Opinion

Dr. Richard J. Atkins's letter which appeared in the Sept. 11 issue of Port News, on the subject of waste perpetrated by our school district, is right on target. Let me offer this additional example to amplify on the examples cited by Dr. Atkins. I suggested at various BOE meetings to dispense with the exorbitant quantity of handouts, some of them numbering tens of pages per copy. These large quantities of handouts, which are found on a table just outside of the meeting room, are hardly read by the small audience that usually attends BOE meetings. Yet it costs the district and ultimately us, the taxpayers, thousands of dollars, possibly even tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year, for hundreds of pounds of paper, printing cost, and countless man-hours to print this material. To dispense with this "paper war," I suggested to the BOE to put a lot of this information on the school's website, informing the Port residents that if they're interested in reading any of it, that's where they can find it. I further suggested to provide Mary Callahan, assistant superintendent for Business, with a lap top, to eliminate the archaic method of taking minutes long hand, transcribing them, copying them, distributing them to the BOE and administration members, all of which adds once again to the costly "paper war," not to speak of the inefficiency of the present system. Taking minutes on a computer and posting them on the school's website can and I'm sure will significantly reduce the cost for processing them. All of the foregoing is a no brainer! The BOE's response....typical of a bureaucratic entity..."we'll look into it." To date, regrettably nothing has changed. The rising cost of paper, and other related higher expenses, add to our already heavy school tax burden. As evidence of the BOE's cavalier attitude toward the aforementioned subject, the question which begs for an answer is: what happened to the BOE's fiduciary responsibility?"

Stanley Ronell


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