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Letter: ‘A Sop For Westbury Taxpayers’

A sop is a thing normally of minor value, which is given or done to please someone or a group who are angry or disappointed and they are normally thought to have little or no power. In this instance, the group with little or no power is the residents of Westbury School District.

The Westbury School Board has decided that a sop of .48 percent is to be given from 2.48 percent or that $112,098,000 is enough to pacify Westbury residents. In their opinion, they, the Westbury School Board, knows what is best for us and what we can afford. They decided in May 2011 to deny an extension to Dr. Clark-Snead but did not announce this until January 2012, six months later. If they should decide to use a search firm, it could take up to a year and cost over $20,000.

The Westbury School Board has voted to approve a school tax of 2 percent or $380 to $760 per home based on assessed value. In contrast, the Village of Westbury will not raise village taxes and Nassau County has controlled spending in all areas for 2012. Dr. Clark-Snead, the superintendent has described the school budget for 2012 as “bare-bones” and “no extras.”

She earns more than both governors of New York and New Jersey combined; $175,000 and $165,000, respectively. Dr. Clark-Snead earns $388,000 as superintendent of Westbury Schools. This sop of .48 percent is not nearly enough tax relief when you take into account the economy, incomes and the cost of living.  Then there’s the issue of our ranking as ninth worst in Nassau County overall; second worst Regents English; third worst in Regents diploma; and fourth worst in Regents algebra exams.

I say a school budget of 0 percent for 2012 is a sop we well deserve and can afford May 15. Stop the insanity and vote no!

Larry D. Wornum
Westbury resident
Former Westbury School Board trustee