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Letter: 'Facts' don't stand up to district figures

To the Editor:

As I write this the outcome of the Somerset referendum has not yet been determined, but as you read this, that decision will have been made.

Therefore I am unable to influence your decision to vote "yes" or "no" at this late date. I will guess (hope) that the bigger the turnout, the bigger the defeat.

In last week's paper David Olson made some pretty unbelievable accusations directed at me personally. His statements were accusatory, libelous and defamed my good name.

I obviously was incensed, and as I reached for the phone to call an attorney to sue... it hit me... David Olson had just published for all to see the greatest (although false) compliment I have ever received.

I am flattered that he credits me with writing such a powerful letter that I single-handedly caused more than 1,700 people to vote no. Thank you David Olson, the job offers should be pouring in anytime now.

David Olson apparently believes the taxpayers of Somerset School District are such sheep that they will follow this lowly Judas goat without question.

Now let's look at what David Olson states as fact from his research. His statements are poorly worded, but I believe he is trying to say that with enrollment at 1,594 there are 89 students more than the total building capacities of 1,505.

The official student "total enrollment" as of Feb. 15, 2008 was 1,589. (Obtained directly from Mr. Rosburg's report to the School Board.) That number includes 11 Early Childhood children, so the official junior kindergarten-12 enrollment is 1,578. There are 117 JK kids of which only half are in school at a time, so you can deduct half of 117 or another 58 students for a "daily enrollment" of 1,520 students. Building capacity is 1,505, resulting in a total of 15 students over capacity.

I had, in a previous letter to the editor, stated there were 19 students over "daily enrollment capacity." That is what David Olson states is my "arrogant non-factual opinion."

Mr. Olson must have received a fine education, judging by his prowess as a debater. We just proved Mr. Olson's figures are wrong. His position is indefensible so what does he do? He resorts to name-calling and ends it with "for the children."

He further states if I "would not have been so bullheaded the last referendum, {sic} the District could have saved millions."

Well, David Olson, 5 percent interest on $30 million is $1.5 million/year times three years is $4.5 million that I have saved the taxpayers so far.

And he further states, "...trying to find a way to give our kids the best education we can afford." Who is he to say that what "we can afford" is a new $34 million school for 15 extra kids - heck that's $2.67 million/kid.

And as far as your statement that "schools are starting lunch at 10:30 a.m. to get everyone fed" - my goodness haven't you ever been to a McDonald's. I spoke with the manager of the New Richmond store and asked if she could feed 200 people/hour given advance notice, with food prepared ahead of time. Her answer "yes, quite easily." Someone needs to go to Mc University or tour an Army mess hall and learn how to set up a food service line.

To be continued I'm sure.

Ron Baillargeon