2018-06-08 / Letters

Safety building invoice doesn’t belong to kids

To the editor,

Three significant changes that require specific consideration this budget cycle are:

1. Last year’s fund balance release from the Wentworth building’s savings.

2. The introduction of debt service for the public safety building.

3. The valuation of commercial property finally being reflected.

The lost revenue from the fund balance release and the new expense for the public safety building combine for nearly $3 million of net change.

Had these changes not been introduced, we would be expecting a 1 percent net funding increase. Penalizing the school budget for savings at Wentworth and for the town’s decision to build a new public safety facility is not appropriate.

Additionally, the schools have suffered in recent years as the state has considered our increasing commercial property values and therefore reduced corresponding state-level education funding. These cuts occurred despite the town not reflecting that same increase in tax valuations. Now that the updated commercial valuations will finally be reflected, we need to fill the gaps and missing needs that the school has sacrificed.

If the budget doesn’t pass, we are:

1. Discouraging future project savings (e.g., Wentworth).

2. Asking the schools to fund the public safety building.

3. Asking for additional sacrifices after the town’s delay in reflecting real commercial valuation even as the state was able to in their funding calculations.

Please vote to support the proposed budget on June 12. Failing to pass it would be asking our kids to pick up the tab on our new public safety facility.

Dan Quinn
Scarborough

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