Vague and Useless – By Valerie Nye

Board of Finance member Ona Nejdl [“Self-Preservation the Goal?”] and Selectman Carol Walter [“Couldn’t Vote to Approve”] wrote March 17 in opposition to Clinton’s Board of Education (BOE) budget. They annually advocate voting down our education budget, regardless of the percentage change, positive or negative. They have never suggested even a negative percentage change that would satisfy their appetite to slash the BOE budget. Worse, they justify their annual opposition without reasonable, constructive suggestions. Instead we hear rhetoric, not arguments, starting with statements like “a lot of money” and “big numbers.” Both comments, vague and useless, require no evidence or understanding of budget development.

The suggestions they provide, such as the elimination of the assistant superintendent position, is simply an example of their lack of both context and knowledge. Frankly, this irresponsible suggestion reveals total ignorance regarding how schools function. Their core principle regarding budgeting for the Clinton Public School district is dissolution by design.

Comically, Ms. Nejdl and Ms. Walter still oppose the new high school, the one opening in August, which is on time and under budget. The new Morgan is one of the most fiscally sound decisions Clinton has ever made, a claim that even the staunchest “no” voter would have trouble denying. Like every other investment in education, they have been against it from the beginning.

In the coming weeks, you will hear about the work that has gone into developing this budget. Real cuts have been made that affect real people and real services. I hope your readers will listen and respect those who spent real time crafting the budget, not just those who randomly advocate slashing because the number is not negative.

Expect more than these officials have given us. The BOE budget is not just a number, it’s our school district.

Valerie Nye

Published March 30, 2016.

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