Mehlville’s solar project to require ‘zero out-of-pocket funds’ from district

To the editor:

After reading Mr. Allan M. Ringering’s letter to the editor last week, it was telling to realize he is not a Mehlville resident.

It’s very clear Mr. Ringering does not understand our community, as he attempted to define a savings of approximately $26,000 per building — five total — as insignificant. I’ve engaged a lot of our resident critics in conversations, and I have yet to hear a suggestion even remotely resembling Mr. Ringering’s paradigm.

As I so often have to point out, Mr. Ringering made no attempt to contact me and talk about the facts before the submission of his letter, which includes many fallacies.

Our solar project will require zero out-of-pocket funds from the Mehlville School District. We will not own the solar equipment nor will we be responsible for maintenance costs. Our payments to utilize this equipment will fix the costs of the energy associated with these panels and immediately begin saving us money. Those savings will total an estimated $130,000 over the next 20 years.

I’ve always believed in embracing critics, especially those showing a genuine interest in improving and uniting any effort.

I’ve talked and met with many over the past year, and I am comfortable admitting most are usually respectful and helpful. I also realize some critics won’t care to engage and will make efforts to tear down even positive news.

We are having much success in the Mehlville School District, and I greatly appreciate the support I’ve received. I fully realize success will inevitably bring criticism. I once heard a critic, or maybe more appropriately, a cynic, described as one who thinks they know the way but can’t drive the car.

Mr. Ringering chose to publicly and sarcastically describe me as a “crack” educator, yet he never afforded me the opportunity of a simple conversation.

Meanwhile, I could not be more proud of what the Mehlville School District is accomplishing. We have once again achieved the state’s highest honor of Distinction in Performance, five of our students were recognized as National Merit Scholars this year, four of our schools were named Missouri Schools of Character and one achieved the status of National School of Character.

I would like to thank the students, parents, educators, employees and community members for uniting and supporting these efforts.

As always, please know I can be reached at (314) 467-5001 to listen to and discuss any concerns you may have.

Eric D. Knost

Editor’s note: Eric D. Knost serves as the superintendent of the Mehlville School District.