reached the point where doing nothing is no longer an option. Our students and community deserve a plan on how to fix our school buildings up in a financially responsible manner for our long term future. As a leader it is unacceptable to play politics and kick this problem down the road for another Board to worry about for another decade. A major issue like this Bond Issue should not be decided by a 5 person Board but all the residents of this community.

I will support this first resolution and the second resolution to put this issue on the November Ballot for a vote of the people. No one wants to see a tax increase at any time. But the district cannot make the necessary improvements without any money. If this Bond Issue passes, I want to be on the record to say I plan to thoroughly examine and discuss any expenditure request to use these funds. Fiscal discipline is critical!

As a United States Army Veteran I believe in our American Democracy and the right to vote as citizens. The people need to decide: Is this an investment they can afford? We need to respect whatever they tell us at the polls with their vote in November. I think it is very positive that this Board has a long-term plan and priority list on what needs to be done to bring our buildings up to par. We as Board Members are fulfilling our responsibility to give the people a chance to decide this issue. Let’s not forget we work for them.

In closing I encourage all residents to get engaged in this process. Come to a SCENE Meeting, School Board Meeting, and most importantly JUST VOTE! If you are not registered to vote you can get more information on how to by going on the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Website at http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us or call 216-443-3200. Your vote matters and it’s up to the people to decide the future of the North Royalton City School District.