Gehrke remains opposed to dog track sale for Hudson schoolsThe newest member of the Hudson Board of Education will likely remain the lone dissenter to the idea of a new secondary school at the former St. Croix Meadows dog track.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The newest member of the Hudson Board of Education will likely remain the lone dissenter to the idea of a new secondary school at the former St. Croix Meadows dog track.
Sandy Gehrke was the top vote-getter in last week’s school board election and was the most outspoken opponent to the referendum to purchase the property that was also on the last week’s ballot.
Although she was not available for an interview, Gehrke provided this written response when asked for her reaction to the success of the referendum.
“I remained strongly opposed and spoke publically of my opposition. So I was surprised when I received the highest vote count to place me on the school board and yet the referendum passed. I believe my support came from the ‘no’ constituency, and I intend to maintain that ‘no’ position. I have been opposed to the purchase, I have been vocal about my opposition, and the ‘yes’ vote has not changed my mind. I believe there are other less expensive options to gain the space we need. The next step is rezoning by the city of Hudson. I am hopeful that the City Council will realize the mistake they would be making if they choose to rezone the property, lose 33 percent of their remaining commercially zoned property, and remove it from the property tax base. Rezoning will be expensive for all of us,” wrote Gehrke.
In a letter to the editor in this week’s Star-Observer www.hudsonstarobserver.com, Gehrke said she believes the public was “not been given accurate information regarding the true cost of the purchase, the demolition, the remediation of the mold in the building, and the construction of a new school on the property.”
She contends that the cost to construct a new school on the property could end up being between $60-90 million and that if voters knew that, they might have defeated the referendum.
Gehrke said that while she will remain opposed to a new school at the dog track, she will keep an open mind on other issues.
“I will listen, consider all information, and make an informed decision. I thank everyone who voted for me, and I am grateful for their loyal support. I look forward to being their voice on the Board of Education.”
Gehrke took her seat on the board at this week’s school board meeting.