The school budget vote is fast approaching on May 21. However, Dunkirk City School District voters will have more than just the budget to consider....
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"Who else has a flat (tax) levy, who else isn't laying anyone off, who else is going to be hiring...?"
Really??? At $40+ MILLION per yr to teach approx 2000 kids, I'd say Supt Cerne has a lot of nerve bragging! This amt is waaaay beyond mind-boggling, and it needs to be reduced significantly! If it weren't for the increase in state aid, could he and the BOE still make such claims?
I also feel retirement incentives are legal scams that bilk taxpayers out of even more money. Paying eligible teachers thousands of $$$ to retire, w/o modifying ALL levels of the current pay structure, is deceiving b/c it merely creates a temporary savings. Let's put it this way, within the last several yrs, who HASN'T received such money upon retirement?
I wonder what NYS will do next year after it learns that this year's increase in aid was used (in part) for retirement "bonuses" and to shore up reserve accts.
Taxpayers take it on the chin...AGAIN
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Cutting costs is always a good idea but reducing the number of polling places will simply reduce a voter turnout that is already pathetically low. Spending $41 million to educate 2100 studentsa is insane. If it were not for state aid the Dunkirk District would be bankrupt. The city has many older and low value homes. As a result many properties carry no tax at all because the STAR program wipes out the tax. In the meantime, those with newer and higher value homes are getting whipped! Retirement incentives are fine but keep in mind that district taxpayers must keep funding the pension fund for the retired for about five years. Teachers that are hired to replace the retired teachers reach their maximum pay level at a rate much faster than other area districts thereby wiping out much of the benefit from the retirement program. Keep in mind that there is no STAR program for industry and no STAR benefit for owners of investment properties. The Dunkirk and Fredonia districts are both
(con't) approaching a desperate situation and the only answer is a merger coupled with some adult supervision. Spending in both districts is excessive.
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Maybe a wealthier and much larger district can afford $41M per yr, but NOT Dunkirk! It's small, private sector jobs are scarce, and the pay is relatively low. Home values have been stagnant for decades, which prompted a city-wide re-val some 15 yrs ago to raise more tax revenue. Add into the mix a high % of senior citizens living on fixed incomes, coupled with a staggering high # of residents on public asst, and it becomes obvious why people & businesses keep leaving. Despite these facts, school employees (and public unions in general) refuse to acknowledge such conditions while striving to win as much as they can during each & every new contract negotiations.
Public unions can try to defend their positions all they want, but when it costs $41M to teach a mere 2100 kids, $22M to run a tiny city of 12,500, or $230M to run a county with such a low population, no amount of rhetoric can defend such abuse of union power.
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Look around Dunkirk and you can see what municipal payrolls have done to Dunkirk. Dunkirk should be spending money on infrastructure, not luxury benefits for employees. For years infrastructure has been ignored in order to appease the municipal unions. It’s time to spend money on infrastructure. If it bankrupts the city: good, let’s get it over with rather than bleeding the taxpayers over the next 20 years like has been done over the last 20 years.
PO Box 391 , Dunkirk, NY 14048-0391 | 716-366-3000