Weekly Feature

2010-06-17 / Letters to the Editor

Voting ‘no’ on bus proposal is senseless

Now that the school budget is over, the usual absurdity of the “no” votes on the school bus proposition is alive and well. The 832 people who voted “no” on a proposition that will not cost a single penny more in school taxes were senseless and illogical.

Last year, the state returned to the district money it spent to replace older school buses purchased in 2008. Since last fall, the money was invested in a special fund, to be used to replace about 10 older buses this fall. The same situation will occur at the next budget vote in 2011. This process will repeat itself ad infinitum. By state law, voters must approve this expenditure even though it costs taxpayers nothing.

There were three times as many “yes” than “no” votes for this proposition. No doubt, the vast majority of parents who have children who ride a bus to school voted for the proposition. I am sure the 832 “no” voters have no children in school.

I am sure we’ll hear the argument that this money from the state to purchase new buses actually came from our taxes. That’s true, but so does funding for a myriad of social programs. I have yet to hear anyone argue that senior citizens who have EPIC, HEAP and Medicaid benefits actually are paying for their benefits from their taxes. If these programs were put to a vote, would 832 people vote “no”?

Let’s say the bus purchase was turned down. Could the money in reserve be put in the General Fund and lower taxes? Only if school administrators and board members want to risk going to jail. Using the funds for anything other than replacing older buses is illegal.

Do parents want their children to ride a bus with more than 100,000 miles on it? I don’t think so.

Next year, when you vote on replacing older buses with new ones, vote sensibly. Voting “no” on a proposition that costs taxpayers nothing is as dumb as the day is long.

Philip Fanone

Lowell Lane

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