Making Committees Choose Between Funds and Friends
Chris Powell notes a strategy worth considering:
Nominations for Connecticut’s mayor of the year should include Wallingford’s William W. Dickinson Jr. for proposing, in the town budget he recently submitted to the Town Council, to reduce the school board’s budget by exactly the amount the board planned to pay raises to teachers. The mayor thus clarified that school budgets aren’t being cut but rather that school systems are being cannibalized by their employees.
The statement could be even more effective in towns that are between contracts — such as Tiverton. Especially in the case of financial town meetings, taxpayers could send a clear message that they’ve got a preference for certain line items in the district’s budget.
When school committees are unwilling to force concessions beyond the point at which their budgets grow 6% (and are failing to achieve even those) during an historic recession and 2% inflation, it seems to me that some undeniable lessons from the people paying the bills are in order.