LCSD regroups after referendum vote fails

Liverpool's $44.5 million capital project referendum was voted down last week with a ballot count of 1,954 voting "no" and 1,620 voting "yes." Voters, in large part, rejected the proposal because they felt the cost was simply too high.

"I think most are okay with the project, but not at that price tag," said district parent Tom Tracy, "and definitely not without a detailed description for every dollar and where it may be going."

Tracy has been a district resident for 14 years and all five of his children attend Liverpool schools.

"It should have been a no-brainer for this vote," Tracy said, "but there are too many unanswered questions for me."

Parent Violet Sanders echoed Tracy's comments. Sanders has four children in the district, including a future Liverpool Middle School student.

"Like many, I voted 'no' as an objection not only to the fact that all of these items were bundled together, but also to the way funds are being managed in our district," she said. "We're left holding the bag for some very ludicrous expenditures."

Sanders cited the failed laptop program and the lawsuit filed against the district by former administrators George Mangicaro and Bonnie Ladd.

Sanders also objected to the "extras" in the project, including the proposed performing arts center between LE and LMS and the increased parking at the high school.

"In worsening economic times, we must be careful to separate 'need' from 'want,'" she said.

Of course, not all parents voted against the project. Sharon Yager was one of the voters who wanted it to pass.

"I was one to vote yes," said Yager, who is a member of the district's stadium committee and said she has seen firsthand the need for repairs at the athletic complex. "I think there were people who went there [to the schools and the stadium] and looked around, but didn't go inside, and they say, 'Hey, it's not so bad.' But that's not the case. There really is a need for those repairs."

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