To ensure that all parties in any debate have a forum allowing their opinions to be expressed, we are providing LFC readers with the following comments received from Mr. Gabe Cicconetti, Painesville Township Trustee and Mr. Thomas Hach, Riverside School Board Member. We thank both individuals for taking the time to communicate with us so that we may share the information with Lake County citizens.
Here is Mr. Cicconetti’s response to our post: https://lobbyistsforcitizens.com/2019/08/22/painesville-township-vs-riverside-school-board-round-2/
Thank you for your input and your email. It was mentioned to me that you made a couple blog posts on your website regarding this issue. So, I went over and took a look. I want to preface this with stating that I 100% appreciate and respect your right to have a difference of opinion on the matter or any matter. However, I just ask that you ensure that when discussing me and our efforts you use factual information. There is a number of points in your blog post contain misinformation and it is only fair to me, the other Trustees, and anyone reading your posts that it contain factual information. a few examples are:
To Concerned Residents of the Riverside School District,
This is a Blind Carbon Copy (BCC:) reply to the many thoughtful emails I have received both for and against the recent proposal on the Hadden School property made by the Painesville Township Trustees. Below are my opinions which may or may not reflect the opinions of the other Riverside school board members or the administrators thereof.
Why I am against the Painesville Township proposal.
There are six communities represented in the Riverside District and the Trustees’ proposal creates definitive winners and losers with no overall benefit to the District or its taxpayers.
- The discussion about the Hadden property so far has completely ignored the fact Painesville Township is already the biggest winner within the scope of the changes going on in the Riverside District:
A brand new $17,000,000 elementary school has been built on Madison Avenue
The former Hale Road Elementary School is now home to a County run school
The former Hadden Elementary School is likely to be home to a Charter school in fall 2020
A few years back, the Riverside District sold a property to another local community at market price. The taxpayers of this community would rightly feel they were snookered by the District and their own elected officials if Painesville Township were to get a ‘sweetheart’ deal on the Hadden property.
The Trustee’s proposal sets a bad precedent because it rests on the argument all tax dollars are the same regardless of origin. Using the Trustee’s ‘Hadden’ logic, if the buyer of the former Leroy Elementary School turns out to be Leroy Township, which is a real possibility, the Riverside District would be obligated to also sell it at the ‘sweetheart’ amount of just $1. Would this be fair to the District taxpayers outside of Leroy Township who have also paid year after year to operate and maintain Leroy Elementary? Answer: NO.
Given the County school and the potential Charter school mentioned above are county and taxpayer supported, the Trustee’s ‘Hadden’ logic would again dictate the Riverside District give away both Hale Road and Hadden schools for the ‘sweetheart’ amount of just $1 each. Would this benefit anyone in the District who paid year after year to operate and maintain these two schools? Answer: NO.
Maximizing the revenue from the sale of the former Hadden School will help delay the next levy request from the Riverside District, which would be in the best interest of ALL District taxpayers.
With all due respect to the Painesville Trustees, it is truly a shame they have chosen a ‘my way or the highway’ approach on Hadden. This approach is dividing our community when there are several potential ways forward which preserve the ball fields and green spaces in question. If the Trustees put as much time into working with the Riverside District as they are putting into their bullying tactics, I believe a solution could be found which we can all live with and would unite the communities we both serve.
In closing, I suspect I speak for many in the Riverside District when I say I look forward to having a positive and constructive dialogue with Painesville Township to find a solution which works for everyone.
Member, Riverside Board of Education