This letter is in response to the Clinton Herald’s Dec. 15 editorial regarding the debate over construction of a new north-end elementary school. I agree, it is too late to change the decision to construct that facility, but I am concerned with the public perception of the condescending tone of the editorial.

What the public was unaware of (myself included) is the needed repairs and renovations to Lyons and Washington Middle Schools. Several individuals working in these facilities have acknowledged to me that Mr. McLane’s portrayal of the conditions of these facilities is accurate and major repair/renovation cannot continue to be deferred. Given that we are committed to building the new elementary school, the question now is what are the plans to correct these middle school deficiencies, how will they be funded, and what is the time table.

My immediate concern, however, is the damage caused by the Clinton Herald’s editorial. Paraphrased, that editorial said, “The fat lady has not only sung, but she has left the building. So shut up, get out of the way and stop questioning a decision that is locked in concrete.”

The public, whether they support Mr. McLane on his position or not, will certainly empathize with him as a result of that article. The editorial authors may have viewed themselves as clever and facetious, but it came across as caustic and demeaning. You just informed every citizen that if they dare question a decision made by an elected body, then they risk being publicly chastised by the press, no matter how well intended they may be.

My understanding is that the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy may be on the ballot as early as February. I sincerely hope it passes. However, I believe the editorial board seriously compromised the chances of that happening.

Everyone, including the Board of Education, would have been better served if the editorial board would have researched the issue and clearly presented the rationale for the decision to first build the new elementary school, and also the Board of Education’s plans to deal with the middle school problems and how that effort will be funded.