Give credit where
credit is due…that's what I say.
The Hudson Schools treasurer announced this month that the district will be in the black "into 2018" thanks to cost-cutting measures implemented over the past three years.
In 2009, many of the current School Board members claimed that our school system would virtually collapse if a 5.9-mill operating levy were not passed. They projected that our schools would not be able to survive if we didn't tax ourselves enough to fund a $72 million budget by 2014.
The treasurer's current forecast shows that we'll do just fine operating on only $58 million in 2014.
This is welcome news, particularly since total enrollment in 2014 is forecasted at 4,666, or 446 fewer students than were actually enrolled when the levy advocated in 2009 was twice defeated by the voters. This means that operating expenses in 2014 should run about $12,430 per student as opposed to the $15,431 projected in 2009.
In reflecting on the past five years, I'm convinced that austerity and greater fiscal responsibility are the direct result of the vigilance of several citizens who have made it their mission to hold the School Board accountable and curb the Board's profligate spending habits.
And I do not speak of the School Board's handpicked citizens' finance advisory committee. They've rubber-stamped the School Board's bloated projections in supporting defeated levies.
I refer, instead, to the ordinary citizens who have studied our schools' finances, attended meetings, offered constructive suggestions, and made sure voters had more in front of them than the School Board's self-serving take on the financial condition of the school district. If it weren't for them, the School Board would not have been forced to find ways to economize and we'd all be paying at least 24 percent more in property taxes.
S. David Worhatch, Hudson