Board seeking maximum allowable increase in taxes

The Plumsted Board of Education is recommending a school budget at the maximum tax increase legally allowed. While citizens are suffering from the impact of the Great Recession, our board is unwilling to show any innovation or out-ofthe box thinking on this year’s school budget to give homeowners some relief from the unrelenting annual homeowners’ taxes.

This community needs to keep the board accountable by voting “no” on the proposed budget by considering:

• The board is recommending the maximum tax increase allowed by law when the rest of the community is suffering from the worst recession in history.

Our new governor recently cut state aid. The governor, however, clearly stated that he did not want school taxes to go up as a result. Rather, his objective was to get more efficiency from the schools.

• The board spends significantly more on extracurricular activities than other districts, yet is unwilling to cut this area to benefit education.

The Plumsted school district spends 40 percent more than the state average on extracurricular activities.

If the board simply brought this non-educational spending in line with the state average, our district would save $294,000 ($159 per student over average times 1,850 students).

• The teachers union is unwilling to offer any good-faith effort to close the gap.

I have every confidence that individual teachers do not always agree with every stance taken by their union. However, their union is unwilling to discuss their role in the budget gap.

The teachers union flat-out refuses to sacrifice in an economy where many other people (both other public employees and millions of people in the private sector) have either taken pay cuts or lost their jobs. This is reason enough by itself to vote down the budget.

Mitch Geier