Work within the town’s budget


To the Editor:
Has anyone read the leadasbestos reports for the Tisbury Elementary School? As it was headlined in the paper and on the street, you would have thought the children and staff were walking into knee-deep dust of deathly powder. I think each person reading this should educate themselves and download it … read it!

This top-shelf fear-mongering doesn’t help either side come to grips with truths if we are out there debating. Yes, there is asbestos. Yes, there is lead. All of it would have been manageable if a nominal amount of money had been allotted for the yearly maintenance in these and other areas. And who is to blame for that blunder?

Once again, the present and recently retired selectpersons have been tarred and feathered. You might consider turning the magnifying glass toward not only the superintendents of schools over the past 30 to 40 years. Let’s check out the DPW. How about the principal? Maybe the parents didn’t get involved and were apathetic.

Until … aha …. the new school ideas …

Now that would save our children and cure all our problems. A new school would be great. A renovation and addition would be great. People wake up, let’s work within a budget that won’t bankrupt the town.

Can there be interest groups that look at school ideas around rural USA that are generic, green, and affordable? Then look, how lo and behold, the Tisbury School is generic. And it has worked for over 80 years. The Emerson School in Bolton is partially a wooden structure, and is as old as ours. Harvard the same. They added additions. With flat roofs. Oh my … It works … think outside the box.

Let’s set aside our personal feelings of entitlement and give our children an education in a building, not some architect’s imagination of what he thinks M.V. is, because it’s not that. Yes, we want these kids to advance, we want them to be able to compete, we want for them to be proud of their teachers, principals, parents, their education, and a town that stopped fear-mongering.

On a clear note, give them a school where they can learn, don’t hold up an impression of what a school looks like to determine how they learn. Clean up the mess, think outside the bad, and work within a budget.


Dana Hodsdon

Vineyard Haven



  1. Interesting. I didn’t notice M.D. after your name. Are you a self professed expert in lead, mold, asbestos and radon and how they impact children’s growing bodies? I’m guessing you are a retiree with no children or grandchildren attending the Tisbury School. I would venture to guess (or hope) that you would display more empathy and less selfishness towards are community’s children if one of your loved ones spent over 30 hours per week in the building. Your callous attitude regarding the validity of the toxic conditions of the building is despicable quite frankly.
    What exactly is this budget you proposed? Admit it. You have absolutely no idea how much it will cost to conduct and complete renovation and addition to the school. You are in for a rude awakening when the cost exceeds the cost of a new building.

  2. Dana -what an intelligent insightful letter – not just about the Tisbury school problem but about the state of life in this town-how to best handle this maze we call life and some really good construction ideas that should be brought up to the next millions we spend on another million or so on another STUDY-it’s nice to hear a normal person with some great thoughts on a difficult issue—–Too bad the only replies we get are sarcastic ones like Finnegans-who just like to hear themselves talk . Again nice letter Dana !

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