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Like the fabled Hydra...
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The amount of misinformation circulated about both the Westerville Schools and the need for an operating levy has been truly impressive.  Recent letters to the editor stated that the school district had proposed to supply all high school students with Palm Pilots and that a plasma TV had been installed at Westerville Central High School.  Both allegations were blatantly false.  

 

The manner in which these urban legends have proliferated has been extraordinary.  Like the fabled Hydra, it seems that when one rumor is disproved, two new ones appear in its place.  Once the allegation about the plasma TV been proven false, a new rumor circulated that five plasma TVs were to be purchased.  This was followed in quick succession by rumors that a Starbuck's café had been installed in Central High School and that street lamps in the Commons area at Central had been purchased at a cost of $30,000.  The common thread running through these stories, of course, is that each one is false.  

 

What should be troubling to Westerville voters is why these stories circulate at all.  Every issue in an election has support and opposition, and voters expect vigorous debate on the issues.  But in the case of the misinformation being circulated in Westerville, there are no issues to debate.  There is only falsehood.  And it seems to be increasing.  

 

Voters in Westerville should be very clear about what is at stake.  If you give credence to rumors, then discussion of the issues has become trivial altogether.  I believe that the only reason these individuals circulate rumors or misinformation is because they cannot provide convincing arguments on the issues.  This applies as well to the recent direct mail campaign against the levy which contains a surplus of misinformation and innuendo.  

 

I issue a challenge to those who circulate the rumors and those involved in the direct mail campaign:  Attend the information meetings listed below and state your case.   If those opportunities prove to be insufficient, I propose a public debate on the issues.  Present your case in these venues where the facts will be available to the public.  Then the voters can decide if your case is credible.  To the voters, I issue an invitation:  Attend these meetings and make your own decision.

 

A public information meeting on school funding in Ohio and in Westerville will be held on October 8 at 7 PM in the Genoa Middle School Commons Area.  The next Town Meeting held by Westerville City Schools will be held on October 15 at 7 PM in the Media Center of Westerville North High School.  Voters can ask questions, receive answers and air their views at these meetings.  

 

Information about the need for a levy and related issues can also be found on the following web sites:

            Westerville City Schools:  http://www.wcsoh.org/  

            Citizens for Schools:  http://www.citizensforschools.org/  

WeVOTE:  http://wevote2003.tripod.com    

 

Voting to decide the support for the education of children is not a trivial matter.  I urge voters to become informed and to support the proposed operating levy.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Michael Kelley

  

Westerville Voters On Target for Education