Living in the Lockport School District, I cannot even fathom the level of cowardice that is being shown by the nine individuals who somehow managed to get elected to the school board. (Actually, I do know how they were elected - with the support of the teachers' union - we now know why.)
Facing a 12% school property tax increase and the reduction of 40 district employees, the board's perspective on the impending crushing of the district's taxpayers was summed up by board member Edward Sandell. When approached by the Buffalo News about the situation, Sandell was quoted as saying, "We’ve been in lockstep with [Superintendent Terry Carbone] all the way".
Well, Ed, if we wanted an automaton in that seat, we wouldn't have elected you to represent us, the taxpayers. Unfortunately, he's just one of nine who are sickeningly incapable of thinking for themselves. They kowtow to Carbone and the teachers' union with such vigor, they expect the taxpayers to bend over and take it in the ass without any justification of their actions. They either don't know or don't care what they're actions will do to the community. They're in lockstep with the superintendent.
The oddity is that Sandell thinks his statement is a show of strength. He thinks that showing that the board is in unison, they're complete and utter failures will be justified. He's wrong - it shows just how weak each and everyone of them are. Nine members - a 12% tax increase - 40 staff cuts - and not a one has anything to add other than "we agree with Carbone". Not one of them has the courage to say that we cannot continue to burden the taxpayers with such a massive increase. None of them will acknowledge the fact that after years of zero percent increases, they're mismanagement is finally paying dividends in the form of a raping of the taxpayers.
Unfortunately, it seems eerily familiar to the county legislature's actions in the late 90's and early 2000's, when after six years of touting zero percent increases, the legislature was forced to raise county taxes by 22%.
We're going to go out on a limb and say that none of the nine members of the school board have the faintest understanding of revenue and expense forecasting. If they did, they never would have allowed the district to get into this position. Then again, what the hell am I thinking? None of them can speak for themselves, why the hell would I think they actually have the ability to understand revenue and expense forecasting?
One thing's for sure: with this tax increase, the value of my home is going to go down. As soon as the district's budget passes, I'll be making the trip the assessor's office to ask for a reduction. Hopefully the taxpayers of the Lockport School District will be in lockstep with me.