Monday, May 12, 2008

UCSD: Loose With Our Money . . .

Out of its proposed $171 million capital plan, the Utica City School District is planning on spending $42 million on Proctor High School alone.

Let's see . . .$42 million for Proctor + $37 million for Proctor on the last project (the 2002 Millennium project) = spending $79 million on one school in just 10 years. Either amount alone is breathtaking, but together? If they didn't get it right the first time, why should the public think they will get it right now?

This is a feeding frenzy for contractors and architects . . . Student education is of secondary importance to this board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“Feeding frenzy for contractors and architects” is not the only drain on the Utica taxpayer. What about the employee unions? They must be elated with the additional employees/union members that they will gain.

When will enough be enough? When will the hemorrhaging of the City’s taxpayers end? Just because the State Education Department provides Excel grants for School districts to upgrade and expand facilities in need, this does NOT purport that the Utica School Board is mandated to partake in this windfall in State funds. At first, the School superintendent wanted to build a new school. This was until she was advised that the State-Ed Excel funding was limited to expansion and updating of neglected facilities. All of a sudden . . . this is when the necessity arose for Proctor and JFK to be in dire need rehabilitation to accommodate an expanding student population growth. Interestingly enough, all this is happened in an area that is suffering from a population decline.

The Utica School District is simply taking too much economic utility out of the City’s economy of scale. The Utica taxpayer will have to fork over more funding each year to staff and maintain these school facilities like having to support the reopening of the JFK ninth grade facility. Reopening JFK (just for one grade) will force the Utica taxpayers to fork over their hard earned income to support the overhead of additional staff like; janitors, grounds workers, cafeteria workers, hall monitors (Police Officers),bus drivers, bus monitors, librarians, nurses, teachers, teacher assistants, sociologist, psychologist, secretarial staff, and a Principal or two. All of this additional expense is incurred before they pay for the heat, electricity, books and support electronics (telephones, televisions, computers, copy machines etc.) of the new facility. This additional cost will come directly out of the Utica taxpayers pockets.

This reminds me on of what U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois once said on the Senate floor; "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money"! Taking into consideration of the economy of scale in terms of the limited population of Utica; A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money that the taxpayers cannot afford! How far is too far? Will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s (Utica taxpayers) back? Will there be an erosion of the City tax base due to an even faster exodus of people out of the City simply to seek tax relief from the over burdening City School district?