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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Site 1 isn't an option, and, obviously, neither is Site 2!

Perhaps you've recently received an e-mail from the Committee For Site 1, advocating that you support "Site 1" in the upcoming March 15th referendum. We think you deserve the opportunity to make your choice based on facts, not on fears.

We hope you agree with the many parents in town we’ve spoken with that the Committee For Site 1’s latest threats of paving soccer fields and increasing class sizes are unfounded scare tactics. Despite what they’d like you to believe, their top two choices, "Site 1" and "Site 2," are clearly not the best and only choices for housing our school administrators.

In fact, you might ask yourself why the building committee has selected and promoted only those sites that force New Canaanites to give up high-profile public woodlands and athletic fields, while it has never once asked the administrators to give up one inch of their somewhat grand-sized office plan.

If the administrators could compromise even a little from their demands of four conference rooms and an employee lounge, for outside courtyards and cathedral ceilings, for rooms dedicated only for interviews or for mail or for copying, a whole range of real alternatives suddenly becomes accessible.

For example, the vacant 2nd floor of the police station, which once accommodated 150 students and teachers, has been deemed by the building committee to have "insufficient" space for 5 administrators and their staff. But a small compromise on demands for specialized space makes the police station a viable and appropriately scaled solution. And that’s just one example.

Obviously, we’re disappointed that the Committee For Site 1 is willing to have people see their soccer, cub scout, or Indian Guide/Princess lists, which have been compiled for the best of intentions, used instead for one-sided political advocacy.

It’s also dismaying that our Town’s elected representatives would resort to issuing threats to somehow bend public opinion back in their direction.

Should the Town Council be foolhardy enough to choose Site 2 once Site 1 has been rejected, then you can bet you’ll see them back out on the street corners again, trying to defend yet another unacceptable solution to those they’ve been elected to represent.

We urge you to vote NO on Friday March 15th. NO to Site 1, NO to Site 2, NO to any plan that usurps our precious public woods and playing fields for an office that could very reasonably be located somewhere else.