One of the things I learned on Monday night, March 26, 2007, watching the Newburyport City Council meeting on TV, was that even if an override for the Newburyport schools could be voted in, the Newburyport schools would benefit for only one year.
After that year, the money would go into the general fund, and the schools would only get 45% or 50% or whatever the percentage of the Newburyport budget is, that goes to the Newburyport schools each year. The residents of Newburyport, MA would still pay their higher taxes.
And next spring, parents and the Newburyport School Committee would be in the very same predicament, and the residence could be asked to raise their taxes yet once again.
We would be voting for a band aid that wouldn’t stick. It would a band aid that would peel off.
This was new news to me. And I was even less inclined to upped my taxes than I was before.
I do want to reinstate so many of the cuts that have been made to our schools over the last 4-5 years. But an override does not appear to be the way to do it.
I have no idea about these things, but I would be much more inclined to support a one-time debt exclusion where the money goes into a fund for the schools, is managed, and the schools can draw from the income of that fund every year. And that fund could gradually be added onto.
I do not know if this idea, or something like it, would be possible or not.
And when I read that the Newburyport School Committee and various parents would be planning to resubmit the override at the next Newburyport City Council, my blood pressure just about went off the charts. (The override did not pass by a 7 to 3 vote.)
As I understand it, resubmitting the override may be legal, but it is my opinion that it would be politically unwise.
Residents in the city of Newburyport are angry over this matter. The city of Newburyport is already divided. And to resubmit an override after it was defeated 7-3 would be to invite further hostility towards young families and the Newburyport School Committee. I do not believe that this would a good idea or in the long run, help solve the problem at hand.
Let’s say the Newburyport City Council is worn down by a repeat (or repeated??) resubmissions. People will vote, but they will be pissed.
I would urge the Newburyport School Committee and the parents who are behind the present Newburyport school override to think. To act wisely. To use political savvy. Because at the moment, it feels like emotional blackmail, at least to this blogger.
It would be much better to figure out a thoughtful, beneficial, win-win solution, than to go down this very detrimental path. It might be one thing to “win the battle,” but it would be quite another thing to “lose the war,” something that would hurt the entire city of Newburyport, MA.