Apr 212017
 

Editor:

The School Board has voted unanimously to purchase a piece of land on Stock Island for $3.25 million to locate its new transportation center. There was no discussion as to why this piece of land as opposed to any other is so important as to pay above the appraised value. The land also contains a building about which there was no discussion as to its condition and usability. More importantly, the School District plans to do its due diligence regarding the property after the decision to purchase, not before. It strikes me that the District has the cart in front of the horse.

While a decision has been made to purchase the land, there has been no discussion whatsoever regarding the cost to build a transportation center there or anywhere else. If one were to buy a piece of land on which to build a home, you would think that you would consider the cost of the dwelling at the time of the land purchase so as to determine if the total cost was within your budget. When the City of Key West built its transportation center on Stock Island, it cost $7.8 million to construct. Will the School District face a similar expense?

Also, when the City built its transportation center, it did so largely with grant money, not the general fund. Where will the School District be obtaining its funding? Does it have on hand the necessary monies for construction?

It seems to me that the public deserves a full accounting for the total cost of the transportation center, land and buildings. To proceed incrementally as the School Board is doing could result in a financial catastrophe considering that no one knows what the final cost will be. I do not know how the School Board in good conscience could vote to spend $3.25 million for land without knowing what the total expense was going to be.

Larry Murray

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Dr. Larry Murray
A former 60's hippie with a strong belief in capitalism, Dr. Murray obtained his Ph.D. in American History in 1970 and went on to, in his own words, ‘publish and perish,’ teaching at colleges and universities while publishing in professional journals.

Now Dr. Murray is a tireless community activist, focusing primarily on the administration of the public schools in Monroe County. Hands down, Larry has made more public records requests to the school district than anyone else – ever - something he describes as “the equivalent of pulling teeth” or, as some have put it, "herding cats".

Pushing for the best schools possible, he pokes and prods, urging the School District, as often as not, to simply follow its own rules and regulations, not do something unique and different.

More Articles by Larry Murray .

More Articles by Larry Murray prior to November, 2014.
 April 21, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #215, Letter to the Editor  Add comments

  One Response to “Where Is the Funding Coming From?”

  1. Why in the world, would the school board want to move it’s school bus base at Trumbo, to Stock Island in order to make way for affordable housing in Key West????

    3.5 million for the new location, but then this property has to be fitted to serve as the new bus depot. Those would be millions more additional monies.

    With all the complaints about traffice at the triangle – school busses coming in and out of Stock Island during rush hours, will truly exacerbate the situation!

    This idea to add traffic to Stock Island entree onto US 1 is insane.

    And as we all know, affordable housing is NOT affordable !

    It would be nice for the public to own property on the waterfront.
    Why is it necessary to sell this prime land to a developer, just becuase it is waterfront property? I did not understand this reasoning why to move.

    This all does not make sense for the good of the public, unless you understand that a Developer wants this land, and because a Developer wants this land, we must all jump!

    The rippling effects of Developers in the Keys continues to: damage the environment, housing becomes more expensive, creates traffic, heavily impacts every negative aspect of development.

    It’s time also to do a hurricane evacuation study.

    When will the good of the public be put first?