After reading last week’s letter from Alan Hirsch, I feel compelled to respond to his mean spirited personal attack on Karen Sloan and the Board of Education. There is absolutely no excuse for rudeness of this magnitude. Mr. Hirsch shows his ignorance with his ridiculous statement that board members have never put in a real day of work in the real world. Does he know this personally? Of course not. He put as much research into that as he did into the school budget, which led him to make his absolutely absurd statement regarding a reduction in the school budget.
I was so happy to read the May letter in Port Advances by Karen Sloan, president of the Port Washington Union Free School District.
I was extremely happy to read that Karen Sloan reported that “Through the tireless efforts of our administration, the Board was able to find a way to a fair budget for all of our stakeholders, with the percentage increase of 2.96 percent.”
I assure you that I and many others in Port Washington would be more than happy if Ms. Sloan were able to report that the Board found a way to decrease the budget by 2.96 percent.
We all experienced a deep sense of joy when hearing the news that Osama Bin Ladin was dead. Why?
It’s not that terrorism has been defeated. We all know the war on terror is far from over. Nor do I think the revenge factor is what’s at play here. Good people are not vengeful people. So what was it?
In part, this victory reassured us that the larger mission of defeating terror will also be successful; that in the end goodness will prevail.
(Editor’s note: the “$35,000 in pension and health benefits” noted in this letter also includes Social Security, which is a governmental requirement for all working people in this country. The Port Washington School Administration told Port News that pension and health benefits for teachers in this school district are approximately $20,000 to $22,000, on average).
On May 17 we’ll be voting on a school budget increase of over $3,700,000 with a tax increase of nearly 4 percent. Because of the current fiscal crisis, the housing market decline and job losses, we repeatedly asked our school board to do what our state, county and library did, and keep budget increases at or below inflation. For the first time in 15 years, our state budget was reduced, county taxes may be frozen and our library budget increase was less than half the rate of inflation. But not our school district! Instead, as usual, they’re proposing a budget increase well above inflation. In the past two years, our school budget increased at four times the rate of inflation. For most of us, our property taxes greatly exceed our state income taxes.
Pretty soon, I’m going to get that postcard in the mail lambasting the Port Washington school budget and the “runaway train” of employee salary, pension, and health benefit increases that add millions to the bottom line every year. And I will agree with much of it… that is, until it exhorts me to vote against the budget on May 17.
I am voting in favor of the budget precisely because it is the more cost-effective option. My taxes will go up whether the budget passes or fails. The “contingency” budget still calls for an increase of 1.92 percent, versus the 2.96 percent being proposed. Moreover, $1.4 million in reserve money to be used for an approved budget will shrink the difference in my tax levy to a few dollars.
Yes, shocking but true. Your school taxes fund weapons—weapons against ignorance, illiteracy and poverty.
The taxes keep us in the fight to stay competitive in the world’s economy. The taxes arm our children with the knowledge and skills needed to be productive Americans for the future of our country.
School taxes are in fact a defense budget—defense of the American way of life for generations to come, as did these taxes which supported our education in the past and shaped who we are today.
Imagine if you heard people say about our armed forces, “I have no troops in my family on the ground, so I won’t support them.” Just as it is patriotic to support our armed forces, it is patriotic to fund our childrens’ defense budget, the school budget.
I write in response to Maryann Sinclair Slutsky’s column entitled “Kids Are Collateral Damage From Our Broken Immigration System.”
Conspicuously absent from Ms. Slutsky’s piece is any recognition that Emily Ruiz’ parents were solely responsible for placing her in the predicament in which she found herself. Instead, the column implicitly suggests that Americans caused Emily’s problem; for example, the piece contains the rhetorical questions “why do we allow US-citizen children to be taken away from the only home they’ve ever known because of the immigration status of their parents or relatives?” Ms. Slutsky charges “we” embrace the idea of second-class citizenship.
I love supporting local business here in Port Washington. I would rather spend a little more money on gardening supplies than drive to Home Depot. I don’t mind throwing a few extra dollars into a nice outfit if it means I don’t have to go into a department store.
When I was a child here in town, there were so many different kinds of stores to shop in. You could buy clothing, pajamas, furniture, and even beauty supplies. Port Washington has come a long way in recent years, and as far as shopping goes, definitely a step back in the right direction.
During these difficult economic times, we all must do more with less. The cuts in the proposed 2010-2011 school budget are disheartening to many members of the Port Washington community, especially parents of school-age children, but we know that everyone involved approached this challenging process in good faith, determined to do the best they could in light of reduced state aid and an already heavy tax burden.
Page 18 of 38<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next > End >>