http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2012/10/26/mvhs-neighbors-want-say-in-field-lights


Mountain View Voice

Opinion - October 26, 2012

MVHS neighbors want say in field lights

by Vi and Dan Robertson

The Mountain View Los Altos High School board has scheduled one night football game on Oct. 26, with temporary lights, at the Mountain View High School field. We are among the neighbors who oppose approval of this game and we also are among the many neighbors who are strong supporters of the school.

We have contributed to the school and volunteer as tutors. Our opposition to this game is about the planning process used. We are certainly not trying to deny the students an enjoyable and safe experience.

This game was planned by the Sports Boosters, whom we feel looked upon the neighbors as problems to be marginalized. They asked for our input only five days before the vote by the school board. We listed several problems that had not been solved. The school board agreed there were still issues that needed to be addressed for a game that was only a couple of weeks away, but they still approved the game. They could have included our comments much sooner or postponed the game until later.

Since the board meeting, the school district has taken over the planning for this game. We want to thank the school administrators for getting the neighbors involved in this planning process — even if it is late. We also want to note that a number of the board members have acknowledged how our feedback will result in a better experience for everyone involved with this game.

We appreciate the fact that the leaders at MVHS have worked in the past to maintain a good relationship with the neighbors of the school. It seems like the members of the Sports Boosters Club are acting without respect for this relationship and are using this game to try to push through permanent lighting for night games at MVHS, without concern for its effect on the neighbors.

We learned at the board meeting that the estimate for installing permanent lights at MVHS would be about $500,000 and would involve an environmental study. We know the school board is aware that they need to focus their funding and time on the academic requirements of the school.

We are not opposed to this one-time-only night game at the high school, if it is well planned. We are opposed to permanent lighting at the school. At the time of the school bond issue, the school board determined that upgrades to the fields would not include lights. They said lights would not be appropriate for this school, because the field is close to so many homes, which is still true. If the MVHS Sports Boosters want several night games a year, they need to focus their attention on finding a more appropriate location for the games.

We hope everyone will keep in mind that we live here. We do not come and go as the students, administrators, teachers, and most MVHS sports fans do. We have enjoyed living in our home and neighborhood for 34 years. Both of our daughters went to MVHS and had a very good experience. We live on a street with people who are friendly, caring, and respectful of each other. We want to enjoy and support that same neighborly relationship with the MVHS community. To do this, we simply want to be included in the process and work with the rest of the community to find win-win solutions.

Vi and Dan Robertson live on Bruckner Circle.

Comments

Posted by Football/Music Parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Very nice letter and typical of those that I have seen from the "its all about me" neighbors next to the school. First of all, having talked to the many parents who volunteered to bring this "night game" to the school - your summize that the "board/district took over" is as naive as your idea of how much weight the neighbors opinions should have on school policies and events. The "district", out side of voting unanimous to have the game, did very little and it was the parents that made this event happen. As far as what the future holds, it's my guess that you are (again) sadly naive to think that this is going to be a "one time only" night game. You either didn't go to the game that night and/or have never been to a ridiculous 3:00 afternoon game to see the difference and the subsequent benefit to the school and community - not to mention you must have no idea what the rest of the schools in the county offer in terms of sports. You very much need a reality check. Here's a new thought for you - the housing market is very good right now. I'd think about moving but then you'd need a new topic to complain about.