From now on, so long as school tax increases are kept under 2%, residents will no longer have the right to vote on the budget. Doesn’t take a genius to guess how much the school administration plans to raise taxes each year. No doubt the teachers union will be licking their chops. The district bloat can rest easy as well since the Sword of Damocles is no longer hanging over their heads to cut the fat.
According to School Board President Kenny, “When a very, very fiscally responsible and conservative budget is not passed in an election by a small group of people who may be entrenched or have other interests, we may not be able to serve the very students we are charged to serve.” I guess he’s already forgotten the Barza years.
Or maybe the board thinks a 2% annual increase is reasonable. For the average homeowner, that’ll be about a hundred-dollar increase each year on top of municipal, county, state, federal, plus a host of increases from government fees and regulations.
Over a ten-year period, that’s a $5,500 take from the average homeowner.
It’ll be even more exciting for everyone when the statehouse changes hands and that 2% cap is lifted. Then we’ll really get to see whether the school board (whoever that may be) is still “very, very fiscally responsible”.
I always chuckle when people argue that a terribly bloated budget is fiscally conservative because the increase is small. I wonder when Weight Watchers will attempt that diet regimen. Here’s a piece of unwanted advice – When the budget is too big, you cut. You don’t pat yourself on the back for allowing it to grow “just a little bigger.”
Oh, but the school board could always reverse itself in four years. Like that’ll ever happen. Once the citizens lose the right to keep their “representatives” in check, that right is lost forever.
But wait, there’s more. Beginning next November, the town will be introduced to pay-to-play in the school board elections. To date, pay-to-play has remained the province of municipal elections but once voters are already being shuttled to the polls, why wouldn’t the municipal campaigns also whisper to their supporters whom to elect in the school board elections.
Prospective board members begging municipal campaigns for support. That should be a pretty sight. Maybe there’s work CME can do for the school district.
Meanwhile, for all the hand wringing of a defeated budget, I’ve yet to see one worthwhile school program be cut because of a failed budget or see test scores drop from a lack of funding. There’s always plenty of money for pottery class but none for computer programming.
The people of Matawan-Aberdeen have lost the right to slow government spending and only two individuals objected. Shame on the rest of you. Now you’ll reap the out-of-control spending you have sown.