The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 23, 2014

Democracy means ...

For The Daily Item

— The many articles, editorials, and strong feelings of many of my friends, leave me with just one question about the new high school building: Why can’t we vote on the project? From elementary school I remember “Democracy doesn’t mean you get your way, democracy means you get your say.” In this case I feel as if I don’t have a say.  One neighbor tells me I should have attended meetings three years ago if I wanted to voice my opinion. Perhaps I should have done so. But I never heard or was told such a meeting would be my only, or last, chance to voice my opinion.

I understand each and every decision involved in running a school district cannot be put to a vote, and I am grateful to the good volunteers of the school board who study and consider each item. However, the construction of a new high school will have huge impact on the entire community for years to come. I had always believed such an expenditure of funds would have to be approved in a referendum.

With so many documents on the district and other websites, I believe that citizens of our community can reach an informed decision and vote. Why can’t the community have a democratic say on this important matter?

Mary Beth James,