School Board candidate again asks for referendum
Gary Glass, one of the candidates running for an at large seat on the Duluth School Board this fall and a vocal critic of the red plan, asked board members to reconsider holding a referendum on the long-range facilities proposal at a board meetin...
Gary Glass, one of the candidates running for an at large seat on the Duluth School Board this fall and a vocal critic of the red plan, asked board members to reconsider holding a referendum on the long-range facilities proposal at a board meeting Tuesday after learning about a perceived increase in the cost to implement it.
The Duluth School Board voted against holding a referendum in June when it voted to approve the red plan. The board didn't address Glass' request at Tuesday's meeting.
According to Glass, a proposal outlining the plan that was sent to the Minnesota Department of Education last week indicated its total cost at $293 million, $36 million more than the $257 million price tag that was previously touted by district personnel and employees of Johnson Controls, the consulting firm leading the district through the long-range process.
Mike David, an account executive with Johnson Controls, acknowledged the price shift but said it was an inflationary factor that shouldn't come as a surprise.
"From day one of presenting the solutions, we explained that these numbers were in 2007 dollars and that inflation would still need to be factored in," David said. "That question was asked repeatedly at public meetings and again at the School Board meeting before the vote and we addressed it every time.''
Bevan Schraw, another candidate for the at large seat and an advocate of the red plan, told the board he didn't see the $293 million as a big deal.
"If you use simple logic, the university of hard knocks living tells you the cost of money is significant and the sooner we do this the less money it costs."