2017 Letters to the editor stock

The Hammond taxpayers need a plan of action in writing, not a proposal lacking data and an incomplete assessment of the buildings by a firm hired by the School City of Hammond.

About 20 years ago, the SCH argued new school buildings, along with closure and consolidation of several facilities, was the solution to declining test scores and falling graduation rates.

For the $110 million remaining debt we will be paying for the next 20 years from this previous building spree, we still have declining scores and graduation rates.

Hammond High had been neglected to the point of carpeting patched with duct tape, peeling paint, curtains rotting to pieces on the windows and a pool that has not been operational for five years.

During this time frame, millions of dollars were used for expenditures at other buildings, about $7 million at the Career Center and several million more at other buildings for various projects.

Morton High School received mostly non-academic and athletic upgrades for nearly $20 million, which was just under the $20 million cap that would have generated a referendum by state law.

The SCH wants to add $180 million for the next several decades to the current $110 million debt.

It is roughly an $8 increase per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Vote no for the referendum!

Mary Ellen Slazyk, Hammond

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Editorial Page Editor/South Lake County Editor

Marc is a veteran investigative reporter and editor of more than 15 years, including 10 years at The Times, where he is the investigative editor. He is also the founder of the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project.