The school bond controversy has been extremely divisive for the Port Washington community. Very few issues have had so many letters to the editors of the Port Washington News and the other media.
What are the issues? Yes we're certain that everyone on both sides of the discussion wish to have a good Port Washington school system. How can we accomplish this? How do we adjust the proposed capital budget?
School superintendent Dr. Albert Inserra at a meeting this past Sunday estimated a $2,000 school tax increase by 2004-2005 for a home with a current total tax of $8,000. Recently, Newsday ran an informational article on the reassessment of taxes for Nassau County. Fill in the numbers on this form and you'll find the middle class home currently taxed at $8,000, will rise another $2,000 by the time the reassessment is completed. This is a total tax increase of at least 50 percent (from $8,000 to $12,000).
How do we keep the middle class living in Port Washington? How do you sell your home in the future, with such high taxes? Many of our people have budgets, just like municipalities, non-profit organizations and businesses. How would a business or other group handle this explosive budget issue? Would they consider alternative budgets? For example, how could you achieve compromise if the board proposed a $40, $50 or $60 million issue, without the $5 million luxury pool?
One method - and we're certain there are others - would be to adjust class size. Currently the school administration has an average target of 20 students per classroom. What happens if they increase it to 22, 23 or even 24 students. Same teacher, same room. Will these children receive a lesser education if they have 2, 3, or 4 more students in the classroom? Our answer is probably not. Think rationally and vote no on the school bond issue. Have the board do some serious thinking and propose a revised bond issue that doesn't hurt the many new and longtime residents of Port Washington.
Thomas Colligan and family
Martin Vogel and family
Morris Simoncelli and family
Samuel Schiff and family
Harold Cohen and family
Ray Johnson and family