This Wednesday, May 20, the Scarborough Town Council will vote on approving the School budget for FY 2016. The proposed School budget now stands at a request of $39.1 million of taxpayer funding. That’s an increase of $3.0 million or 8.2% over the current year budget. If you think that’s too much, please invest 8 minutes right now – 4 minutes to finish reading this very short blog entry and 4 minutes to email the Town Council (simple steps included below).
Some key facts about the budget are included in the following sample email to Town Council members asking them to reduce the School budget:
Dear Members of the Town Council,
I am writing to urge you to make a significant reduction to the School budget as it is being proposed at the Council meeting on Wednesday, May 20.
The amount of the proposed School budget to be funded by taxpayers is increasing by $3.0 million or 8.2% over the current year budget. This increase is not consistent with two of the Council’s stated budget goals of “recognizing fiscal constraints” and “maintaining a stable tax rate.”
Over the past five years, the Schools’ net taxpayer-funded budget has increased by $8.1 million or 28.8%. Very few Scarborough residents – including seniors on fixed incomes and families with children – have seen their disposable income increase at anywhere near that rate. Simply put, many Scarborough residents cannot afford a continuation of School budgets rising at a rate that far exceeds inflation and wage increases.
While I support a high quality education for our children, I believe the Town Council must strike a reasonable balance between the requests of the School Department and the affordability of those requests by the Town’s taxpayers. In recent years, taxpayer affordability has clearly received too little weight. Please exercise your responsibility to assure that the School budget is reduced to an affordable level before sending it to referendum.
Thank you for considering my opinion.
So that’s the first 4 minutes… The rest is easy! Four quick steps:
1. Cut and paste the draft email that appears above into a blank email.
2. Edit and personalize the draft email as much as you would like. Perhaps add a bit about how the tax increase will affect you personally. Or indicate what sort of increase you believe is reasonable.
3. Sign your name and address.
4. Address the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and press send.
It’s easy to make a difference!
The Town Council needs to hear from every concerned Scarborough taxpayer now. Please let them know your feelings on this important issue! You can bet the no-limits School supporters are making their views known. Also, please alert friends and neighbors to the coming vote and ask them to contact the Town Council members.
If you can, please consider attending the Town Council meeting this Wednesday, May 20, at 6pm at Town Hall.
A friendly wager
Editor’s Note: I had a bet about this blog with Mrs. Kincaid, our office cleaning lady. She bet me an Amato’s Italian that I couldn’t make it through an entire blog entry with no sarcasm, no bad jokes and no challenges to good taste. (Mrs. K: I believe I won the Italian. Salt and pepper, light oil, please.) To those of you have missed those stylistic features in this entry, please don’t fret – the next issue will be full of the usual hi-jinx. And we have some very interesting topics that you won’t want to miss. TTH