3/21/2010Posted by MJ
Buffalo News has a Letter to the Editor from 2nd Ward Alderman Jack Smith in today's paper.
(Editor’s note: the letter above also was presented to Lockport School Board members)
As a representative of the people in the Lockport School District you have an obligation to listen to the people who elected each of you. It is at critical times like these when you will need to do what must be done, and should have been done a long time ago.
Cut the fat.
I would like to be perfectly clear, personnel must be cut out of the system, starting at the top with administrative positions, all the way down to teaching assistants.
Closing one school building and repurposing another is nowhere near enough. Labor is the largest percentage in any budget and it must be cut in yours.
You may also want to rethink your position in regards to who is to blame for the situation we are all in now. We are all to blame, the superintendent, you the board, the teachers’ union, and me the taxpayer, for letting these irresponsible budgets get passed year after year.
I can’t believe that any self-respecting elected board member, let alone the president of the School Board, would attempt to put the blame on Albany alone!
“If it wasn’t for the people in Albany, we wouldn’t have to do what we’re doing right now,” board President Marietta L. Schrader told parents during a meeting in Lockport last month. “We are at their mercy. It would behoove every single one of you to direct your passion toward contacting our elected officials,” as quoted in The Buffalo News.
Let us all be adults and admit to our failures, apologize for them and take the necessary corrective measures.
An 11-plus percent increase in the school tax rate is not a corrective measure, it is an insult and an injury to the taxpayers of this district.
If you really want to “do it for the kids,” be an example, take ownership of this fiscal mismanagement and do what needs to be done. Make the tough decisions, the right decisions.
Jack L. Smith Jr., 2nd Ward alderman
City of Lockport