Friday, 15 July 2011 00:00
Thank you, thank you so very much for defeating the proposed Westbury School District budget on June 21.
You were not persuaded or “taken in” by the School Administration’s annual refrain “the children will suffer” or the baseless excuse that “the test scores remain low because of the immigrant population in our district,” or the financial bugaboo “the district’s bond rating will suffer.”
I have attended School Board meetings both as a private citizen as well as in my capacity as Trustee of the Westbury School District, including attending Executive Sessions (private meetings not open to the public). I can state categorically that the public interest and the school taxes that you pay were never a primary consideration.
I am telling you now, neither the Administration nor majority of the Board members concerned themselves with your taxes, mortgages, or any of your financial obligations in setting the annual school tax rates they impose upon you. Nothing has been provided to you, the taxpayer. To date, no consideration has been made on your behalf to alleviate school taxes at even a demonstrable level and certainly not significantly.
What the Administration has provided for themselves is a request for a 3 percent salary increase and I quote from a memorandum from the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Constance Clark-Snead, “I would also like to request that the Board consider defining future salary increases within the terms of this contract extension given the possibility of a superintendent salary cap taking effect prior to the end of this [New York State] legislative session. I propose a defined increase of no less than 3 percent increase to my salary… for each subsequent year of my term as superintendent.”
You, the taxpayers, were not intended to see this document, on the letterhead of the Superintendent of the Westbury Union free School District, from Superintendent Dr. Constance Clark-Snead, and including handwritten initials, coincidentally the same initials as of the Superintendent, sent to the Westbury Board of Education.
I differ. You should know and now you do! I hope you found this information enlightening.
You the voters, the taxpayers are never wrong. It is your will and your right to oppose unfair and unexplained tax increases.
Unfortunately, the support staff, secretaries, security staff and part-timers are facing layoffs, and even though the Teachers’ bargaining unit entered into a good faith agreement with the district, they face layoffs as well. Some staff are currently even facing the retribution of a high handed Administration for voicing their views.
You the residents, the taxpayers must stand up and let your voices be heard.
This situation needs to be changed now!
Larry D. Wornum