It was barely a month ago that supporters of the school facility bond were enthusiastically touting the benefits of the plan. They wanted everyone to know about the great newish high school, the reimagined elementary schools, and all the savings from “taking square footage offline.” Since the plan has shown its true colors, the only arguments we seem to hear about are how “it’s this or nothing” or “we’re voting for the bond, not the plan,” or “if we don’t do this, someone else will get our money.” It’s really pretty sad. If you believe in a plan, be proud and support it.

We’re often asked for an alternate plan if this one fails. We agree it would be great if the community had a choice. That’s what community involvement and authentic interaction would have produced. It would have produced a choice. We could have decided collectively which path to walk. Instead, leadership plowed ahead with a flawed idea and here we are.

So, what happens if this bond fails? What happens is we come together for real community conversations and come up with a plan that likely won’t have unanimous support, but will have been born of an open, honest process that respects everyone’s views, even those who don’t get what they want. We will approach this project with seriousness and understanding, and we will build consensus before we build a blueprint, not the other way around.

May 4 is the beginning, not the end, of this journey. We hope you will join us and stop this plan by voting to reject the bond. Then come to the table with us and bring your hopes, dreams, and ideas.

Paula Bradley & Tara Schold

South Kingstown

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