To the Editor:
For the vast majority of Goffstown residents and taxpayers, our incomes have not kept pace with the increases in our expenses. So what did we do about this problem?
Here is what I did. I no longer spend a few bucks every weekday morning at a local eatery. I limited myself to only one trip a week to the ice cream stand at Devriendt Farm. I dropped most of my magazine subscriptions. I have cut my vacation trips from two or three weeks a year to a couple of long weekends. I figure that I am driving about 30% less now; therefore, spending less on fuel, etc. I sought out less expensive options.
Now how about the owners of the eatery I frequented? How about the other businesses? Sorry, Dan and Lea Devriendt and others, I had to put my budget into perspective because the chances for having additional sources of funds has diminished to what I might win on Powerball and I am not depending upon that windfall, but a fellow can dream.
Now what is our government doing -- at any level from Washington DC to the fifty states to the local municipalities and local school boards -- to put their budgets into perspective because the chances for having additional sources of funds is low?
Locally, did Goffstown's School Board put their budget into perspective? The Budget Committee tried very hard to come forward with a trimmed school budget; however, that budget was overridden at the school deliberative session and the School Board got what they wanted. We, the Goffstown voters, can right this wrong on Tuesday, March 8th by voting NO on the budget the School Board wants and, instead, give them the default budget that they computed.
What is the default budget and how crippling will that be for the School Board to live with? The default budget computation is the current budget minus one-time items plus contracted increases. This means no staff deductions, no reductions to funding of current offerings, etc. The contracted increases include the pay raises to the union members (teachers and more.) The default budget does not sound like a death sentence to education of Goffstown's children to me. It sounds like giving the School Board a budget more in perspective to ability of the taxpayers to pay. For every $1000 of assessed value, a YES on School Article 2 will cost you a dollar and a NO will be still high at fifty cents. For an assessment of $260,000, that is $260 or $130 more on your tax bill. Do you have $130 extra in your budget on top of all the increases you will face next year just to keep your household afloat?
Vote NO on Article 2 on the school ballot on Tuesday, March 8th.