Michael Cialek: Not all facts given about override
To the editor:
I believe the residents of Northampton were not presented all the facts around this latest override. The positions that were threatened to be eliminated if the override were not to pass were not 100 percent filled. Yes, unfortunately some may have resulted in a layoff but not all. The police department is now hiring four new officers. My question is this: could these positions remain unfilled for the next few years until we have the funds available to support them? Within the next few years the JFK Middle School renovations and the fire station projects will be paid, thereby freeing up funds. It would be easier for the residents to accept an override if some of our previous debts were paid down. This is a basic business practice.
Also the issue with the schools is puzzling to me. I currently have a child in the school system and write a check for busing every three months. If you have residents already paying for busing, why are they looking for more? We pay roughly $100 every three months for busing. If you multiply that by number of students it would seem the busing would be covered.
As for supplies, we have been asked by my child’s teachers every year to help with school supplies. Why has the school department felt the need to fund school supplies now?
Another possible way the school department could have saved money was by looking at the charter school program. This program cost the city residents between $10,000 and $15,000 per year per student. I was fortunate enough to attend and graduate from a private high school. My parents struggled with funding my education but found a way. My family did not go to the city and request money to pay for my education. If parents wish to send their child to a charter school, they should accept the cost.
City Hall went for cuts that would place the greatest guilt on the residents: Children and public safety. City officials should be looking at the budgets like any business entity and work within its means. It’s time for government to stop thinking its constituents have a blank check for them to do as they please.