I’ve long said folks are entitled to their opinion, but they aren’t entitled to their facts.
This seems to be especially true these days in light of the flurry of negative comments about the Lindenhurst school administration and school board.
Folks are making brash and emotional statements about the students being forsaken, and statements about the perceived impact of the necessary closing of a school.
It seems that these statements are often coming from folks who are conspicuously missing from all of the school board meetings where the issues are discussed for solution, at length. Additionally, these folks offer no solutions.
It’s a natural instinct to want everything for your children, but in these economic times where the funding is ever-diminishing, where are the suggestions about how to fund the “wish list” that folks put forward?
Everybody seems to think that the money just mysteriously appears – well, the fact is, it doesn’t. Every property taxpayer in Lindenhurst is footing the bill. Our school board has to make tough, educated decisions in an effort to fulfill their legal fiduciary responsibility to the property taxpayers and provide the best, well-rounded education that the community can afford to provide.
Our district is now suffering from the bad financial decisions and spending sprees that many previous boards have made through the years. We have added courses, activities and especially contractual concessions (in the good times) that have now buried us in ever mounting debt. Coupled with unwillingness by our teachers union to provide any economic assistance, we are now in dire straits.
It seems that little thought and business sense was applied in the past about how we’d pay for all of this in the years to come. Surprise! The time has now come.
I’ve made it my business to try to attend all of the business, budget and general meetings of the school board because approximately 65 percent of our tax bill is attributed to school taxes, and I want to be part of the process and provide any assistance I can from my experience in the private sector.
Unfortunately these meetings are always attended by only a small handful of the ever-faithful. Despite my efforts, and the efforts of others, to get more community involvement, this community doesn’t participate unless they’re asking for additional funding or for some activity or course to not be considered for removal, or change. Talk about apathy - hardly anyone even comes out to vote!
I’d ask that folks suggest some serious methodology to provide the funding for the things they insist on keeping. The money doesn’t grow on trees. Some programs/activities have to be cut to provide savings until better economic times return - the only thing we must do (and have done so far) is to carefully analyze/consider the cost versus benefit of each program.
One definition of economics is: “The relationship between supply and demand.”
The money these days is really scarce, and yet the demand for services remains high. Common sense should dictate that you cannot have what you cannot pay for.
From the recent census the average household income in Lindenhurst (that means the combined earnings of all older than 18 in the home) is approximately. $73,000.00. This isn’t huge income these days on Long Island considering this usually means a husband and wife working, or mom or dad working two jobs. Many others are getting by on a lot less.
Sure, we might have some folks with really good income who couldn’t care less what their taxes are, but the majority in Lindenhurst consists of young struggling families, retired folks on limited income, single parents and survivor husbands or wives.
We need to put our combined efforts together to survive this economic storm, not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren. Remember that every family forced to move away from here increases the tax burden on those who remain.
I acknowledge I haven’t agreed with the administration and board on every decision throughout the years, but especially at this time, I do applaud their dedication and focus on the situation at hand.
I do sense a heightened appreciation, by the board, of the impact of the school tax has on our residents that, and a revitalized effort to minimize it. I’ve long advocated the students, educators and property taxpayers be given equal consideration and attention by administration and the board, at all times.
It’s time for every Lindenhurst resident to get on board and face reality. Research all of the facts, attend the meetings and rallies, advocate for more money to Long Island schools and stop making unreasonable demands and negative comments on the decisions that have to be made in order for our school district to survive.
is the president of the . Lisi's written other opinion pieces for Lindenhurst Patch. Click and to read them, and to read the feedback. In addition, click and to read the latest articles about and see some of the comments that prompted this op-ed.
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