Serious issues in serious times

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:40

    As a Sparta resident and graduate (Sparta 1978), and a former BOE official (Lafayette two terms) I am disgusted with the behavior of the current board and some of my fellow citizens. These are serious times, they require leadership, compromise and common sense. Lesson One: To any fool or newspaper to imply that a election result is less then a election result, whether it is by one vote or a three percent margin should go back to civics class. Our founding fathers did not insert into the Constitution a warning that election results should not be followed if we believe them to be unfair or victory was by too few votes, please. Lesson Two: The amount of money you spend per student for education has no direct correlation to the quality of education that student receives. If this was so, the state’s Abbott school districts would be the best, and that is not the case. Lesson Three The heart and soul of any educational institution is teachers that impart their skills, education and love of learning to the children. Not the over-priced and abundant administration of the Sparta School system. If you don’t think you have a economic problem related to the cost of school administration in Sparta, then you are not realistic or pragmatic enough to solve its monetary issues. Lesson Four:The budget is a serious issue, it will require all the BOE members, school administration, and town council members to find solutions. Only current members can vote. But why would you not want former BOE members to continue the process? It should be all hands on deck to solve this dilemma. Tough choices in a town need a consensus fought out through compromise, not through attrition. Lesson Five: Removing a service such as busing from a budget is in fact a new tax. So the BOE revised last year’s budget by creating two new taxes (only on families with children in the school system). One for activities and one for busing, on top of a large increase in the local school tax. Oh, and next time you meet someone on the BOE transportation committee ask them how they came up with that plan. In a town that has a maze of streets, and few sidewalks, where a point-to-point satellite view, as opposed to actually road mileage was used to determine the distance to your home. Lesson Six; True leaders make phone calls to their fellow citizens, even if they can’t stand their fellow board members. They embrace challenges to accomplish balance between education and fiscal responsibility. Calling the board attorney or the local newspaper should be the absolutely last items on the agenda of a real leader. Bob Morris Sparta