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Town urged to address school needs

December 07, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - The leader of Boonsboro High School's Citizens Advisory Committee urged the Boonsboro Town Council to take steps to prepare for growth in the region, including admitting that it needs money to address school facilities needs.

Donna Brightman, chairwoman of the Citizens Advisory Committee referred to the goal of Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan to have "world-class schools."

But Brightman questioned whether it is truly possible to have world-class schools in "third-world facilities."

Brightman made her remarks during Monday's meeting of the Boonsboro Town Council, which was attended by at least 50 people.

The Citizens Advisory Committee hosted a Nov. 10 meeting at which representatives of the town and the school system spoke about growth and planning for the town and the county.

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Brightman said it has become clear that there is insufficient communication between the town and the school system and that needs to change.

She said the council needs to address growth in the region as the regional issue it is, rather than just on how it affects the town.

Like it or not, there will be growth in the region, she said.

"No growth is not an option," she said. "This is not an anti-growth discussion. ... Growth will occur."

The group's concern is how the growth will affect the lives of local residents, she said.

After she spoke, Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman Jr. and other town officials and residents made a few remarks in response.

Kauffman said the town has some of the same goals that Brightman expressed.

"We are on your side on this," Kauffman said. "We are all in this together."

Kauffman said the town will do all it can to make sure developers pay for their impact on local schools. He encouraged people to raise the issues and questions with the Washington County government since the town can't control what occurs outside of its boundaries.

Jacqueline Fischer, a Washington County Board of Education member, attended the meeting and took extensive notes on the remarks, in addition to making a few comments of her own.

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