Reason prevailed at Harwood Union last week when the school board and supervisory union acceded to the request of students to accept a free EV charging station at the school.
This issue, readers will recall, came up last year when the Washington Electric Co-op offered the school a free EV charging station and offered to cover carrying costs for five years.
When it was first proposed board members and the supervisory union expressed reluctance, citing a variety of logistical issues. After further discussion the board voted to accept the offer but then reversed that vote on a procedural motion.
Harwood Union students were not ready to take no for an answer and brought the issue back to the board this month. The logistical and contractual issues that were red-flagged during earlier discussions came up again and students along with proponents of the EV charging station dealt with each one systematically and thoughtfully.
The students had done their homework. They left the grown-ups at the table with little to do but see their reasoning and accept the offer. In the end, this issue was really not about the issues raised by the board and supervisory union; it was about having a vision of the future that views things through a new perspective – that of sustainability and making choices that are right for the planet and the next generation.
The students that advanced this cause are going to have to live with the planet that we are leaving them and they’re asking us to do all that we can to improve it and better their odds of survival as well as the odds of their own children and grandchildren.
Every time any proposal comes before us at the school board, select board or state board level, it should be viewed through the sustainability lens – even as we filter it through the financial lens. We have an obligation to those students. We need to lead by example and show that we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprints and that we’re committed to using green energy when possible.
Congratulations to the students and teachers at Harwood who prevailed and cared enough to bring this issue back to the board. It was the right thing to do.