Dozens attend Board of Education meeting to voice annexation opinions

Dreadstrong
Dreadstrong

Attendance at the Dexter Board of Education meeting was a bit higher than normal Monday evening as dozens showed up to voice their concerns over the issue of annexing Whitmore Lake Public Schools.

Dexter resident Cindy Glahn said that during the course of the last few months, the board of education has lost face with it’s constituents.

“You said that at the end of phase one you were going to vote on whether or not to proceed and you didn’t do that,” she said. “In my opinion by doing things like that you are losing credibility with our community.”

At the previous Feb. 23 meeting, the board of education listened to the findings of phase one and decided to hold off until Monday’s meeting to avoid making a quick decision.

Glahn also argued that the board is spending too much time on the issue of annexation.

“How are we going to take on another district?,” she said. “We’ve got to manage what’s in front of us and manage it well.

If we have to research it, then it’s not worth it.”

Kelly Grub, another Dexter resident and parent, is an educator elsewhere in Washtenaw County and also opposes annexation. She cited the difficulties Ypsilanti and Willow Run schools staff went through during the two districts’ merger two years ago.

“It’s the cost of all those little things, those little tiny things that we don’t think about that us teachers and educators and staff have to deal with,” she said. “Because really you guys make the decision, but it’s not you guys in the trenches dealing with it.”

We need to think more about the students and the teachers and what’s going to happen.”

The board of education read through a resolution to formally urge the state of Michigan to restructure the funding for local districts and provide financial incentives for districts who are considering annexation.

Board member Daryl Kipke expressed initial support of the resolution, but said he doesn’t see putting more resources into the process as useful at this time.

“There’s not enough financial resources to even seriously consider annexation,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to put any more time or money into the process until or unless the state comes up and determines a reasonable way to structure it.”

Verbal agreement with Kipke’s stance came from board members Julie Schumaker, Bonnie Everdeen and Michael Wendorf.

Schumaker stressed that if the state did provide adequate financial support, the resolution on the table wouldn’t be an all clear to move forward with annexation.

“Providing a financial incentive does not mean a yes (for annexation),” she said.

The board will vote on the resolution at the next regular meeting at 7 p.m. March 23 at Creekside Middle School.

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