During tonight's School Committee meeting, members present discussed the redistricting mistake on Map 1 that was recently acknowledged by the Superintendent for a portion of Washington Street.
Cindy Bohne clearly stated during this discussion that tonight was the first time this situation (the mistake between Oak and Westley) was brought to her attention.
The emails below between myself and Cindy clearly indicate otherwise. The email exchange documented here clearly shows that Cindy absolutely and unequivocally knew about this situation- she asked many questions in return, included a map of this area with the houses circled and even claimed to have driven around this area "to understand the dynamics."
Request sent to School Committee on Oct. 17:
Dear Superintendent McAlduff, Winchester School Committee and the RAC,
As you are well aware, the residents on Washington Street have been on highalert for many months about how the RAC is planning to redistrict ourneighborhood. Our fears have been confirmed with both Scenarios 1 and 2 on thenewly released maps.
For Scenario 1, the map shows that for the block between Westly and Oak, fourhouses are assigned to Muraco and two houses to Lynch.
For Scenario 2, four houses out of the six on the block (one side ofWashington Street) between Westly and Oak will be assigned to Lincoln and two toLynch. And directly to the left (same side of the street of Washington Street),on the block between Nelson and Westly, three houses are assigned to Lynch.
For Scenario 3, those same four houses mentioned are assigned to Muracowhile the remainder of homes on the block is assigned to Lincoln.
Could a rationale for this dissection be that these homes have no schoolage children? Or that one of those homes is part of the Winchester AffordableHousing Program? What happens if several children move into those 4houses in the very near future?
Not only do these proposed district lines destroy a neighborhood, theyslice and dice 9 houses, separating us from our neighbors in the townhousesdirectly across the street. The RACclearly communicated that isolating neighborhoods would not happen, and yet ithas.
Why do these redistricting proposals anger and frustrate Washington-arearesidents? Surely you know by now that two of the plans mentioned force five ofthe affected houses on this small 2-block side of Washington Street tolose their short walk to Lincoln School. Increasing the walk to school from aquarter mile to 1.8+ miles will not be safe and heightens the chance ofpedestrian accidents, especially in the snow.
Finally, surely the decision makers must recognize that these affectedfamilies are the exact families that purchased homes for walkability, paidextra for them, desired that feature and settled for less of a home for thebenefit of walkability! We are either 0.4 or 0.5 miles away from TWO ElementarySchools. We are the only part of town that can claim this!
To address these problems, we firmly request that you re-evaluate thescenarios with a mind to preserving neighborhood cohesiveness; safe, manageablewalks to school and pedestrian lifestyles in general.
In short, why in the world in this age of climate change would you advocatefor putting more cars on Winchester roads? Please draw your redistricting linesto keep the walkers walking!
Sally Ann H. McCarthy and Barry D. McCarthy
Response from School Committee on Oct. 20:
Sally and Barry, I apologize for the delay, but we have been focused on all of the multitude of plans in their entirety … I appreciate that you have sent a couple emails on this but, can you please for an old girl:1) Point out where you live on the map below…. Is it the pink block with a green dot drawn in blue???2) Your street address is on Washington, right? So your front door faces Washington, right?3) Are you asking that these four houses not be redistricted as it appears that they aren’t?4) or Are you asking that they be redistricted so that you won’t be separated from them, even though you state that they currently do not have children?
Thanks – Cindy Bohne
Reply to School Committee on Oct. 20:
No worries. We appreciate that you are responding!
Answers to your questions:
1) Yes our address is the 244-246 Condex
2) Yes- Our address is the 244-246 Condex
3) Don't know
4) Don't know - But I do know those homes could have children living in them in the very near future. I just care to stay in Lincoln ( best option) or move to Muraco (acceptable option). We can't move to Lynch!!!! We are either 0.4 to Muraco or 0.5 miles away from Lincoln. We are the only part of town that can claim this!
Also, so you can understand our neighborhood better, behind our condex and the entire block of (Westly and Oak) is the Adult Only Housing Authority (which BTW years ago was the old Lincoln School) and the Black Horse Tavern Barn area. Our block on Washington Street (Westly and Oak) is directly across the street from the #247 Townhouses. These homes and what is to the side of each address (Nelson Street to Oak Street) and across the street (Eaton Street to Hancock Street) constitutes our neighborhood. In all the proposed Map Plans, districts lines destroy our neighborhood, they slice and dice 9 houses (Nelson to Oak) and also separate us from our neighbors across the street in the Townhouses.
Since all these new proposed maps do not solve the problem and are breaking up neighborhoods, please take the opportunity to improve the system to manage overcrowding in schools more efficiently and effectively and make a positive effect on this community. Please choose ALO or KG Flex, or a Hybrid of the two. I am very happy to volunteer my services to help implement any Alternative Plan.
Sally Ann H. and Barry D. McCarthy
Response from School Committee on Oct. 20:
Thanks for your response.
I drove over there today so I understand the dynamics. I appreciate your concerns and those of your neighbors. I wish the over crowding was not most evident at Lincoln and muraco.
I'll pass on your wishes.
How can we ever trust Cindy Bohne to represent this town as a School Committee member when she is clearly and openly dishonest with us all?
--Sally Ann Handelsman McCarthy