This letter begins simply as a thank-you note to everyone for working together to ensure that our community’s voice was heard loud and clear. The Irvington fields bond vote is over and the results astonishing: over 1700 voters and a nearly 4 to 1 vote against the bond!
I believe, however, judging by the reaction to the last bond initiative 2 years ago, that we have not heard the end of the cry for artificial turf in future fields bond propositions.
The Board of Education (BOE) will probably convince themselves that this time around, the failure of the initiative was due to the bad economic climate. They will choose not to recognize that a good portion of the vote was also due to health and environmental concerns, due to a lack of real choice in determining the field composition (no way to choose natural turf). In a sense, this has been a "perfect storm" bringing together ALL of these issues into one focused moment. It’s not just "about the economy, stupid!"
The polls are closed, however the vote is not done yet — there is one final step I am urging all of you in the Village and the school district to undertake. We need to ensure that the BOE and school administration understand clearly that the defeat was not solely due to the projected tax burden, and the current economic situation. Rather, I urge each one of you to take a few moments to follow-up with a letter or email to the BOE and the school district, ensuring that they understand that the wide array of health and environmental issues were also of great concern to you (to our community). I would also urge you to send copies if these letters to your friends, to this paper and to the Irvington Parents Forum – ensuring that these follow-up communications become wide-spread public notice (and thus won’t be ignored or shunted to the side by the BOE).
By joining in this follow-up letter-writing campaign, the full message of the vote can be made irrefutable to the BOE and school administration.
Please share this request with your friends and acquaintances in the Village and the school district!
Mark Gilliland, Irvington
board@Irvingtonschools.org [Irv BOE]
kathleen.matusiak@Irvingtonschools.org [District Superintendent]
Scott.Mosenthal@Irvingtonschools.org [HS principal]
Irvington Parent’s Forum online: