Our Community Is Under Attack

Our schools and community are under attack. They are being attacked by Lansing, by the economy, and most unfortunately by some of our own community members.


Over the past year, numerous community members have spent hundreds of hours participating in the Bloomfield Hills School District collaborative policy effort. Every one of us that has purchased a home in the Bloomfield School District was influenced by its reputation for excellence.

But now, our schools and community are under attack. They are being attacked by Lansing, by the economy, and most unfortunately by some of our own community members.

Some community members have taken the opportunity to participate
in a collaborative process resulting in value-driven solutions brought on by
these various attacks and elements. The unified and renovated high school will provide student and operational efficiencies needed to preserve our school system’s high performance. This process will, in turn, preserve our
community and our property values.

As Americans, we have the pride of living in a country that invented the automobile, the airplane, put the first man on the moon, endured
significant hardship in war and economic times, and has met every challenge
head on. We always want better for the next generation than our own and we
recognize that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

What legacy do we want to have for the Bloomfield Hills School community and our neighborhoods? Do we want to simply be a set of individuals living near one another or a community that sacrifices for each other while striving for greatness?

Please join One Bloomfield United, a grass roots organization dedicated to having solution-based conversations, supporting value-driven solutions that preserve academic opportunities for all students, and aiming to nurture our community’s sense of pride and prosperity.

Contact us at mail@onebloomfieldunited.com or call us at (248) 263-2108 or like us on Facebook

