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A Matter Of Economics

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"The real reason the people turned everything down is econnmics. They cannot afford it." This was Ann Arbor School Trustee Ted Heusel's explanalion of the bonding and millage defeats suffered at the polls Monday - one of several interpretations of the defeat offered during a "postmortem" discussion last night of the Board of Education. A five-part bonding issue worth $36,280,000 and a 3.10-mill operational millage issue, along with a one-mill issue to finance a countywide vocational education facility were all rejected Monday - most by sizable margins. Heusel urged the board to begin putting more pressure on the state Legislature for educacional reform measures. "The 'I time has come when we have to fcrget increasing the property Ux," Heusel declared. "Many ppople are being taxed out of their homes. They can't afford to live in Ann Arbor any longer." Retiring Trustee Paul H. Johnson agreed that the vote was economically motivated, in part. But he argued that many board actions during the past iew years have created "strong foes" among the electorate - t.ctions concerned with discipline, sex education, parochiaid and Bible distribution. Trustee Joseph T. A. Lee rrjected the argument that the issues were rebuffed because the board didn't listen to the public. He suggested that the issues were turned down because "we are truly in a period of frustration and confusión in our entire society. People f w don't trust any policy-making groups anymore." Lee said that by voting down the millages and bonding issues the people have "increased that confusión," and he charged the tbere is "something basically wrong with our priorities," when ground can be broken for an addition to the YM-YWCA Building but not to the public library. (One of the bonding issues would have financed a $900,000 addition to the main library.) Trustee Henry Johnson commented: "As far as I'm concerned, the people have spoken. Now we have to help them live with that decisión." Board member Cecil W. Warner suggested a survey of the community to try to discover the reasons behind the large "no" vote. School Board President líarold J. JLockett called Mon-I day's results "disastrous," and I said the vote has "condemned" r Eome of the schoolchildren tol an education which will be "in-l íerior" to that received by stu-l dents who have a 1 r e a d yl graduated from the Ann ArborJ School System. Lockett said the people I should understand that the 1 lage and bonding rejections I have "in effect changed the I quality of the educational 1 Srams in Ann Arbor." He said íne result of the bonding defeats will be especially "ominous" because of the overcíowding which will continue to take place, especially at the secondary level. "We have not been the most popular group of men in the community," Lockett said, "but we have tried to do what we tbink is best for the children." J ■ J


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