I attended the referendum forum recently at Irving School to try to better understand why people oppose it. It turns out that my neighbor has stepped forward as an outspoken leader of this group.
Now I get it.
The opposition suggests that the threat of cuts to jobs and programs in District 97 is a cleverly deceptive ploy. They believe there's no way our school board will really make good on these threats.
I'm sure this will be reassuring news to the people, including our school secretary Rosa Ordaz, who have already received termination notices.
When terms like "mismanagement" and "blackmail" are used I hear anger, frustration and suspicion from the opposition. This feels like punishing D97 for perceived past misdeeds by institutions possibly not even directly involved in this debate.
So, the opposition is the voice of reason — heroically creating spreadsheets to save hysterical parents from being the unwitting victims of scare tactics meant to coerce us into naively handing over more of our hard-earned money to an undeserving school board. One analogy compared shoring up the District 97 operating budget to giving a drunk another drink (not a comparison I found helpful or respectful).
Apparently we are being duped. If we send a strong enough, angry enough message, we can regain control and things will turn around. We'll be out of the red in no time.
I want to believe this. I really do because who in their right mind wants to pay more in property taxes?
We just can't risk it. I'm voting yes because if this referendum doesn't pass, I'm wondering who will help Ms. Rosa pack up her desk and walk her out the door for the last time.
I'm wondering who really will feel duped after April 5.