Letter: Finance board member says vote no

To the editor,

On July 29, please vote “No Too High” in the Naugatuck budget referendum.

The Board of Education budget is 53 percent of the total town budget. The BOE originally proposed a $3.75 million increase to $63.1 million, a 6.1 percent increase. After objection, the BOE later came back with a $1.8 million or a 3.1 percent increase. At the final review, only Burgess Ernsky and Finance Board members Kiernan and Sheridan voted against this increase.

In the past three years, enrollment has dropped by 294 students or a 6.5 percent decrease. In the same three years, costs have increased by $4.3 million or 7.6 percent. If one does the math, the per student cost has increased by 15.1 percent ($12, 641 to $14,544/student increase in three years).

If the taxpayers of Naugatuck want to see a significant reduction in the budget, more needs to be taken out of the BOE budget. The BOE and the school administrators need to get staffing and costs in line with decreased enrollment.

In the July 20 Waterbury Republican American, Finance Board Chair Scinto claims that “community services are really the only place to cut.” She does not speak for all members of the Finance Board and she needs to focus on the big-expense items.

Lastly, I would like to commend Mr. Sirois on his letter to the editor in the same issue. He hits the nail on the head with his comment “…the education budget continues to soar. It is long past time to rein in this juggernaut. The money continues to be spent, but the children do not benefit from it.”

Dan Sheridan

Finance Board member

Naugatuck

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