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Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 10:27 am

Letters to the Editor 10/25/12

Enos School and prescriptions

CLOSER LOOK AT ENOS SCHOOL

I saw in IT (See “Enos School replacement plan under fire,” Oct. 18) that Save Old Springfield founder and historic preservation expert Jerry Jacobson is accusing District 186 of breaking the law by building a new Enos School when the cost to renovate the historic building is less. This allegation falls into line with others who question how the district has trouble with accurate budget numbers and five years of deficit spending. With decreased state funding, a shift of pension costs from a bankrupted state of Illinois to local downstate districts looming and a new teachers’ contract up for negotiation next year, borrowing $10 million for a new Enos School at this time deserves close scrutiny.

The district spokesman keeps the curtain tightly drawn by mentioning “base costs” and ignoring that the new school total cost will exceed $10 million, which the district must borrow using Health and Life Safety Funding (without a public referendum). Mr. Jacobson is correct to call the district on yet another example of “creative bookkeeping” to hide the truth about the cost of renovating a historic building or tearing it down and building a smaller school designed to only last half as long.

With an election coming in the spring for the entire District 186 School Board, which has approved the new construction based on faulty numbers, I would suggest that such major decisions to spend money the district has to borrow can wait until a new board can review the way these numbers may have been fudged to push construction of a new building over saving a historic structure.

The district is pushing through a project which deserves more scrutiny. The claims that the old building must go do not make sense when you are proposing to construct a smaller new building, spend more money than a renovation and borrow money the district does not have, adding to five years of deficits.

Perhaps a public referendum in the spring is also an option, giving the public a voice. At least this decision deserves another look to determine if the numbers are correct and who would actually benefit from pushing through this project costing the district funds which will be needed next year.

Jerald Jacobs
Springfield



ENOS COMPROMISE

Perhaps a compromise could be worked out that would make both the developer and the school district reasonably happy. If the school district could purchase two or three lots on Calhoun west of their present property and/or two lots on Elliott west of their present new building site, they could sell the existing school building to the developer so he could develop it and the building could be saved. That property could be fenced so as not to be a problem for the new school. I think both sides could come out ahead if this could happen.

Tyre W. Rees
Springfield



PRESCRIBING PSYCHOLOGISTS

I treat patients who have been prescribed psychotropic medication incorrectly by pediatricians, internists and gynecologists (see “Prescription war escalates,” Oct. 11). I have even been involved in a case where a doctor overrode the diagnosis of a psychiatrist, prescribed the wrong medication and caused an iatrogenic illness in the patient. This is because M.D.s have the ability to prescribe but do not have advanced training in psychological illnesses. A clinical psychologist with a doctorate studies brain behavior for many years. If you add the extensive training program that Dr. Beth Rom-Rymer and the Illinois Psychological Association advocate, based on the success of the U.S. Department of Defense which established the first program to train psychologists to prescribe medication along with several U.S. states, you will have a highly trained specialist.

Judith S. Tellerman, clinical professor
U of I College of Medicine
Chicago



TRANSFER OF WEALTH

About your story on child support (June 2006). You missed a very important point. The state is paid by the federal government for collecting child support. They received $132 million in 2010. However, it cost the state $192 million to operate the collection system. Those recipients on welfare were paid $9 million out of $799 million collected. The state is operating at a minimum net loss of $51 million. Truth is, child support collection is nothing but a Communist transfer of wealth scheme which victimizes males.

Paul M. Clements
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