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Letter to the Editor: Get Involved In School Budget Process

Michael G. Foote says: Speak you mind, or don't complain about your tax bill.

Geneva, are you prepared to pay an additional $1,000 per year in property taxes just to pay off the School District’s long-term debt? That $1,000 only includes debt repayment and nothing else. There will be additional increases for salaries, operations and supplies. Wake up Geneva, our own tornado hits in 2016.

At the last School Board meeting a “tentative” budget was presented and would have been “passed” if citizens had not stood united and requested the board “take another look” to see if “cuts” could be made.

Where can we cut? There are a number of areas, like not agreeing to the automatic salary increase every teacher receives through the “step” program.  Every teacher receives an automatic increase just for another year of service. Add in the “lane” program and some teachers are guaranteed a 5 to 8 percent increase. Salaries and benefits are 70 percent of the budget; step and lane increases need to be eliminated.

Do we really need new buses every two years? At a cost of $5,000,000 for a new fleet, why not stagger the purchase over a five-year period? Each year replace 10 buses instead of 50 and keep them for five or more years. Just think of the improvement in cash flow for the district.

Buying new school busses is a good thing. However, we have the maintenance facility, mechanics and replacement parts already in place. Proper maintenance means these busses have a life of at least five years. The safety of children will be maintained in five-year-old buses. Buses and trucks, unlike cars, are built to last for years. I own a 1993 pick-up truck and expect it to last another 10 years, at least, because I perform maintenance regularly.

Get involved!  If you don't, you can't complain!

Michael G Foote
Geneva Precinct Committeeman

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