Another Opinion

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Al Larson              Board President                    allarson@es.k12.ar.us

Candace Spaulding                                             spaulding777@live.com

Chris McClung                                                     cmcclung1017@gmail.com

Gayla Wolfinbarger                                             gwolfinbarger@es.k12.ar.us

Jason Morris                                                         jmorris@es.k12.ar.us

Jayme Wildeman                                                 jaymewildeman@es.k12.ar.us         

Joe Hill                                                                   joe.hill.@es.k12.ar.us         

From the Lovely County Citizen, 7/11/2013

“As trustees of the taxpayers, the school board is obligated to get a fair market value for the property and is not authorized to operate a community center,” Al Larson, school board chairman, has pointed out.

“We’re going to listen to any offer – it’s our duty to,” Larson said “We don’t want to be in this same spot next year.”

Hey everybody,

In a recent newspaper article, it stated that there is a notice from Eureka Springs Community Center (ESCC) folks AGAIN, requesting from OUR school board, that ¾ of the money that they agreed to pay for the old High School property be forgiven. (meaning $300,000). They say they want to make better use of the money they pay to the 7400+ folks of the school district. (How many do they serve?)

There is so much information going back to 2013, when we, the taxpayers were told the property was worth at least $500,000.00-up to a million.

The last time the ESCC folks asked to be given the property, they were turned down. This time, they are actively courting their membership to write in and show support.

Up till now, I had been under the misguided notion that the school board, in wanting to do the best for the ENTIRE District would make a motion to ask the 7,400 district voters their opinions perhaps through public hearings, questionnaire, phone calls, or even Facebook before giving away the property, for $100,000.

One person told me it was not their job to contact the taxpayer, it was the taxpayer’s job to call them. I beg to differ. 

Governments and public boards, meaning folks elected by the people, to serve the people, must be transparent. I’m sure many folks don’t know this is happening because there is almost no attention being brought to it.

Which makes me say, there is something wrong with a privately held board (meaning we don’t vote for any of the sitting board members), calling itself a community center. Anytime they want to change course, they can. They can choose who and what they want, using the name community. They answer to no one. Is this what we want in a community center?

A true Community Center should be owned and operated by the people.

If the price has been dropped to $100,000 – well, didn’t the CAPC say they have extra money this year? Parks’ tax could operate it. It could be the extra offices we need, along with satellite parking on weekends. Big win for everybody.

Or if this property is being handed over for $100,000, it should be put out to bid, at the very least. 

Or, with this new price, offer it to the City again. They could find 100K, eh?

Please, I know that many of these folks are performing good works, just like every other non-profit. I am not comfortable with one being chosen over another. Let them put forth proposals if non-profit and educational are the only requirements.

Above is the school board info, feel free to email your thoughts before the Monday meeting. And do your own research. Thanks.

Pat Matsukis

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