Northville is a true community in every sense of the word. Northville Central School is the hub of this community, as all schools are in small districts. A place where you don't need to be exceptional to play sports and can feel like you fit in and count as part of something.
My problem with the proposed merger with the Mayfield school district is with our being asked to vote for something where there are no guarantees. We hear lots of "maybe, should be, could happen, could cost," etc. But when pressed, the school boards' answers are basically, "These are just proposals. No guarantee it will be instituted." Apparently, the new school board will make the decisions.
There will be a roughly 11 percent tax-rate increase for Northville, paired with a roughly 20 percent decrease for Mayfield. The merger proposal also only allocates $50,000 for new educational programs.
Most of the people who I've talked to about NCS tell me how they love what the small school offers. Many teachers teach here because they wanted a small school. Our children graduate, leave and many can't wait to bring their families back. We don't offer a Walmart or McDonald's. What we offer is a small hometown and school. Let's not give up on why many choose to stay here, and why many more moved here.
Some people have said if we do not merge now, the state will force us to merge later and we will not have a choice.
However, the state cannot legally force a merger, nor does it have the stomach to even try.
I believe NCS cannot only survive without this merger, but improve and expand on what we currently offer our students. Through community involvement and prudent financial practices, we can have it all. We can have more and we can keep our school. We are not going broke.
Are we willing to just sit back and let a school board that has yet to be elected and will be made up of people who at this point are unknown decide the future of our students, our school and community? Are we willing to vote yes and wait to see what it truly includes and costs? (Sound familiar?)
Let's vote to keep what we have, and let's work hard to make it even better. Let's not give in to empty and unfounded promises and guesses.
DEAN R. SHEPARD