Tuesday, January 19, 2010

High School Project Continues To Move Forward

Last night, the school board voted 6-3 to set the maximum budget for the high school renovation at $113 million as part of its Act 34 Hearing filing to the state.  The hearing is scheduled for February 22nd at 7 p.m. in the high school's Fine Arts Theater.  Many school board directors, including Dan Remely and Elaine Cappucci, who are running point on this project, expressed a firm belief that the project could come in under $100 million.  While citizens spoke both in favor and against moving forward, a majority of the board felt that the work they had done over the last several years led them to stay the course. 

I spoke at last night's meeting in favor of keeping this project moving forward and kept my comments civil.  The upshot?  A slew of obscene, vulgar comments hurled at Real Lebo this morning from those who disagreed with me.  I've never known anyone to win hearts and minds by lobbing grenades from the gutter, especially at TWO MOMS.  Is this what our town has come to?  Say it ain't so, Toto.

Kristen and I have a lot of faith in Mt. Lebanon and believe that the high road will carry the day.  That's why we soldier on with a blog that looks positively on the future of this community.  I know that our citizens are engaged in this dialogue and listening closely.

We encourage your attendance at the Act 34 Hearing for the high school renovation project on February 22nd.  In the meantime, there's a lot more to talk about in Mt. Lebanon, including educational initiatives, a vision for Uptown and yet another fine person who's the Heart O'My Town.  Stay tuned!


  1. I'm not sure if you are accepting comments now, but I would like to respond to your last post. I was at the meeting and when I read your post, I was a bit surprised by your comment that you were civil and trying to win hearts and minds. Rather than respond too abruptly, I forced myself to watch the replay of the meeting tonight in order to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Ms. Lablame, by anyone's interpretation, you came out swinging. Using words and phrases like "rogue", "disinformation", "fearmongering", "fuzzy math" and "working the masses into a lather" hardly qualifies as civil, particularly when directed at a volunteer school board member in a public meeting. I'm just curious, have you met or spoke with Mr. Fraasch, or are your opinions based solely on his position? Have you asked him whether his numbers are his own creation or if they were provided to him (and every Board member) by the district's finance director? I'm certain you would be surprised by the answer.

    And lastly, your love it or leave it, head for greener pastures argument is a tired, somewhat obnoxious approach to developing consensus in Mt. Lebanon. We all love Mt. Lebanon. My family moved here in 1940. My parents graduated from Mt. Lebanon, my in-laws graduated from Mt. Lebanon, my wife and I graduated from Mt. Lebanon and we have 3 school aged children including a daughter that will start at the high school next Fall. I am thoroughly invested (perhaps to a twisted degree), but make no mistake, I am certainly invested in this community. Please don't confuse my (or anyone else's) thirst for answers and accountability as dissatisfaction, fear mongering or working the masses in to a lather.

    I think even the strongest advocate of this project must admit that there have been enough hiccups and goofs to date to create skeptics and doubters out of many and hearty opponents out of a few.

    We are fortunate in Mt. Lebanon to have engaged, intelligent and caring residents - a lot them. I've discovered that in the end these folks always win out.

  2. Mr. Franklin, thanks for your post.

    I stand by my remarks of last evening, every word. I reread my remarks, oh, about twenty times before I delivered them so as to be both civil and accurate. You may see it differently.

    I have spoken to Mr. Fraasch more than once about this project. Neither Mr. Fraasch nor I wants to spend more than is necessary on this project and yet we view how to get there differently.

    One thing you and I both agree on is that Mt. Lebanon is filled with engaged, intelligent and caring residents (both natives and newer arrivals!) and these folks will always win out.

  3. Elaine -- I was wondering the same thing. As Dave said, how are "rogue", "disinformation", "fearmongering", "fuzzy math" and "working the masses into a lather" examples of being civil?

  4. Hi Joe,

    I said "gone rogue," a phrase now in the vernacular. I stand by my word choices in the context spoken and believe them to be properly descriptive viz my comments. Bottom line: none of the words you highlight justify the F-bombs hurled at this blog.


  5. Ladies:
    I am pleased by the calm atmosphere on your blog. Another community blog seems to have become the club house for all of the angry zealots who feel disenfranchised. These are people who win arguments by hollering louder than their opponent. Whether the hollering is actual shouting or a flurry of nasty written comments, the attempt to intimidate is the same. It was entertaining for a while, but in the last couple of years between the obvious goading of the gad-flies and the creeping misogyny, it has become difficult to read. Perhaps coincidental, but it appears as though the only school board members ever criticized by name on that blog, are women. When I learned recently that some of the most prolific bloggers are also contacting some of these women personally, and making remarks far outside the boundaries of normal communication between elected officials and constituents, I was appalled. Bullying behavior is usually learned early on. Over the years I have learned that men who fear and dislike women, carry over that same anti-social behavior in everything they touch, their business, their social life and unfortunately, their families. Neither one of you appear to be the type to be intimidated. I look forward to reading your next comments.

  6. Names and specific examples, please, Mr. Cannon. Your comments border on the defamatory, and they may cross that line.

  7. Mike, take it outside. Mr. Cannon, a senior citizen and longtime resident of the community, will not be hard to find.

    This thread is snipped.


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