The ink is still drying on the Green Lake School Board’s latest referendum decision.

Yet already, some district leaders seem to be positioning the School Board for a possible second referendum attempt in April, should voters reject the one in February.

Talk of a repeat attempt has surfaced at the past two School Board meetings.

The Feb. 16 referendum is less than two months away. Last week, the board settled on a final date and dollar amount.

Time is a factor. Obviously, district officials must act with haste if they plan to carry out a public relations campaign to inform voters about both sides of the issue. District residents have a right to know exactly what’s at stake — for the school and their own checkbooks.

Before February, the district should explain specifically what budget cuts are expected if the referendum doesn’t pass. So far, we haven’t been told.

We’ve heard vague talk of cuts to teachers or programs, but nothing concrete.

Citizens need to know exactly what a “yes” or “no” outcome would mean for their school. Otherwise, voters won’t know the options.

Also, the district must actively inform residents about the effect on property taxes, especially long term. All this must be done in the next two months.

I’m not saying moving the referendum up to February was right or wrong. There are valid points either way. But time is a bigger concern now, so school leaders need to move quicker to educate the public. Read the full column in the Dec. 24, 2009, issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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