Sullivan: "I Support A New High School"

"This issue should not be one that splinters taxpayers into factions hell-bent on attempting to convince the “other side” that the “other side” is obdurate and wrong, or worse: lying."

This letter is written by Bradford Sullivan:

I support the proposal that the Town of Clinton should build a new high school.  I should end this letter at that but many would gripe about the curtness of such a simple statement. It is, however, a straightforward statement of my intentions when I vote at the bonding referendum on April 11, 2012, sometime between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM at Town Hall.

The Morgan Building Committee (“MBC”), the ad hoc committee originally formed to investigate the Morgan roof replacement, performed its responsibilities admirably. It began the thankless odyssey of investigating Clinton’s choices two years ago and ultimately recommended that building a new high school in Clinton is the best utilization of financial resources for our community. Overall, I think the MBC got it right.

This issue should not be one that splinters taxpayers into factions hell-bent on attempting to convince the “other side” that the “other side” is obdurate and wrong, or worse: lying.  That is counterproductive.  Unfortunately, our little town’s politics have degraded over the years into a “gotcha” culture whereby some with political affiliations, or other special interests, parse words in an impressive and entertaining display of “spin-doctoring;” engage in grossly inappropriate intimidation tactics; and generally ignore the basic rules of civility by morphing into unrecognizable, obnoxious participants in the overall debate.

The lack of respect for the MBC’s proposal is inexplicable despite the honest, hard work invested by a dedicated and diverse volunteer committee that was charged with the extremely difficult task of performing the required due diligence to submit its recommendation. We have elected leaders who appoint committees in order to help the decision makers (you and me) make our decisions.  A town meeting or referendum is required when Clinton wants to spend more than $15,000. Period. There is no sleight-of-hand or “back-room” deal making. The bottom line is that voters decide upon the where, when and how virtually every dollar is spent in Clinton.

I have been involved with Clinton’s government long enough to understand and communicate to Patch readers that Clinton’s infrastructure is dilapidated, but slowly improving in spite of the perennial underfunding; and that planning, zoning and economic development are sorely lacking leadership and money to ensure that Clinton can become competitive in this region in the near future.  A new school will improve Clinton beyond the obvious synergies associated with creating an educational campus encompassing the Peters Complex, the Joel School and a new Morgan School.

Voters should not underestimate the impression that a $64 Million Dollar building will have upon even casual observers of the Shoreline.  This project could be a decisive declaration of Clinton’s intention to expand its commercial and industrial tax base while providing some relief to our residential base, not mere platitudes but real action. Neither I nor anyone else for that matter can divine the long term economic impact a vote rejecting a new Morgan School would have on our town.  Suffice it to say, we would just need to go back to where we were a couple of years ago and ask the following question: How much to replace the roof on Morgan?

The decision is in the voters’ hands now. Do you want to spend millions on maintenance over the next 20 years, or do you want a new school building for your millions and all of the advantages that come with that choice?  As a business owner, family man and member of the Board of Finance, I truly hope that there is a significant turn out for this important referendum, and that we collectively choose to chart a course for Clinton that we will all be proud of for many, many years.

Very truly yours,

Bradford J. Sullivan



Stephen King April 03, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Jack, everyone here tries to abide by a courteous debate. If you have something interesting to debate do that. Otherwise your rant is unjustified and frankly has no place in the process.
Stephen King April 03, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Leah, I'm interested in facts too. Can you be more specific about the crazy accusations and misinformation. I too would like to know. Also, do we have a report from the board of finance that gives us the analysis of the financial impact regarding these decisions. Have they posted anything on the town's website that can help us separate fact from fiction? I'm sure all voters would be interested in reading it.
Mark April 03, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I read it in an article in one of the shoreline papers last night. We have an approximately 15 K increase in the 12-13 budget, which is over 5%. I'll check on my other numbers and let you know. Thanks.
Fay Abrahamsson April 03, 2012 at 09:27 PM
The increases in the proposed '12-'13 budgets are as follows: 1.18% over current spending for the school budget and 4.64% over current spending for the town budget. As to what has driven the increases in the town budget, here's an article explaining things that were passed in a recent town meeting by voters and electors such as the police pension: http://patch.com/A-qSJy
Randy Watson April 03, 2012 at 09:34 PM
My fellow Patcheads, I think I’ve heard it all – ban the CTA. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was in communist China, or perhaps, Chavez’ Venezuela. I disagree with the majority of the posts here in Patchland. However, I would never advocate banning the folks who post here day in and day out; I love to read the different points of view. Like it or not, the First Amendment to our Constitution wasn’t created to protect ‘popular’ or ‘respectful’ speech. Rather, it was created to protect the kind of speech that we might find offensive. After all, what good is it to protect speech that everyone agrees with? Peace Patcheads. - Randy


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