[addressed to many commuity leaders and chamber members]
(Note: As this is a political communication, I am responding with my
political e-mail address. In addition, I speak for myself and only myself.)
I’m in receipt of your email and attached portfolio. I also notice you
copied many other people and the News-Gazette, so I presume you intend
to have this conversation publicly. As such, I’ve also included David
Sholem’s list from this morning and a few others who I believe would be
interested in the content of this message.
I will be calling Julie Wurth around 10 am tomorrow to discuss your
e-mail. If there is any corrections to the accuracy of your portfolio
specifically the extent in which your were really involved in the
projects you site in the attachment, I would recommend you get them out
As to the rest of your message, as I stated at the Chamber this morning,
your analysis was not an apples to apples comparison and thus useless
for a comparative analysis. The idea that we can build the same
building and programming at the Judah site which would require buying
that building, condemning properties, remediating the land, trading
property to the Park District to trade for Spalding and then demolishing
Spalding and clearing that land and THEN building the actual school
compared to doing just building a school on an empty field is, at best,
preposterous druid logic.
I trust our architect’s analysis because they have been up front with
their assumptions, responsive to questions and thorough and reasonable
in their analysis. In your case, we’ve gotten like 5 different versions
of whether or not you are being paid by someone for your work on this
and if so, whom is actually paying you.
The point is, this district spent years in a thorough and rational
planning approach. Between Great Schools Together, Dejong Richter and
the Facilities Commitee, the problem was defined, requirements were
established and a solution was designed. 18 sites (including
Judah/Spalding) were thoroughly analyzed based on objective criteria.
Interstate drive came out on top, by no means perfect, but the best of
available options without dedicating tens of millions of EXTRA funds
just for property acquisition and demolition.
To date, the only “comparisons” presented that we haven’t done our job
is comparing to solutions that simply are not in line with the
requirements set by no less than 3 large-scale community efforts taking
place in broad daylight and open to the public.
In closing, I should point out, all this was done BEFORE I was even on
the board. There are thousands of pages to look through, almost all of
which are online. I am more than satisfied with the thoroughness of
research and time spent on solving a problem that has been ignored by
past boards for decades which caused this problem in the first place.