During the last North Bennington school election, residents voted a second time to change the school status from the current public school to independent or private.
Matthew Paterson set up a table promoting a yes vote for the independent school and had students hollering at everyone to vote yes during school hours. I feel this tactic unfairly persuaded voters as they entered the polling place.
Joyce Scarey has such courage to stand up and voice her opinion. Like my engineer friend who says, "I’m not saying you can’t speak, but you’ll be punished if you do." Maybe that’s why so many are silent.
Still, even as North Bennington property owners are out yelling yes they forget Shaftsbury District 1 residents are paying to support the school in North Bennington as well.
When I was Chairman of the Shaftsbury Planning Commission, I asked 90-year-old Will Cross why the School District 1 was created. He stated at the time, Shaftsbury had one school located in Center Shaftsbury and the children would have to walk several miles to attend. As North Bennington was closer for the children to walk, they created the district. I said, but what sense does this make today? He replied, it doesn’t.
Let’s get rid of Shaftsbury’s District 1, have the Shaftsbury children attend the Shaftsbury Elementary School. Let Bennington College buy the North Bennington building and run an elementary program like the early childhood program.