The amount of misinformation circulated about both the WestervilleSchools
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 CentralHigh 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
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 in the Genoa Middle School Commons Area.The next Town Meeting
held by Westerville City Schools will be held on October 15 at 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: