Letters to the Editor

Accounting Distractions Shouldn’t Blur the Need to Vote NO

To the Editor,
Those supporting the $25 million bond referendum have chosen to create an enormous amount of noise about operating vs. capital budget accounting rather than justify the proposed referendum on its merits.
This appears to be an unfortunate, yet purposeful distraction, aimed at moving the debate from the real issue at hand: how a finite bucket of property tax revenues should be allocated between paying debt service and funding educational programs.
The point that organizations such as Education Focused and others have tried to make is that property tax resources are a scarce commodity; regardless of the applicable accounting conventions. The referendum, if passed, means cash generated from property taxes will be utilized to pay debt service instead of fund programs.  

Instead of lambasting Education Focused as being intentionally deceitful, which it has never been, the Board of Education and its lobbying organization, Education Counts, would have done the community at large a better service by justifying the debt issuance on its merits instead of accusing a community group advocating for more transparent long-range planning of scare tactics.
It should be emphasized that Education Focused is only advocating a NO vote on Question 2, the bond referendum, due to a number of valid concerns, including the enormous cost of a new Performing Arts Center when less expensive options exist, and the use of prime educational real estate for administrative offices and a paltry number of new classrooms.
Education Focused has no issue with what appears to be a reasonable operating budget finally falling within the 2 percent tax levy cap, and encourages those who agree to please Vote Yes on Question 1.
However, Question 2 constitutes a highly flawed referendum that addresses only some of the District’s capital needs and blows precious bond issuing authority on highly questionable brick and mortar projects which won’t improve education one iota without additional program funding requiring additional tax increases down the road.  
The fact that The Board solicited community input only AFTER the referendum was already baked and revealed to the public does not make Question 2 the product of long-range planning process involving broad based community input. It clearly is not.  
Regardless of accounting conventions, a better use of taxpayer funds would be to execute on less expensive renovation options and direct related debt service savings to fund programs the community deems important, whether it be a more robust theater program, full day kindergarten, or reinstituting programs cut during the financial crisis, including world languages at the elementary school level. 
As a result, a NO vote on Question 2 is the only logical course of action for voters to take on April 21. I encourage the rejection of this wasteful referendum so we as a community can start over and produce a borrowing program that works for our kids while respecting and minimizing the burden on property taxpayers.
Peter Hoffman
Chatham Borough

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, April 27, 2:00 PM

Madison Area YMCA - Kroll Conference Room, Madison

Blood Drive

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Chatham Township Municipal Building, Chatham

A Tour of Chatham Township and Green Village

Arts & Entertainment

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, April 9 – Sunday, April 15, 2018


The program will be held on Thursdays, May 3 through June 21 – 1:30 to 2:30 pm

Registration required

For anyone wanting to improve their English language skills, we are starting our first ever ESL program.  The program will be conducted by Language Education and Resource Network (LEARN) and volunteer tutors for 8 weeks.  Further sessions may be ...

Spending More Per Pupil Doesn’t Guarantee Additional or Enhanced Success

April 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

At the April 16th Board of Education meeting, Board member Sal Arnuk stated: “I am ashamed to see the district at the bottom of the list in per-pupil spending.”  On the contrary, Board member Arnuk should be exceedingly proud of how our Board of Education is able to consistently be ranked as the top school district in our state at the cost it currently spends per ...

Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates from Chatham Wealth Management

April 20, 2018


It’s that time of the year when many families are excitedly getting ready to attend their children’s college graduation. Where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday that we were dropping them off for freshman year.

Well, time does pass quickly and now would be a really good time to give your graduating children some savings and investment advice. Below are a ...