Let Your Voice Be Heard

September 29, 2014
To the Residents of Monroe,

As one of the ‘Since1871’ facilitators of Monday’s public meeting regarding the old Monroe High School, I want to again thank the city and school representatives that made the time and effort to meet face to face with the public: Councilwoman Anna Hale, Councilman Steve Black, Councilman Todd Hickman, Councilman Dan Clark & Vice Mayor Suzi Rubin (who arrived late but with a good excuse – she was helping interview for our new police chief). I also want to thank George Long, Business Manager for Monroe Local Schools & Brett Guido of the School Board. I don’t think any of them were prepared for the direction of the meeting or what was being asked of them.

Our tiny group formed just 5 days ago. We passed out nearly a 1000 flyers in 2 days. We blasted social media and contacted the press. In the end, we filled the community room with 50 concerned citizens, 6 elected officials and 1 paid staff. I am pretty darn proud of that effort.

While our group had no answers, lots of guesses and many questions, my hope is that tonight the community was heard. I pray the City, and especially the School, has heard our cries of more transparency and more interaction with the taxpayers. To say Monroe has a wariness and distrust of the school system isn’t a surprise. We’ve been misled in the past. But, we must move forward and those mistakes of the past cannot be fixed. All we can do is exercise our right to vote and pray we get the right person in the right job to represent us.

As I looked around the room tonight, the majority ‘demographic’ of the crowd touched me. These were not young parents with children currently in school. These are the parents and graduates of Lemon-Monroe High School. They have an emotional attachment to the old building. They understand what Hornet pride really stands for, and how it felt to always be in Middletown’s shadow and scrapping for crumbs to maintain ‘their’ school. These are the lifelong residents who grew up in a village and are nearing retirement in a growing city. These are the people who vote YES on school levy’s, who are willing to pony up a few more tax dollars for the future of our town. They only wanted to be heard, to be included, to feel valued and needed.

I pray the school did hear them. My personal opinion no longer matters. I will continue to fight for them. They deserve it. Our future generations depend on it.

Susan Wise
Co-founder, Since1871


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