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Don’t be deceived: We need to invest in education

Jon Piasecki of West Stockbridge writes: "The claim that some random person can design it better than the thoughtful professionals who have worked for years on this renovation is a lie. The claim that it will be cheaper to do nothing and let the school rot is a lie."

To the Editor:

Fall here is a most sumptuous time. The trees stockpile their resources and in a most generous act, gift all of us with a blaze of red, orange and yellow on these glorious hills. Their investment in their future, in the next year’s growth, has a colorful by-product that distinguishes our area from the rest of the world. New England and Berkshire County are part of an old-school America, grown like our trees on hard soil, with hard work and a dream for a better life. This place has drawn great people with its wonderful qualities, and nurtured, cultivated and launched generations of innovators, artists, scholars and others who have shaped our destiny.

That is why it is so hard for me to understand the opposition to the renovation of the Monument Mountain Regional High School. I cannot grasp the short-sighted and selfish attitude that would seek to deceive the citizenry here by pretending that our school, so in need of renovation, is just fine as it is. The claim that the school does not need to be renovated is a lie. The claim that some random person can design it better than the thoughtful professionals who have worked for years on this renovation is a lie. The claim that it will be cheaper to do nothing and let the school rot is a lie.

The school building is in need of serious work. We will pay either way, whether it is for each system and component as they break, or for a well-researched and thoroughly debated plan that has been approved by the regulatory agencies and is in compliance with the building codes of our Commonwealth.

In a particular absurdity, the naysayers and fear mongers who are trying to convince us that we cannot possibly afford another costly town project will, if they succeed, cost you, me and every other taxpayer in the district more money because they will have us miss out on an enormous state subsidy that will reduce our tax burden relative to the “fix it as it breaks” option. This “no-vote lack of a plan” is more expensive, disruptive and does not enable the improvements needed to have a modern, effective place to teach our kids. Please make no mistake; this is all a no vote can offer.

My taxes will go up around $336.22 with a yes vote. My taxes will certainly be higher still if this proposal is voted down and the heating system fails, or there is a fire and no sprinkler system, if the roof fails or there is a security breach because there is no way to lock down the school.

To renovate Monument is to invest in the future. To do nothing is to squander a hard-earned opportunity. This well-considered school renovation is an investment in the future of your kids, your neighbor’s kids and many kids you do not even know but who live in the little slice of heaven we have all found ourselves in in Berkshire County. The people who lived here before us built schools, churches, libraries, museums, businesses, community centers, parks, fire halls, fairgrounds and America. We have no choice but to at least try to live up to their mighty standards. It will cost something to meet our responsibilities, but in the case of the renovation of our high school we have the rare opportunity to vote yes and in the end pay less.

Please vote yes on both ballot questions and support the renovation of the high school.

Jon Piasecki

West Stockbridge

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PETER MOST: A more PURDfect design

Since no one is making any more developable land here, let’s design thoughtfully and maximize use wisely. Let the experts be in charge.

I WITNESS: Yiddishkeit

If someone in Hollywood were to make a musical about both sides of my family, they would have to call it “Schindler on the Roof.” That’s how good my Jew cred is.

Please help support vulnerable members of your community by supporting The People’s Pantry

For many of our neighbors, it is not an optimistic time as they face a daily battle with food insecurity. They can’t afford the basic, healthy foods that many of us take for granted.

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