Peter Demling: Leave decision on track to next board

Kaboompics.com

Published: 12-09-2023 1:16 PM

A vote to abandon the current high school track and field project by rescinding the debt authorization for it is scheduled for the Dec. 12 meeting of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee. I’d ask the committee to consider that it would be best to postpone this vote until its newly elected members are seated, a few weeks from now in January.

I think that’s the only way that such a vote — whatever the outcome — could have lasting credibility with the public. That there is disagreement about this project in our community has been well established: No matter what happens, some of us won’t be happy with the outcome.

But it will be much more difficult to accept the results if such a major decision is pushed through in the final days of service of temporary appointed members, just before being replaced by publicly elected members.

For many reasons, I think the current project will be a tremendous resource for both our community and our students for many years to come, and I sincerely hope it proceeds. But I also understand that not everyone thinks so, and if after sufficient deliberation a majority of publicly elected representatives vote against it, I will be quite saddened; but I will also accept the decision.

With no reason to rush to vote now, I hope the committee will see the value in waiting to take action on this topic until their next meeting in January.

Peter Demling

Amherst School Committee 2017-2023, Amherst

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