To the Editor:
The superintendent and the board of education are again trying to bully the taxpayers of the St. Regis Falls Central School District with an insulting second budget to be voted on.
The original was a 9.53 percent increase and the new one is now at 7.22 percent.
This is still twice as much as any other school district in the North Country. Other districts were holding their increases to around 3 percent.
What did they decide to trim this time?
Did the superintendent freeze her projected $5,400 increase over her current $120,000 per year salary?
No. (Information gleaned from seethroughnewyork.net compared the salaries of superintendents throughout New York for 2009.
The St Regis Falls superintendent made more money than superintendents of Malone, Potsdam, Saranac Lake, Brushton-Moira, etc. These are schools with enrollments from 600 to 2,300 students compared to our 320 students.)
Did the administration try and work out a plan with the teachers union to put off 4 percent increases until the economy improves?
No. They will still be getting their pay increase and their 100 percent medical coverage. They state this is something that can’t be negotiated.
Hmmm. Funny other schools have made amendments to their agreements. Saranac Lake teachers agreed to salary concessions totaling $212,000 in their budget this year. Their superintendent and business manager are making an additional $23,000 concession.
Maybe they decreased other budgetary items. It is hard to tell what these could be, because after asking the superintendent and the business manager three times for a line item budget, all I heard was they would mail them to me.
A month later and I still haven’t received them. I told them twice I would stop by and pick them up. No, they wanted to mail them.
So what did they decide to cut? Another janitor (that’s a large budgetary item) and the head mechanic for the school buses!
So let me get this right. We will keep the 5 percent administrative overhead increases, but allow the schools to be dirty and unclean.
We will not re-negotiate teachers’ contracts, but allow our buses to receive less maintenance and increase the risk to our children who ride them.
St. Regis Falls