Sunday, November 25, 2007
A Million Here, A Million There.
So I go away for a day and look what happens. The crusty Gazette, finally, publishes the expose about how much superfluous money the Regional school had in last year’s $26 budget: ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Yikes! Naturally they hurriedly went Christmas shopping and spent half of it on “unanticipated spending.”
The highly paid director of finance Robert Detweiler gets the “duh!” award for his preemptive spin explaining that it doesn’t mean the schools are in any better shape going into this year’s budget season. Yeah, I guess you would say that whey your mantra mimics a five-year-old’s “gimme, gimme, gimme.”
Last May 1’st voters turned down 53% to 47% a $2.5 million Override where the diffident Finance Committee had come up with ‘The Amherst Plan’ (as opposed to the ‘Peoples Republic of China Plan’) that called for only $1 million used this fiscal year and the extra spread out over the next two years.
Thus, last year when town officials wanted taxpayers to dip into their savings accounts to give them an extra $2.5 million, the town municipal budget had $4 million in reserves, the Regional High School had $1.5 million and the Regional budget approved was $1 million too much. Hmmm...
And yet this year the Middle School Pool was closed to town folks because the town Manager did not want to pay the schools $40,000 upkeep.
If the Regional school alone (and the Regional AND Elementary schools are about 60% of Amherst’s total budget) had ONE MILLION DOLLARS left over in FY07 what does that say about the supposed extra one million they said we needed for the entire municipal/schools budget this fiscal year?