Chauvette comments on the “Big Box Store and Virtual School”
Lee Chauvette, of Athol a Democratic candidate for State Representative has issued his opinion on two issues that he has been asked about most frequently besides the proposed biomass project for Greenfield. Chauvette stated that over the past couple of weeks the issues of the proposed “big box store” and the Greenfield Public School’s “K12 Virtual School” have been on the minds of the voters.
“First on the issue of the “K12 Virtual School, I as an immediate past member of a regional school committee have concerns about leaping so quickly into a contract with a single source bidder of something as important as the delivery of education to students. In the business we are all are used to single source bids on matters such as bus transportation from local companies that bid more frequently then out of the area providers. The other issue here of concern is the fact that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Massachusetts has been delaying formulating regulations for such virtual school approaches. The DESE is still researching and reviewing the overall issues with virtual schools. Hopefully the system did not act hastily.”
“I am supportive of alternate ways of delivering quality education to students and I am a strong supporter of trying to combat the tides of school choice and making local districts attractive once again to enhance the return of students that have left. The “virtual school” is definitely a policy issue and must be monitored to ensure that the education offered is in the best interest of the students and that the overall process benefits the Greenfield Public Schools.”
“On the subject of the proposed plan for a “big box” retail store for the community of Greenfield, I have spoken with opponents, supporters and middle of the road voters on this issue. I do state that I have seen more "middle of the road" people on this store. The “middle of the road” voters are those who have signed a petition to ask the Planning Board to conduct an unbiased Community Impact Assessment. This assessment would look at impacts on traffic, business, neighborhoods etc. This assessment could look at what size store would provide the least negative impact on the community. This study would show the positives and negatives up front.”
“I personally believe that the route of the Community Impact Assessment makes the most sense and hope that the Planning Board and the local government of Greenfield will seriously consider this action as part of their decision making process. There is room to debate and look at what fits the needs of Greenfield, local businesses and the residents prior to making decisions on this store. This upfront study and working together may alleviate the stress and tense situations that were seen throughout the biomass process during local governmental meetings.”