I would like to write in and urge my neighbors to vote "yes" on the budget and on Question 2 on the BOE Referendum. This plan:
- invests in infrastructure in our school system across many disciplines: class rooms, STEM, performing arts, and athletics. It doesn't discriminate, and it promotes taxpayers acting in unity.
- invests using historically low interest rates. This point can't be over mentioned.
- was carefully considered by an administration and school board with the highest ethics, and best track record. Our schools are tops in the state. I am baffled at why we hire and elect amazing folks, who perform, and then second guess them.
The facts presented by the transparent administration and BOE have been consistent. They have been on the school's website for months. It also seems to me that arguments against this referendum keep changing... debt service as part of the budget (false), no room at the HS cafeteria (false)... I could go on. These arguments against the BOE plan just seem to want to minimize the effect to taxpayers, no matter the rationale, which of course is understandable. No one wants taxes to go up. I sure do not.
Here's the thing, though ... Your taxes will go up. They always will. Does anyone really think that if this referendum is not passed, that their taxes will stay the same, or go down? No. What we are arguing for is whether your taxes go up $100 or $200 in the immediate future, and what we get for each of those figures.
What does $200 get you? $200 gets you an infrastructure for the next fifty years. $200 gets you robust housing prices for fifty years. $200 gets you the satisfaction of sacrificing for others. $200 gets you satisfaction that you didn't hire staff, coaches, administration personnel, and BOE volunteers, and then cuff them and tell them (the experts) how to do their jobs. We seem to be doing a lot of that lately.
What does $100 get you? It gets you pretty auditorium upgrades where you lose seating. It gets you less athletic field upgrades that require more maintenance. It gets you less STEM. And you can forget about laying the groundwork for full day kindergarten with just $100.
Please forgive these analogies. Spending only $100 may make you feel like you invested wisely in future children, but all you did was buy a $15,000 Civic with $10,000 worth of options, instead of buying the better fitting Accord for your growing family from the onset. Spending $100 gets you micro-paving on your street instead of a proper re-paving. By the way, my street was micro-paved two years ago. Come have a look at the cracks. It already needs to be redone. Please consider that $100 can easily become $300 when we have a band aid mentality, and especially have that mentality in an era of rising interest rates.
Living in New Jersey is tough. The taxes are obscene. The politicians are obscene. However, your Chatham BOE and School System is responsible for the value of your house going up, and going up more so than in other NJ townships. These guys are the ones you wish ran everything; they are not the ones to cuff and leash. Save the tax-outrage for the officials and politicians that deserve it.
Please vote Yes on Question 2.