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

R Gibson January 11, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I would like to point out that we have been under assault from Lansing for a lot longer than a year. Lansing has been slowly and quietly, surgically carving away funding from us for 20 years. In fact, because of Tim’s foresight, the argument to have one unified High School was the original catalyst that Dr. Gaynor brought forward over a decade ago. All of the changes that have occurred since that time, the closing of the elementary schools, the privatization of the Bus Drivers, the Custodial Staff, and all the other reductions in programs and curriculum our kids have faced, are directly attributable to the inability of the administration, the board, and this community to get its collective head out of the sand and get to one building. We cannot afford to maintain 2 high schools folks. End of subject. Move on. We need to redo Andover and be done with this. But all this bitterness and bovine scatology between the unelected community members, and the board, and the administration; all the pain and grief and frustration it has caused has turned a lot of people off. We are sick and tired of the subject, we are sick and tired of everyone involved in the process. With Dr Glass, many of us hoped for some new clean air, but unfortunately it does not seem that that has occurred. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the effort you and all the others have put in and the input you have provided.
R Gibson January 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM
To put this in some perspective, in roughly the same amount of time, the City of New York, the Port Authority, the surviving families, and all the other involved organizations, agencies, and construction trades have cleaned up Ground Zero and built a memorial and begun to rebuild that area.
Cara McAlister January 11, 2012 at 10:02 PM
It is interesting that the writer considers taxpayers' spoken opinion as "attacks". In this great country we have the write to vote for or against a ballot proposal, and we can voice our opinion. Taxpayers deserve the respect of the school board that was elected by them. They work for us and should represent the majority wishes. The public has been asked 3 times to approve a huge, 30 year, construction tax bond, and 3 times the majority turned it down. That is a democracy, sir. Parents of private school students and people with no children or senior citizens - beware - this is your issue, too -your taxes could go up for the next generation, if you do not stay aware and vote to turn down the May, 2012 construction, tax bond - once again. Our town can afford the luxury of two, well-maintained high schools, as Birmingham has done. One, huge school for teens is not a good idea, and the trend in education is to smaller schools because that is best for most students. We have recently awarded $80 million in "sinking funds" to maintain and renovate our schools. Where did it go? Don't insult us again. Visit www.b2020.org to email us and stay informed.
W. Pickett January 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM
To state that "some of our own community members" are attacking the school plans is a very juvenile argument that conveniently doesn't address the issues and really don't address the concerns of communiy members who have different viewpoints. If the two individuals above did their homework, so to speak, they'd see why many community members don't trust the School Board's ability to develop a comprehensive plan for the high schools: first, they lied to us by indicating the sinking fund would be used for maintainence (it was a stealth proposal); second, they put forward a proposal in November when they had no idea of what the school would look like and then hired a very expensive outside the state consultant in an attempt to justify their proposal. Third, the School Board appears to have no inclination to listen to the individuals with different points of view as evidenced by the fact that after the school millage was turned down, they nevertheless launched a new campaign, albeit with so called "community input" which was most likely from parents or children attending the schools rather than the other 20,000 or so individuals who do not have children in school. Finally, virtually all of their votes have been unanimous -- and when opportunities arose to select Board members with different points of view, they selected more of the same. The head of the largest bank in the US has said that if he had 6 people who agreed with him and one who did not, he'd fire the other five.
Neal Charness January 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Reading some of the comments above makes me realize that some of the posters couldn't care less if we held classes in a garden shed so long as their taxes didn't go up. Go back ove 40 years ago to Spiro Agnew: "The Nattering Nabobs of Negativity." Never thought he'd still be quotable but it surely applies here.
dk January 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Local millage does not pay for instruction, it pays for construction. Instruction money comes from Lansing. You have the "right" to vote for or against a ballot proposal. Where did anyone get the opportunity to vote for or against Lansing defunding our schools and kids in order to give our tax money to out-of-state, for-profit charter schools and business in the form of tax cuts? Educating our children is a community responsibility and social benefit. Free loaders want the benefits of what our educated workforce and society have to deliver, but they don't want to pay their fair share. Seniors are grandparents. What makes you think they don't want to support the kids? I did not elect McMillin to defund my schools. He should be recalled.
R Gibson January 12, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Neal, it is was William Safire who penned that quote for Agnew, a convicted tax evader and total jerk. Like Agnew, if you don’t agree with his plan you are suddenly "The Nattering Nabobs of Negativity." I do not belong to, nor support, any organization. I am a lifelong resident and Andover Grad. I do care very much in the type of facility my kids are educated in. Can the board and administration say the same thing? As a former Pine Lake Parent I can say unequivocally that Pine Lake was the better facility. At the time, the administration was one record as agreeing. But because the district had millions sunk into the Bloomin Totes program and it generates revenue, their hands were tied. Despite all the benefits of Pine Lake, the choice was made for Lone Pine. So please don’t suggest that the Administration or the Board always makes the best choices for our kids. What is going to happen is that this is going to continue to simmer on low. The seniors in this community will not vote to approve a millage to build a new high school. They gave us the sinking fund to fix up the buildings. The Sinking Fund monies have been spent in other ways then they were intended, so not only are our buildings not getting the much needed updates, but the trust of the community has been shattered. Meanwhile, the board and the administration have done nothing to curb the hemorrhaging of money.
R Gibson January 12, 2012 at 03:22 PM
There are numerous alternatives that we could implement that would save us money. For example, put the 9th graders back in the middle schools, put the 6th graders back in the elementaires. Then you could combine Lahser and Andover. That might work. We could try some of the things that have worked in Novi. The parents over there love how they have their buidlings. Maybe we need to consider k-8 Buildings. Implemented well this could be a every effective arrangement. It works in Birmingham. There are numerous plans that would work, but instead the district has hung it’s hat on a new building plan. Now it is becoming trench warfare. A total stalemate with our kids in the middle.
Casey January 12, 2012 at 06:02 PM
The Community was asked TWO times for construction bonds since 2003. Once for 2 New schools, Once for One New School. The next bond is a much smaller amount and is to renovate and build an addition to an existing building. I think this is significantly different. I also like the fact that we are getting a plan for what will happen if the bond doesn't pass. Birmingham schools have significantly higher millages and significantly more students (coincidence?). I think Groves is almost as big as Andover and Lahser combined. Parents of private school students and people with no children or senior citizens still own property and there is a direct relation between how good our schools ware and proprty values.
Marcia Robovitsky January 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Casey commented: "I also like the fact that we are getting a plan for what will happen if the bond doesn't pass. " Would you, or someone else that knows, please put the details of that plan (as a comment in this blog) if the bond does not pass? I have not heard or read about it, to my recollection. Thank you.
-Elizabeth- January 12, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Marcia, The basic plan if the bond doesn't pass is the 10-12 will be in the Andover building as is with maintenance improvements and the 9th graders in another building. Rather than typing all the different nuances to that plan, at the risk of getting wrong facts out there, come to one of the town hall meetings. The first is next Tuesday January 17th 1:30 pm at the Doyle Center.
Joan G. Berndt January 12, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Marcia, please go to the Bloomfield Hills Schools website (www.bloomfield .org). Then click on BHS Unified High School. Then go to December 2011 and click on "Bond Pass v. Fail Scenarios." If this doesn't answer your questions, PLEASE join us at one of the upcoming Town Hall meetings. That schedule is also available on the school website. Come to think of it, please join us no matter what! Discussion is always informative as well.
Alexandrea Franklin February 07, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Great, so now you are going to trust the banks? The same guys who put us into the recession? What a strange judge of character.
Linda P February 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Alexandrea ...oh yes this is about the banks....you are so silly.


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