To the Editor:
After the second and third school budget defeat, School Director Bruce Corrette has had much to say about "no" voters. He accuses them of "not understanding" and not attending info meetings. I'd like to suggest that just the opposite may be true.
On an issue like this, voters are generally in four groups - strong yes, tepid yes, tepid no and strong no. Strong yes includes those with serious "skin" in the game, teachers, staff and many parents and the group that will spend "any dollar" on education, regardless of whether it raises the budget 2% or 20%. Will they go to hearings? Unlikely, they know how they're going to vote! Tepid yes and nos are where you win or lose. But you've got to have a good product and be able to sell it. (This is what's not happening).
The solid nos are keenly aware that they're causing extra work and sleepless nights for some, but they're also smart enough to know that taxes are too high, administration is top heavy and the whole State education system is broken. And you want them to vote for this budget?
Those that say that the problem is higher up are quite correct -- but Montpelier is dysfunctional, don't expect help from them.
If you are under attack by a foe, and you forgot your gun, and no arrows in your quiver, not even a knife, but you've got plenty of stones - well you throw stones! And that's what SJ voters are doing, throwing stones (no votes) at a dysfunctional system!
All a public official (Bruce) should be asking of the public is -- vote your conscience. Even if it's against his budget.
Want to pass the budget? Ditch transportation. Secondary school parents have transported their kids in many towns for generations. Let primary parents do the same.
P.S. I would encourage everyone to revisit Amy Ash Nixon's excellent article in the Feb 2, 2013 C-R about towns in our area where school staff has continued to increase while the number of students has fallen sharply.
David E. Morrison