Monday, March 17, 2008

Town Meeting

Jim and I both had pieces of information to handout at the Townhall Meeting. Neither one of us did and we probably should have handed out our information. We have attached the information for people's reference. If you know anyone who would like a copy we have some here and would be glad to send it to them via snail mail.

Jim's Pieces

Motion for Town Meeting 2008

I motion that we pass a reduced version of the school budget, replacing the proposed Article 2 in the amount of $1,249,081 and that the vote for this via secret ballot.

Information regarding motion:

1. This is $25,000 less than the board’s proposal. Estimated tax impact is -$0.07 per $1,000

2. The board’s proposal represents a 6.71% increase. This proposal represents a 4.6% increase.

3. With inflation for 2007 at 2.85% (, the increases represent 2.35x and 1.61x the rate of inflation respectively.

4. The rationale behind the $25,000 reduction is based on these reductions:
a.)Eliminate the position of Principal: $3,500. Previous budgets had $0 allocated for this purpose.

b.)Eliminate pay for the school board: $1,500. Large districts throughout the U.S. rely on volunteer school boards. Any board member wishing to resign in light of the loss may yield his/her position to me.

c.)Reduce the Special Education budget: $20,000. The board’s budget proposes a 39% increase in Special Education spending. A $20,000 reduction would still leave the District with a 29% increase.

I motion that the vote for Article 4 be conducted by secret ballot.

This warrant should be defeated because:

1.)It is 100% larger than last year’s Special Ed capital reserve warrant.

2.)Combined with Article 5, the district budget calls for $30,000 to be added to the Special Ed Capital Reserve Fund, six times the amount added to the Building Capital Reserve Fund.

3.)The Building and Transportation funds are transparent and easy to understand. What is the function of the Special Ed Capital Fund? Why do we need one?

To the people of Croydon,

I urge the people of Croydon to reject Croydon School District Article 2, the request for appropriation of $1,274,081 for the operation of the District. This budget represents an increase of 6.71% over the 2007 budget. In 2007 we saw our education tax rate climb by 87 cents (93 cents if you include the increase in state property tax) per $1,000 in spite of over $2.5 million in added property valuation. This year, the proposal for Article 2 alone is expected to add 25 cents to our education tax rate. All education warrants taken together would add 63 cents to our already high education property tax rate.

Some items, like $25,000 of the $80,000 cost of a school bus do not appear on the 2008 warrants. One might expect the absence of large one-time costs to erase much of the proposed increase. Yet this is not the case.

To the board’s credit, they have done quite well in some areas controlling costs. It is also more than fair to say that some of the most egregious spending increases come from our neighbor to the south. Case in point is the 81.5% budget increase in “SAU Services”. This is a complete waste of money that provides no education whatsoever. It is a direct result of Newport’s failure to make sufficient cutbacks in the wake of Sunapee’s departure. Look at SAU 43’s website and check the staff listing. You’ll see eighteen names, eighteen! This doesn’t even include school administrative staff, its only the SAU!!

But not all questionable expenditures can be laid at Newport’s doorstep. Croydon is planning to hire a Principal for our one-room schoolhouse of 23 students. And there is the ever upward-creeping poorly monitored “Special ed” expenditures, budgeted to increase by 39% this year alone. Warrant Article 4 doubles last year’s Special Ed appropriation and should also be rejected. These are areas in which Croydon can and must make budget cuts.

As increasing property values provide increased revenue at a fixed tax rate, I propose that we draw a line in the sand regarding the tax rate. Reject these two warrant articles and demand that all future budgets remain tax rate neutral.

Jim Peschke
Croydon, NH

Cathy's Piece

Thank you for allowing me to speak. My name is Cathy Peschke I live on Barton Road. I am the mother of two young children. I am asking that we reject this budget for a number of reasons.

1. Depending on which economist you follow we have either been in a recession for four months or about to enter a recession. This means we face tough times ahead the budget should be cut to reflect at minimum an increase no greater that than the CPI.

2. Gas prices and heating prices are on the rise. A tax increase this large is difficult enough for our friends and neighbors on fixed incomes but they are also facing increased gas and heating prices.

3. Food prices are on the rise. Our school board is elected to primarily to represent the taxpayers. Budget increases beyond the CPI are not in the best interest of taxpayers when faced with rising food prices.

4. Besides increased property taxes it is very likely that working residents are going to be faced with an income tax in the next year or two. Many towns have passed warrant articles rejecting the anti-tax pledge. The actions of the Claremont attorneys lawsuit against the state regarding an "adequate education" is about to come to fruition. Despite our legislators bowing to the court decision bought on by this lawsuit, the attorneys have already said they will sue again because it is not enough money. If an income tax is imposed we will not see a proportional decrease in property taxes. A historical analysis of all 50 states have seen this to be true.

5. The housing market has hit a wall. Those who work in the housing industry suffer as well as those with retirement accounts invested in the housing industry.

6. Year after year we have seen education costs rise much faster than the rate of inflation. This is not being fiscally responsible with Croydon taxpayers' hard earned dollars. Yet with the increases in education spending we do not see any proportional increases in performance of our students here in Croydon or in Newport. I believe it is wrong to constantly ask the people of Croydon to pay larger and larger taxes and not be fiscally responsible with our tax dollars. The school boards job is not to make sure school employees keep their jobs. When times are tough jobs may need to be cut back just like in the private sector. These people are not entitled to a job. We as taxpayers must reduce areas of our budget when you take more of our dollars we in turn can not go to our employees to demand more money to cover those increases. It is time for the school board to be more frugal with our dollars. Providing services to children at the expense of impoverishing their parents and grandparents is NOT "caring", it is selfish.

7. The taxpayers of Croydon have seen cuts in benefits, health care and retirement from their employees yet we the taxpayers are paying for benefits for the school employees that far exceed our very own. We also do not have the luxury of having a constitutionally backed pension. It is time for us to ask our employees to take on a greater burden of said benefits instead of putting the burden on the taxpayers shoulders.

8. Lastly I believe we need to have a way for those who believe that the schools need money to donate money to our schools.

1 comment:

Webmaster said...

I hope you were not serious about the income tax.

The NHAC, CNHT, and BIA will band together to prevent this.

Voters are rejecting spending in record amounts.
They do not want an income tax!

See the list here: