I don’t know if the St. Cloud Times realizes that it gave School Board candidate John Palmer a boost when it published this article on the front cover of Friday’s paper.

The Times’ reporter identified Dr. Palmer as the only candidate left in the race for the ISD 742 School Board who has announced that he’s voting against the Tech HS bonding referendum. When asked if he’d vote Yes, Yes on the bonding referendum, Dr. Palmer said “I have not been convinced that we have a capacity need for a second, comprehensive large high school … so I’ll be voting no.” Dr. Palmer is right. There simply isn’t a need to build another high school.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve counted John as a friend for the past 10 years. He’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, too.

It’s important to know that Apollo is capable of accommodating 2,400 students. They don’t have that many students there now because the district offices are housed in their building. It’s important to know that the high school enrollment in ISD 742 is less than 2,700 students and shrinking. Renovating Apollo would give the District the room to house all of the District’s high school students if the District also moved their offices into a renovated Tech facility.

It’s foolish to have 2 buildings that could have capacity for 4,000 students when enrollment will be less than 2,500 students 5 years from now. It’s the definition of insanity when the School Board would pay $140,000,000 for those buildings.

In fact, it’s important to ask what they’re thinking when they’re willing to spend that much money on buildings that aren’t needed. It’s foolish for the Board to spend 5%-10% more than they should. This isn’t that. This Board is willing to spend 250%-300% more than they should. That isn’t foolish. It’s virtually criminal. There’s something more to this than just building a new school.

If you live in ISD 742 but aren’t familiar with John, follow this link to get to know him better. If you have any questions for him, feel free to contact him. John’s contact information is at the bottom of the page.

It’s time to tell the elitists on the Board that their arrogance isn’t needed. What’s needed is someone who will challenge the elitists’ views. That’s John.

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