The phrase Not In My Backyard is usually associated with controversial land development projects or building new prisons, but it became quite apparent during last night's public meeting that NIMBY applies to our latest budget crisis. Everyone agrees that the budget deficit is unacceptable, but nobody wants to feel the impact of dealing with it.
Allow me to summarize based on public comments from last night . . .
* This $11 million deficit is unacceptable (on this, I think we all agree)
* We do not want a tax increase (quite understandable)
* But do not cut any programs, not even 8th grade foreign language or 10th grade phys ed (that's going to make it tougher so maybe we will eliminate some support staff jobs)
* Do not cut support staff jobs as they already gave at the office (oh, ok. Not sure what's left)
* The teachers put us into this situation so they should suffer (how do we do that? We can't cut their pay or benefits, not even for retirees. We can't lay off teachers unless we consolidate or eliminate student programs)
* We said do not cut programs (that leaves us with a single option of raising taxes)
* We said no tax increases (Is it November yet???)
So our marching orders are to eliminate the $11 million deficit without raising taxes, cutting programs, laying off support staff or violating the past practices of the expired NFT CBA. Got it! We'll get back to you.
In the meantime, you can read more about last night's meeting in this Courier Times article from Christian Menno, and below is a report from Fox 29 with the latest news on the ongoing teachers contract impasse.