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I would like to clarify the statement I made at the August school board meeting and reported here last week. There was an agenda item to allocate $375,000 to the district's reserve for worker's compensation. According to the administration this was part of additional revenues received from Albany at the end of the year. It was not the result of underspending by the district. (The administration is to be commended for strict adherence to its budget, resulting in spending all but $29,000, I think.) I questioned whether the action shouldn't precede the tax rate setting item, which was before the allocation on the original agenda. My point was that at a time when taxpayers are screaming for relief, any additional revenues should go toward that and not district expenditures, especially reserves, no matter how prudent it might seem.

Long Island districts and their citizens and taxpayers have been willing to pay for many programs that other, less fortunate districts are not. With the costs of those programs rising ever higher, the answer for Long Islanders has been to petition the state for help. Unfortunately, any additional revenues from Albany are usually spent, not returned to the taxpayers. The board's action in August was yet another example. Until districts demonstrate a willingness to budget and spend according to their ability and willingness to spend, I find it unconscionable for them or their citizens to continue to ask for more money from other sources. If the citizens don't want to pay for something, maybe administrations and boards should take heed. Next time there is money to be allocated, give it back to the taxpayers.

Larry Tietz Logo
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