There are four candidates running for three positions for our Board of Education. The latest Board's financial projection shows that anticipated tax revenues will be relatively the same over the next four years, while spending is projected to increase annually by $7 million during this same time with student enrollment continuing to decline. This will pose a great challenge for our Board. Let me remind you of the turmoil surrounding similar circumstances in 2010 and 2011.
In October 2009, our Board approved a financial projection that showed the FY2009 spending increasing from $59 million to $72 million in FY2014 - a whopping $13 million annual increase. This increase came on the heels of an $11 million annual increase over the previous four years. To fund this increase in spending, our Board enthusiastically endorsed a 5.9-mill tax levy increase to be placed on the 2010 ballot declaring that this increase was an absolute necessity to maintain Hudson's high level of education. With much debate, which included our Board's prediction of gloom and doom if the increases failed, the community overwhelmingly rejected these attempts twice in 2010 thereby, I believe, saving the taxpayers of Hudson millions of dollars. I say "saving" because these defeats forced our Board to reluctantly make major spending reductions which helped in actually reducing our spending to $56 million in FY2013 without substantially lowering the quality of our academic achievements.
I suspect that if the 5.9-mill increase had been approved in 2010, the spending would have continued to increase without any substantial improvement in the quality of our education.
When you make your candidate choice for the future, make sure you know how your candidate will deal with the new fiscal challenges.
Jeff Keil, Hudson