**Editor’s Note: The letter below was sent by Caledonia resident Eric Butcher to each member of the Caledonia Village Board.
Dear Village Board Members,
I previously expressed my concern and frustration over both the results of the feasibility study vote on July 6th, and the impact Rep Weatherston’s statements had on the board. I still feel Rep Weatherston’s statements greatly influenced the board’s feelings on what information would be needed and the potential impact on the legislative change being asked for; unfortunately I still feel these statements were misleading.
I now see that we are forming an adhoc committee with the Villages of Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant for the purpose of finding out how much a study on the impact of a new school district on all of the surrounding communities would cost. This appears to be based on the aforementioned erroneous statements by Rep Weatherston in regards to what the legislature needs before pursuing the needed legislative changes to allow for separation from RUSD.
What is an adhoc committee going to find out that a simple and cheaper call to Speaker Vos or Senator Wanggard offices not going to accomplish on this issue? In my calls to their offices no new study parameters were mentioned. If new parameters were added now, or in the future, would it not be prudent to already have a study on the fiscal feasibility of our own school district?
In the Racine County Eye President Bradley is quoted as saying that this was always meant to be a joint effort between the 3 communities, but it morphed into something different. I was at the meeting where the April resolution was put on the ballot. It was made very clear to every member of the board that the purpose of the resolution was for Caledonia to pursue the creation of its own school district, not a new unified or joint district minus the City of Racine. This is what we approved as a community last April-not a new joint or unified district with Mt Pleasant and Sturtevant as seems to be the focus of President Bradley based upon his comments on the matter.
In addition, it is likely the requested study which would update data from the 2007 study would be applicable to any future larger regional study if such a study is eventually called for. Again, however, I would like to point out I have heard of no such need for a additional study from either the offices of Speaker Vos or Senator Wanggard. In fact, it is my understanding, that the kind of information Rep Weatherston mentioned would most likely be gathered by the legislative fiscal bureau. On top of this many of the very citizens that you represent have begun fundraising for this study with great success, bringing the cost of the study we voted for down to half of what was originally proposed to the village board. I see no good reason to not move forward with this study at this time. Every day, week, month and year we go on in this community without improving the educational options for our children causes parents like me to deal with difficult decisions and hardships that neighbors to our north and west do not. As a real estate professional, I can attest to the very real negative impact this has on property values in our community. Please, I implore you, move forward with this study; lead the way towards a new and better future for our children and the families of this community. They deserve better then the educational options we currently offer them.
Thank You for your time.