It is hard not to turn on the radio, watch the news or television or read a newspaper and not be deeply concerned about the current economic situation. The economy is clearly in a great deal of trouble and unlikely to return to robust growth easily or quickly. On a personal level it is difficult to see friends who have lost jobs themselves or had children or relatives who have lost jobs. It is also painful to see those whose businesses are suffering. As an optimist and as one who believes in the ingenuity and energy of the people of this country I have no doubt that the economy will recover but it is going to take time.

All of this has been very much on the minds of everyone who has been working on the Herricks budget for 2009-2010 to be presented to the Board and the community shortly. There are many things we would all like to do. They will simply have to wait, however, until times are better. What we are trying not to do is a) cut programs or services for students or b) make cuts which would save money in the short run but result in even greater expenditures over the long run. In light of the severity of the downturn and the fact that New York State budgets tend to lag behind in economic recovery, we are assuming that budgets will have to remain tight for at least a year or two beyond the coming one.

The challenge of getting through this period is going to be a tough one. While there will be tough choices I have great confidence that we can make it through.

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