Ron Ragan
USD 231 Board President

I believe in truth in journalism so let me set the record straight.  Contrary to the editorial in Wednesday’s edition (July 14), the school district and board did actively participate in discussions regarding the Logistics Park and associated abatements and industrial revenue bonds (IRBs).  Those discussions were held directly with local officials in Edgerton and in Gardner prior to that.  In fact, both Superintendent Bill Gilhaus and I met directly with Mayor Don Roberts and Mr. David Dillner, Edgerton City Administrator, months ago to discuss what we considered were excessive abatements and provided them with correspondence as well indicating such.

All parties involved are and have been aware well prior to the “11th hour” of the school district’s position regarding the abatements.  It is also important to note, right or wrong, that even though the school district is the largest taxing entity in both Edgerton and Gardner, the school district has NO vote whatsoever regarding any abatements…ever.  Did we show up en masse at council meetings with torches blazing? No.  Were we involved?  Yes.

All it would have taken is a simple phone call from The Gardner News to me or anyone on the board to find out what action had been taken.  Instead of making that call The Gardner News chose to assume USD 231 had not taken action regarding the abatements. In regard to how USD 231 manages taxpayer dollars, I happen to think we do an excellent job.  While other districts are making large cuts to their teaching staff and programs due to massive cuts in state funding, USD 231 is not.  We will keep teachers in the classrooms.

I am proud of the job everyone in this district does providing the very best education possible for the children of USD 231 and I think our test scores and numerous other result indicators provide evidence of a job well done thank you very much. The next time you are looking for someone to carry the torch for YOUR battle let me know, but in the meantime at a bare minimum you owe Dr. Gilhaus and the entire school board an apology for grossly misrepresenting our actions.  You owe it to everyone else to at all times print the truth, not what you “think” you know.