For many years, positive changes were made, adding and expanding educational opportunity and periodic upgrading of facilities. This was accomplished while maintaining a stable tax rate.
Assessments and tax levy increased; hence the total dollars paid for a property increased. Boards and district administration have been prudent stewards of the public purse, slowly creating a fund balance that helped cushion the abrupt state-aid reduction these last several years.
I will continue to advocate for the education of our children by speaking against further reductions in educational opportunity and attempt to draw attention to the assault on public education by corporate fat cats and their political stooges in Albany and Washington.
The future of our children and our community require the federal and state governments raise taxes to provide the funding our students deserve. North Country schools, including Plattsburgh, are high need, low wealth, toward which New York needs to direct more money. I will continue to support efforts by several small cities suing NYS to fund our schools.
Veterans may hear I oppose a tax break for them. I do oppose the break, not because veterans do not deserve respect and appreciation; they do. This break would shift the burden onto non-veteran property owners. Washington should provide the financial support veterans deserve and not try to find ways of abandoning them.
Public employees, including educators, have become scapegoats for those seeking to unjustifiably use current economic troubles.
Public employment balances private business. The quality of living here is enhanced by competent, hardworking city, county and state employees.
TO THE EDITOR: After several tumultuous budget seasons, continuous and repeated threats to kids’ sports and programs, the principal swap, reckless spending of the surplus fund balance and refusal to develop multi-year budget projects, the tide has turned.