OK, folks. This is it. Last call. Sanity is on the line here. The School Budget referendum vote is July 7. Many of the blank-check-for-the-schools folks are saying that a 6.8% increase in taxpayer funding of the schools is too low. How is that even possible? How big an increase will be enough for them? And how are we talking about a 6.8% increase as if it were a devastating cut??? This is, indeed, a bizzaro budget.
Please vote “NO” and “TOO HIGH” on Tuesday if you haven’t already. If you have already voted, thanks! But please reach out to family, friends and neighbors and get them to Town Hall to vote on Tuesday. The blank-checkers have gone all out with a full-page newspaper ad and the rampant misuse of email addresses entrusted to them for non-political purposes. We need to counter this one voter at a time. Please round up as many voters as you can and get them to the polls. This is a critical vote for the Town’s future.
What Jerry’s Friends are Saying about the School Budget…
In their own words…
This is one of our favorite features. We get to share some of the public statements that just make you want to scratch your head and make you wonder if you’re living in a bizarro world where everything is backwards.
Wait, what? Taxpayer funding of the schools is up 28.8% in the last five years. Schools account for about two-thirds of our tax bills. And Ms. Shea thinks this is “tax relief!” We’d hate to see what tax stress is like!
Great moments in budgeting history
As was well documented in the last blog post, Superintendent Entwistle – with the complicity of the School Board – engineered a $180,000 reduction of extracurricular activities as part of the $500,000 Town Council-mandated school budget reduction. (The $500k decrease means taxpayer funding of the schools will “only” increase by 6.8% this year.)
The threatened cuts were designed to maximize the public pain and outcry. They diverted attention from the school administration’s and School Board’s failure to make meaningful reviews of most of the school operating budget. This is a time-honored tactic for resisting a legitimate budget review process — propose reductions that invoke the maximum public outcry in an attempt to pressure politicians into providing more funding.
We found a few more examples of the same basic bullying tactic being used in budget negotiations throughout history:
New Secret Club Revealed!
By now, most everyone has heard about the private, invitation-only FaceBook page that the blank-checkers have formed to promote their agenda in the secret comfort of their own lair. (See link here.) Seems that openness and public discussion are not among their core values. There’s nothing worse than contrary opinions to spoil one’s thought process.
In any event, we at LookOutScarborough.com have obtained exclusive inside info on another new secret organization known as “The Taxpayers’ Club.” Details are sketchy, but here’s what we have so far:
The Club has plans for a secret clubhouse. Here’s an architect’s rendering of the new facility which we understand will be located in the revitalized Dunstan Corner area. Until the clubhouse is built, members are reportedly holding meetings at Tim Horton’s on Route 1.
We can also confirm the new Club has adopted an official high sign to aid in identifying other club members. See below.
Half a story
It seems that the blank-checkers are spinning a new line about the budget. They’re focusing on a 3-point-something percent increase in the School operating budget. Which is fine as long as you remember that that’s only part of the story.
They conveniently forget that we taxpayers have to fund the entire school budget, net of State revenues like GPA (General Purpose Aid for Education). Last time we checked, the net school budget to be funded by taxpayers was up 6.6% over last year. Add to that the net cost of school capital projects and a couple of other minor items that are not voted on in the referendum and you get the $38.6 million total net school budget that’s shown on the tax calculation worksheet at the Town website. That $38.6 million – described as “amount to be raised” on the worksheet – is the total taxpayers will be paying if this budget is approved. It is a 6.8% increase over last year. Slice it and dice it any way you want, focus on any pieces of it that you want, but that’s the bottom line.
This is it folks… LAST CALL. Send this bizarro budget down to defeat…
Until next time, be neighborly!