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Special Election: Sullivan West to vote on capital improvements

October 18, 2012

On October 23, Sullivan West District voters will be asked to authorize the expenditure of approximately $2.7 million from the district’s existing capital reserve fund. That fund, established by a voter referendum in 2008, presently contains more than $6.4 million, most of which came from successful law suit settlements—not from taxes. The capital projects planned for include a number of items at both schools—from school repairs to the construction of athletic fields. A "yes" vote by the voters on October 23 will cost district taxpayers nothing—no new taxes, no new bonded debt. The necessary revenue will all come from the existing capital reserve fund.

I realize that some people in the community have questioned the need to construct playing fields and I'd like to respond to these concerns here. At present we have no baseball or softball fields at our high school—not even practice fields. The only competition baseball field in the entire school district is the Lion's Field located across from the Callicoon Town offices down on Legion Road in Jeffersonville. With varsity, junior varsity and modified teams, it's not uncommon for us to field four complete baseball teams, all of which struggle to use the Lion's Field for their games and have to practice on non-baseball fields at the high school or be bused to substandard fields far from the school. Ours is the only high school that I know of which has neither a baseball nor a softball field of any kind. An excellent high school like ours, which serves more than 600 students, needs to have adequate playing fields for its students. So, too, should our elementary school in Jeffersonville. Such fields will serve not only the almost 40% of our students in grades 7-12 who participate in interscholastic sports, but also the 100% of our students in all grades who participate in physical education classes. Additionally, they can (and should) be available for use by community groups. The fact is that constructing these fields will cost district taxpayers NOTHING, and that their construction will benefit all of our community, can't be emphasized enough.

Sullivan West residents: Vote "YES" on October 23 to benefit our kids and the entire Sullivan West school community.

Kenneth Hilton,
Jeffersonville, NY