Editors of the Swellesley Report,
The School Committee has stated that an objective of their proposal for lights at the high school field is to achieve parity with other towns. This objective is misguided on several fronts. Wellesley has achieved higher sports participation levels and a higher winning percentage than other schools that have lights. An objective that strives to reach parity with towns who have inferior programs should draw the skepticism of every resident. But in a broader sense, it is incomprehensible why the School Committee believes that achieving parity is a positive objective at all. Wellesley does not have to be like other towns. That Wellesley is not like other towns is precisely why I choose to live here—if I thought another town did it better, I would be living there.
Additionally, by seeking parity, the School Committee is imparting a “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude which is precisely what we do not want to convey to our students, or fellow citizens, in the approach to policy. The School Committee should require sound reasoning behind its proposals, not some misguided belief that we are subpar to other towns and have to catch up. This particular proposal does not further the school district stated values of Academic Excellence, Commitment to Community or Cooperative & Caring Relationships. Specifically, this proposal does not demonstrate cooperative and caring concern for the community that lives close to the school, some who are young children, and whose quality of life will be negatively impacted by nighttime amplified sound, harsh stadium lights, trash, parking issues and traffic. It certainly does not promote academic excellence. To try to justify the negative impacts to the school values and the community using an argument that we have to be like other towns is irresponsible.
Please join me in rejecting this proposal and asking the School Committee to focus its attention on matters that will strengthen the academic skills of students and will achieve the values of its mission.
Bonny Nothern says
While I share Cliff’s concern regarding a “keeping up with the Jones’es” rationale for expenditures, I am in favor of installing lights and other spectator safety equipment at the field. To me, it is indeed a little embarrassing that we don’t have the same equipment as other schools, when the improvements have a sound basis in safety. I am also in favor of demonstrating to our student athletes our pride in and support of their hard work.
Aggravated resident says
As a town resident I am in support of the lights. Our town needs more ways for people to come together and that has never been more apparent than during COVID times. Our youth needs to be given as much opportunity as possible to be proud of their talents and physically active. Our town needs to be more inviting in more way than one. The SC has bent over backwards, hired consultants that the Wetlands administrator recommended and has gone above & beyond, but the neighbors refuse to bend. I have been told even our Wetlands board members do not have an issue with the lights; but neighbors continue to berate some hard working volunteers who just want to do something that benefits our students on a field that already exists! We are not tearing down the North 40 here.
Some of your neighbors are on our town boards and I honestly can say I have seen zero compromise from them . That is not the person I want on a town board, I want someone who can work well with others. I want folks to understand the NRC is for active and passive recreation because I am pretty sure most people are not aware of that by watching this committee in action. I am
extremely disappointed in some individuals I use to respect.
Some advice: stop stamping your feet, find a compromise and understand that there is more to being a resident in this town than accusing, insulting and bashing your fellow residents and their kids. It is far from becoming.
Nancy Stakun says
This is public parkland, that does foster active play. There is no where in Ma where lights would be so close to homes, 20-30 yards., in addition to riverfront area, wetlands, and a pond. All of which the town has spent millions to restore. This project includes team rooms and restrooms, therefore can be done at any location. This is a School Committee project, wouldn’t it make sense to be done on School owned land. Why would one develop and commercialize precious parkland, undoing what the town has spent millions to restore, when there is alternatives.
Wouldn’t this be the compromise?