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Liverpool school board discusses failed capital project

Though it didn't appear on the agenda, the failed referendum vote was the topic of much discussion at the Liverpool Central School District Board of Education meeting Monday March 10. It was the first board meeting since the Feb. 27 vote.

Superintendent Jan Matousek expressed dismay that the vote did not pass.

"The board and the administration are obviously disappointed that the 2008 capital improvement project was defeated," Matousek said. "Every effort was made to provide information to the community regarding the different aspects of the referendum."

Matousek defended the district's decision to bundle the projects, a move many speculated caused the vote to fail.

"As each part of this referendum addressed an important educational purpose, we did not believe it would be in the best interest of our students or our community to have separate votes for each of the major portions of the project," she said. "The potential to divide the community or to pit one group against another was too great."

Board President Mark Lawson echoed Matousek's comments.

"The exit polls and the accumulation of remarks that I have heard from dozens, maybe hundreds, of people since the referendum vote clearly indicate that if we had split this up into separate propositions, everything would have been defeated, probably by bigger margins than the vote itself," Lawson said. "You'll hear one person say in one part of town, 'Gosh, if you'd split it up, I would have voted for the stadium.' Another person in another part of town would say, 'If you'd split it up, I would have voted for those schools.' Somebody else would say, 'If you'd split it up, I would have voted for the performing arts center.' So there really was not a broad consensus for any part of that project. We were hoping we could bring all of those segments of the community together by putting it together."

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