Too bad Mary Ann Blees [May 8 issue] couldn’t make it to the last negotiations session. She would have a harder time hanging onto her ill-informed notions about the teacher negotiators (one of whom was the same Mrs. McKinney she took to task in a letter to the editor).

Mrs. McKinney (and a partner) put forward an offer that would have fixed many problems that have been points of contention, while at the same time saving the district $110,000 (compared to the district’s offer). While I can’t speak for Mrs. McKinney, this may be why she is claiming “it is not about the money.” When the board representatives spitefully reject significant savings in favor of clinging to a position that cannot be justified fiscally, or otherwise, (which even their legal counsel rejects) her claim would seem to have some merit. Then, when a proposal was made to go to binding arbitration, district negotiators quickly dismissed the idea of submitting to a neutral third party to settle the dispute.

Throughout the negotiations meeting, the board members were openly hostile and clearly unwilling to engage in genuine dialogue. At the same time the teacher representatives demonstrated a remarkable amount of forbearance.

Voting no on this year’s levy would result in grievous harm to our schools. Those who seek to punish teachers (or the board) are not seeing the big picture. The impact would be felt across the entire community. Please support children and invest in strong schools. Vote yes for the school levy.

Joe Tosten


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