The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 27, 2014

FULL TEXT: Downtown Dragons response in high school debate


Response: Nowhere have we singled out facility maintenance as the reason for future tax increases, so we’re not sure why LASD is singling this out for rebuttal. But surely we can all agree that our taxes will go up, no matter whether we renovate and expand the current high school or build new. There’s no getting around this.

Misconception No. 17: “The decision to build the high school was predetermined.”

Response: In his response to Misconception No. 9, Dr. DiRocco states as a fact that the district purchased the Newman land as the future site of the high school. If so, then renovation and expansion of the existing school was off the table from the beginning.

Dr. DiRocco himself provided further evidence of this near the end of his presentation at the Jan. 23 school board meeting. We quote from the audio recording:

"The board purchased the [Newman] site at that time [late 90s] with the understanding that that would be the site for the new high school.  And even when we renovated back in 1998... that this was to be the last renovation for the current high school and the next time we did something we would build new at Newman.  That was the understanding.  Now, I understand there was no vote on that or nothing official, but that was the understanding."

The understanding of whom? And if this is indeed the case, why did LASD ever give the public the impression that it would consider renovating and expanding the high school?

Finally, Dr. DiRocco understandably did not have adequate preparation time to address the Jan. 23 column in which we ask for a true picture of voter opinion. A show of hands at the Jan. 23 school board meeting does not constitute evidence of a majority of public opinion.

There are many people in the district other than those who were at that meeting. And as Dr. DiRocco has stated, we all have the right to our opinion. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify and correct the above points that were made in Dr. DiRocco’s presentation. We also appreciate his offer to discuss or hold further dialogue. We would welcome such an opportunity. 

We respectfully restate our belief that the true interest of the public will be served by holding a referendum.   


Brian Auman

Erin Jablonski

Mike Molesevich

Samantha Pearson

Christina Wallace

On behalf of Downtown Dragons

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