This is a follow-up letter to the Westfield-Brocton school merger vote.
People in the Westfield school district can give the best Christmas present ever to the residents of the district, the business people of Westfield and, most importantly, the students and teachers of the Westfield school district.
Business as usual will not work anymore! The Westfield school is going to be bankrupt in four years. Check all the data from the merger committee and the truth is that Westfield school will be bankrupt in four years. The economy in Northern Chautauqua County is dwindling fast. Businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Hospitals are in trouble and there are no incoming factories.
School census figures are way down and school programs are being cut, along with teachers.
The Westfield-Brocton merger committee found a way to at least improve and keep our schools - Westfield and Brocton - open and solvent for many years. A great school district is of most importance to anyone wanting to relocate to an area. Ask any real estate agent about that.
If you revote to merge, Westfield will not close!
If you revote to merge, every individual and business in Westfield will see lower taxes.
If you revote to merge, you will not lose a thing. But you will gain a lot.
You will gain a state-of-the-art facility in Brocton. It has a magnificent pool, a great football field, two full gymnasiums, a Smartboard in every classroom, a new fitness center, an updated music room, cafeteria and much, much more. Any debt the Brocton school district has will be covered by state aid before the merger is complete. There will be no debt incurred by the Westfield school district from Brocton. The students will be exposed to many more courses and opportunities and teachers will keep their jobs.
Also, remember that Westfield (having more population in its district than Brocton) will have the upper hand in electing a totally new school board to run the new district and make all the decisions.
How could you possibly vote no to all of this in Westfield? You gain so much and really have control over the district.
If you revote to merge, you will give your district students the best education system they deserve.
Don't be greedy or foolish. Get a copy of the merger report. You will find it is entirely necessary to merge if we want this school district to keep its existence.
As I said before, the state has a plan to send our students elsewhere if we can't merge and remain solvent. We don't want the Westfield school to close in a few years. We want it to stay open. Don't give up on this once in a lifetime opportunity to get $25 million from the state to merge and remain solvent for many, many years.
Someone in Westfield needs to get a petition started to present to the Westfield school board to revote on the merger. Please feel the responsibility and privilege to do the correct thing for your town and school. Contact a school board member or the head of the canvass committee, Pete Holt, to start the ball rolling.
Lastly, be the best Santa Claus ever and give the best Christmas gift ever to your community and school district. Sign a petition to revote and vote yes. Your Westfield students and teachers deserve it. This is the most important Christmas gift you can't afford not to give.
Larry McFadden is a Portland resident and was a member of the Westfield.Brocton merger committee.