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Transparency might have saved failed bond

Published 10:13pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Election results proved to make some hefty changes in the region, notably the rejection of Dowagiac Union Schools’ $19.9 million bond proposal.

The proposal aimed to build a new high school adjacent to Dowagiac Middle School and perform district-wide upgrades to technology.

Beyond the general voter apathy that yielded limited results, residents contended that a new high school wasn’t necessary and that repairs should be made to the existing building.

The bond proposal may have had a closer race in the August primary election had district administrators strived to educate the community they serve.

With an apparent silence on the front, we can argue that voters simply voted against the proposal without fully understanding what that decision entailed.

The lack of a “campaign” to help better publicize the bond up until merely a week before Election Day severely damaged its chances.

While some attempts to speak out about the bond were made, they were made much too late.

In order for Dowagiac students to see better technology and a new building equipped to assist them in educational excellence, there must be transparency with facts and the effort.

By knocking on doors, holding multiple community forums and answering the many questions voters have, a new high school might just become a possibility some day.

Silence prevents residents from feeling, in any way, inclined to side with such a large project.

Moving forward, the district must find ways to give the community as much information as possible and be available to present the facts.

This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.

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