“Declare the pennies on your eyes”

22 May

Education should be the Silver Bullet, the great untouchable. It’s how you get employees to come your town as “How are the schools?” is one of the more frequently asked questions. One of the many great dialogues from the early years of the West Wing TV show allowed how “education should be palaces, teachers should get six figure salaries.” I got my start on this mortal coil in Clarence. Clarence has long been regarded a quality school system. At the end of the day, it did pretty good by my siblings and me.

As a former resident, I don’t have a direct horse in this fight, but the school district budget got voted down on Tuesday. That’s pretty sad. I understand tax fatigue, I really do, but the things we chose to care about or vote on without actually knowing what was going on is frightening. While it behooves people to be informed and know where the money is being spent, there are many, many other avenues where perhaps fiscal prudence should play a bigger role.

It reads like a little fear mongering went a long way to achieve somebody’s desired goal. A former classmate of mine figured about $25 a month on her property taxes to maintain all the programs, music, sports, etc that are now in danger in this highly regarded burb. Another friend in the know points out that this increase would still be lower than 2004 rates and that Clarence would still be in the cheap end of the scale among WNY districts.

So, all the masses got their way and created a ginormous p.r. problem and whether you know or it or not, likely created a problem for the residents that don’t have kids in the system. This will slow growth, cause property values to lose a step or two.

Stuff costs money, but maybe we should all be better shoppers of what we pay and don’t pay for. An additional $25 a month, I know my folks wouldn’t blinked at that to maintain good programs. I know the lovely mother of my kids and I wouldn’t think twice.

I suppose we should be glad people turned out to vote, but I wonder if they stopped listening after the word “tax” and didn’t recognize the consequences.

Now, I’m not indifferent to the too many taxes position, as it does make sense. There is a lot of waste in our how our money can be spent. There is a very valid point to be raised in the things receiving public monies. But shouldn’t this investment seem like something worth doing.

Seems like a no-brainer, and I guess that’s what got used.


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