First off, I want to give credit to The Sun for its continued coverage of the override debate and what was happening in town.
While I didn't agree 100 percent with some of their analysis, the paper posted editorials and comments from both sides and gave the topic a ton of coverage. They gave our community a nudge to do some of their own diligence.
So in the past few days I have had a lot of calls and emails and notes on Facebook from yes and no voters. Most surprising to me are the volume of people who voted no and did so out of a complete lack of trust in how the funds would be appropriated. Many have emailed and asked, what's next, and if I still have the same amount of optimism and hope that most know I wear on my sleeve.
The short answer is yes.
I believe in public education and I believe in the town of Dracut.
I don't believe that there is ever a perfect time for anything, so the argument on timing to me is flawed logic. History will tell you that many of the greatest buildings, projects and economic recoveries have come full-steam out of the worst of times. So to me, we are at an opportunity crossroads, but we need to harness the current energy that ore than 8,000 voters showed last Monday.
While the vote didn't go the way that I had hoped, the awareness and overwhelming narrative that continues from many is that the town needs to explore alternate or new avenues to raise revenue for our community and to also make sure that we are transparent as possible in doing so.
The no advocates have voiced a strong desire to work with the School Committee and find some common ground on ideas and mechanisms. I am eager to do so and would welcome an idea summit that includes town leaders in all departments, elected officials, business owners and any resident that shares a vision to advance Dracut.
Maybe an "idea" shootout or competition, similar to technology summits or the like. Some new dialog and or format that might surface solutions or areas for exploration and improve the sentiment that many feel will linger in our community if we don't attempt to mend from the special election.
I have drafted a letter that I will submit to the School Committee, Board of Selectmen, and other local leaders in hopes of bringing people and ideas together and to move forward.
Dracut School Committee