Thursday, May 7, 2009

They're at it again in Harrisburg

The official motto in Harrisburg should be “What’s yours is ours” as legislators never pass on the chance to put their hands on your wallet. The latest example occurred earlier this week when our State Senators saw an opportunity to grab onto the Federal stimulus money earmarked for education. This money was intended to help school districts continue to deliver quality education while providing some relief to local taxpayers. But that’s not how they see things in Harrisburg.

Yesterday Senate Republicans approved bill# SB-850, which essentially cuts millions of dollars of state funding for education and replaces it with the federal stimulus funds that were intended for us. For Neshaminy taxpayers, that means that some or all of the $1.5 million of stimulus funds being used towards next year’s budget would be gone. And guess who would have to make up the difference- US!

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) conducted a news conference earlier this week criticizing the budget plan proposed by Senate Republicans under SB-850, saying it balances the state budget on the backs of local property taxpayers.

If they are so bloody interested in cutting the budget in Harrisburg, why don’t they amend the state pension system so that individuals, like teachers, are responsible for their investments instead of taxpayers (which is what companies with pension plans are doing throughout corporate America)? Oh yeah, I forgot . . . Harrisburg officials are covered under that same pension system, too. Guess they’re only interested in cutting spending when it doesn’t affect them.

I’m not trying to turn this into a GOP-bash, but this is a Republican sponsored bill which passed through the State Senate along party lines. Next stop for SB-850 is the State House where our State Reps will get a chance to pick your pocket. The PSBA doesn’t think the bill will pass in the House, but taxpayers should not leave it to chance.

Call your State Rep, Frank Farry, and demand he OPPOSE the party line on this Senate-sponsored bill. Mr. Farry’s local office number is (215) 752-6750. His office is located at 340 East Maple Ave, Suite 307 in Langhorne.

Earlier today I called Mr. Farry’s office and left a message with one of his staff members. My message was simple – the Fed stimulus money was intended to help education, not to give Harrisburg legislators a way to balance the budget on the backs of local taxpayers.

Don’t wait till tomorrow – stop reading this Blog, put down whatever else you might be doing, and go to your phone and dial 215-752-6750 RIGHT NOW!


I Must Be Living in Jersey said...

Wouldn't it be ironic if the State took away that funding and as a result it put Neshaminy over the State mandated inflationary limit.

Once again Harrisburg sets the bar, then they spear you in the back with it.

News Flash said...

Harrisburg has had their hands on my back pocket so many times that I am filing sexual harrassment charges. Does anyone know if Tommy Tomlinson voted for this bill? If he did then I have nobody to blame but myself since I voted for him because he helped to bring in the gambling revenue. Now it appears that what he hath brought with the right hand hath now been taken by the left. Curse you TT!

William O'Connor said...

NF - According to the website, Tommy Tomlinson did vote for SB-850. You can see for yourself by going to

William O'Connor said...

Did you call Frank Farry yet? Why are you wasting time reading these comments when you could be calling??? Go to your phone now, please, and dial 215-752-6750 and tell Frank Farry to oppose this legislation.

Please confirm that you called by posting a comment here.

nostradamus said...

Despite your valiant efforts William I must predict that hardly anyone will call despite being outraged.

For those regulars out there who take the time to compose endless messages which they post here (like me), can you please take 2 minutes from your blogging and make the call? If not for the children, do it for yourself.

I cannot call at this moment as I am at work, but I promise that tonight I will call and I will leave a strong message on Mr. Farry's answering machine.

Thank you William.

LHB said...

I called.
I was received very professionally and graciously.
The office is still open as of 4:45.

William O'Connor said...

Thank you, LHB! I too was greeted professionally by the staff. I'm glad your experience was a positive one.

Levittowner said...

Thanks for the info...I'm a Republican, but I made the call!

KClarinet said...


JS said...

I called, and I called and emailed both of our U.S. Senators to get off their butts and make sure the federal money they voted for goes where it's supposed to.

nostradamus said...

As promised, I called last night.

As predicted, not too many others did.

Sad. This is why Neshaminy residents often vote for ineffective school board members. Not involved when they need to be.

4thekidz said...

By cutting 8th grade foriegn language students maintaining good grades and conduct will be punished. There are limited classes/programs for these students because of funds going towards special education to become 'proficent'. I'm not suggesting anything should be taken from those but don't take what little is offered to those performing above.
And yes I did call Frank Ferry.

sportsfan said...

Does it matter who we vote in ???

Now you know why the 700 Level fans rank Eagles football as their 1st priority.

I will call on Monday.

Nostradamus - Will the Eagles make the playoffs next year ?

William O'Connor said...

Sportsfan, you're KILLING me! Yes it matters who you vote in. TRUST ME!!!

Research the candidates, attend meetings. Your vote makes a huge difference.

Poques said...

William this is the first time I have felt strongly enough about a subject to bother to sign up for a google account. My chilld goes to Poquessing and chose to take a foreign language, we supported that decision as we know it is important for college. We have been very happy about the education our children have received at Neshaminy and the teachers they have had, but I am FURIOUS about a recent development. Up to this point there has been no "talk" from the teachers about negotiations or the positions they are in. I know that even when they are asked about shirts or buttons they have remained quiet about the reason. Until last week. Last week in Foreign language the children were told about the elimination of foreign language in 8th grade. I'm not really sure why current 8th and 9th graders were told about it as it does not apply to them. They will continue to take foreign language at the high school. Telling the children about it wasn't enough, there are also apparently posters in the classroom and the children are being encouraged to go to the school board meeting and speak out against the district. I find this to be intolerable and unacceptable. I did email the teacher directly and have been waiting for a reply. Why is it that the teacher can talk about it in front of the class, in front of children, a captive audience, but she cannot and didn not return my email. Is this acceptable behavior from a teacher? I really don't want to portray all of the teachers in a bad light, I just hope this talking stops now. Can you please check into it? I know you don't represent our school, but I do trust you will look into it.

Thank you!

William O'Connor said...

Poques, I represent your child no matter where you live in Neshaminy. Can you email me with some more specifics (who, when, where)? I'll keep your identity confidential.

sportsfan said...

William - Let me clarify. It doesn't make a difference in STATE GOVERNMENT. We had Wright, King and Farry. Republican, Democrat, Republican. I don't see a difference. Except maybe for the good food that Poppy's brought in for King. If anyone has seen a difference, put up a post.

Now school board is a differnt story. I think it really makes a HUGE difference. Especially you and Spitz. You guys have really done a great job in representing the taxpayer and the children. In watching how you vote, you guys vote on the isuues regardless of party and who else is on the same side of the vote. Maybe our State offficials should watch !!!

And by the way, I will be VOTING for Spitz.

William O'Connor said...

That's a relief, Sportsfan. Phewww! Almost put you on double secret probation :-)

In fairness to state reps, a two year term is a joke. You spend more than half your time in office running for re-election. Because of that, you often have to toe the party line until you can establish yourself. They could be more effective if their terms were 4 or 6 years.

Thank you for supporting Dr. Spitz. Now if your other vote is up for grabs . . .

LHB said...

On Friday evening I received a returned call from Frank Farry assuring me he is not in support of SB650.
I am pleased!

William O'Connor said...

Thank you, LHB. I received a similar voice message from Mr. Farry. He didn't specifically say he opposed this legislation, but he did say confidently that he did not believe it would pass.

LHB said...

William, my call was also a voice message. Therefore I was able to revisit and confirm Mr. Farry's message. Word for word: "I am not a supporter of Senate Bill 850."
He also assured me with confidence that the Bill will not be the final budget for the state.