LETTER: Call it a town hall meeting, but school board showed us smoke and mirrors

-A A +A

To the editor:
My wife and I attended our second Oldham County Schools’ town hall meeting on April 14.
Board chair Joyce Fletcher called it a time for public expression.  
What expression?  
The speakers were given five minutes each to speak, and then told to sit down.
During the first town hall meeting, David Voegele, our Oldham County Judge-Executive, asked some very interesting questions concerning the new Brownsboro school plan.  
He was given the same canned answer by the Board of Education – we, the board of education, are above the Planning and Zoning Board and Magistrates of Oldham County.  We don’t answer to you or anyone else.  
I now believe them.
Truly, I do.
I came to that conclusion stated above after the second town hall meeting.  I saw at least three magistrates at the town hall meeting representing their constituents.  
Magistrate Michael Logsdon asked the BOE to put their meetings on Channel 25 (Insight), so everyone in Oldham County that was interested could watch.  
I bet you can already guess that answer – no.
Then Magistrate J. D. Sparks spoke, asking the BOE if there was anything that could be said in this town hall meeting that would help them re-considered their Brownsboro decision.
Paul Upchurch answered for them – no.
Upchurch said he had been waiting six years to get the property to build Brownsboro School.  
The question I have for Mr. Upchurch is, why did you build three elementary schools one mile apart in Crestwood and less than three miles from the Brownsboro site?  
Why didn’t you build Brownsboro Elementary instead of Kenwood Station Elementary School?  
The Brownsboro project is already a costly one.
This venture seems reckless in such harsh economic times, especially with fuel prices climbing.
Why not neighborhood schools?
In the meeting, the BOE lawyer lectured all of us at the meeting on what the BOE and Oldham County Schools (Mr. Upchurch) can do. She told all present that the eight questions planning and zoning asked the school board to answer during the school board’s first presentation to planning and zoning last year concerning the Brownsboro School project were answered.  
However, she also said the seventh question on the list – why Brownsboro School is to be built now and how the location was chosen?
This was not answered and would not be answered because they simply don’t have to.
Then Mr. Upchurch started to lecture Magistrate Sparks as he spoke.  It was during the lecturing of Mr. Sparks that my wife and I left.
It was apparent to my wife and me that this town hall meeting was a waste of time, since the BOE’s minds had already been made up concerning the Brownsboro project.
This meeting was more smoke and mirrors than any kind of real dialogue between the residents of Oldham County and Oldham County Schools.  
Gary Gibson
Pewee Valley