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Why challengers should do their election homework

Feb. 2, 2010

Public Forum:

Reading the campaign postcard from a candidate for the Greenfield School Board was interesting, but, as students in our district already know, you need to do your homework to understand the issues.

Our school tax levy rose by $2.45 million, but $1.8 million of that was due to the 15.11 percent decrease in general aids that the state took from our district to decrease their own budget shortfall. If there would have been no loss in state aids, then our levy only would have gone up by $646,273, a 2.95 percent increase. That percentage would have been less than four out of six of the surrounding districts highlighted in the campaign literature.

Some districts were able to trim the fat in their current year's budget to absorb their decrease in state aid. Unfortunately, our district no longer had that option. Our current board members, including Cathy Walsh and Pam Sierzchulski, have already been doing that the past eight years. In that time, they and our district administration have been fiscally responsible to the taxpayers and cut a total of $5.39 million from the budget.

A quote in the campaign literature stated, "We must provide a quality education for our children while carefully weighing the demands on our taxpayers."

That is exactly what Walsh and Sierzchulski have done in the past and again this year. They reduced costs in administrative, health care insurance, teacher and aide staff, athletic and extra-curricular, and transportation. They've made many tough decisions and had to increase class sizes. To make further cuts in an already bare-bones budget would have been irresponsible.

We did our homework. We'll vote for Walsh and Sierzchulski because they know how to balance the demands upon taxpayers while providing a quality education for our children.

Gregg & Kathy Parnau

Greenfield

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