Friday, December 6, 2002
Quotes from LWV session: taxes, budgets, state aid . . . . .
"Public education . . . is the best hope for keeping America functioning as a vibrant, strong democracy. We must continue to support it. . . If public education can't survive in towns like Concord and Carlisle it can't survive anywhere, and I fear for the republic."
"I dream that . . . leadership at the state level would allow towns to adopt [a variation on] the income tax so not all our burden would be put on the regressive property tax. [That would] give relief to the towns in a different way."
On taxes for empty nests
"Our intergenerational compact . . . of older people supporting younger people in schools, and everybody understanding we still need the streets lit and roads plowed . . . we're losing it."
"We cannot drive long-term residents out of town . . . because it doesn't make sense — it doesn't make economic . . . or ethical sense."
On a budget for CCHS
"We had a mess on our hands last year and I don't think anyone [was] free of culpability . . . [and this year] we all need to share in the solution."
On declines in state aid
"If the state lived up to its promises on [proposition] two and a half and regional transportation [aid] and Chapter 766 . . . none of the communities would be in this fix."
"And I would add the federal government as well."
On tension between Concord's school and finance committees
"We keep reading and hearing our costs are much higher than other systems . . . so we read the contract and ask why we are paying for sabbaticals and . . . why department heads teach only two classes per day . . . [and there's] frustration on the part of those paying the bill who haven't been treated to the answers."
"Are you asking for the answer you want to hear rather than [the answer the school committee can provide]?"
"Concord is not a uniformly wealth community . . . we should be looking at base budgets to determine where economies can be made, and not settle for services as usual."
"[The Concord finance committee is] at the mercy of administrators whose interest is not the taxpayers, and whose first loyalty is to the institutions [they are responsible for] . . ."
"Given . . . the situation and . . . building needs we have the makings of the perfect storm within the two communities of Concord and Carlisle [over the next few years]"
On costs for teacher salaries
"Every year there's a clause [that makes salary increases] subject to funding by taxpayers, but it never gets into the contract."
"We invest in people . . . small class sizes and the ability for students to bond with any adult in the school is a prime determinant of [keeping kids in school]"
On school fees
"I'm more concerned about the ninth grader who chooses not to participate [in extracurricular activity, to avoid paying a fee] and then two years later loses out in competition [for college admission]. You never know who that kid is."
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito