Setting the record straight on my D200 stance

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Elsewhere in today's newspaper is a correction to the Dec. 21 story on the race for the four open seats on the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education.

I am among the D200 candidates and that correction should briefly set the record straight: although I voted against the high school's recently defeated referendum, I have never been a "vocal" opponent of it.

In fact, over the many months leading up to the vote, I made a conscious decision to refrain from making any public comments about the referendum. As president of the Oak Park Public Library Board, I believe strongly that remaining quiet on the issue was not only appropriate but imperative, lest anyone draw an inaccurate inference that I was expressing an official library position.

As has been reported extensively, that referendum sought voters' permission to borrow up to $25 million as part of a $44.5 million facilities spending package. The bulk of the plan (more than $37 million) called for demolishing the parking garage on the south end of the high school campus to make way for a smaller garage and the construction of a 40-meter pool to replace OPRF's two 88-year-old pools.

I absolutely support a new pool — just not one that comes with such a high cost and overreaching footprint. Doing so would inherently come at the expense of other priorities essential to achieving the school's aim of "excellence and equity" for all students.

Thank you, Wednesday Journal, for affording me the opportunity to supplement your correction with this further clarification.

Matt Baron

Oak Park

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