Here are just a few things to consider while you are thinking about how to vote on this years upcoming budget for Edwards-Knox school district.
There has been no increase in taxes in the last two years.
The amount used in the reserve fund is over $125,000 less than last year. The amount to be used from the reserve fund is less than the last three years.
Our total reserve fund is over $3 million, and $1.2 million is available to use to offset the budget gap.
The amount used from the reserve fund is less than what was recommended by the business manager.
Why would the board president want to simply cut jobs and programs to make up for a mistake for which the administration is responsible? Shouldnt they deal with the root cause and not punish employees for an administration blunder?
This brings us to the purchase of three new buses at the cost of over $300,000. Now, if we are in such financial distress that we need to cut jobs, can we really afford to purchase three more buses this year? Last year we received four new buses. We have 11 buses on our main bus run; we currently have 20 buses. How many buses do we really need? Or is this just more of their creative numbering, taking advantage of free money (state aid) as was the motto for the past bus purchases and building projects?
If the next five years are as gloomy as outlined in a previous meeting, the amount used from reserves now or in the future is irrelevant. So I think our best measure is to vote for the budget. We will be using some fund balance, but it is certainly not breaking us.
Vote no for the buses. We seem to have ample buses at this time, and only three of them have over 100,000 miles. The other 17 all have low mileage.
And lastly, vote for a replacement board member for Mandy Fuller, and remember, just because Tom OBrien is running unopposed doesnt mean he doesnt still need our vote.
The writer is chairperson of Edwards-Knox Watch.