As published in the Shawangunk Journal, January 3, 2019, page 2
To the Editor:
The School District seemed determined to pass this approximately 62 million budget no matter what (no plan B was presented except “we’ll put the project back up for another vote,” an answer given during the Q&A meeting on November 8, 2018).
I’ve learned of Board of Elections people not being aware of this vote, unusually scheduled in the middle of the holiday season, on December 11. The School District did its best to bury – under the many details of needed repairs – the most important information, regarding the “stadium,” that “new artificial turf football field with lights” to “host events” and “generate revenue.”
After 17 years of voting in the area, I cannot recall any instance when there were NO LISTS of voters’ names and addresses, and NO IDENTIFICATION was required of those coming to vote. In other words, anybody willing was able to vote, and to be included in the total number of 1,327 voters. The result was 685-Yes and 642-No.
In less than 12 hours after the vote closed I’ve heard that the 62 million Capital Project passed! Who checked 1,327 ballots in the middle of the night? How were the voters matched with the addresses? How was the validity of the votes checked? Who supervised the counting of ballots?
As NO CONNECTION can be made between the sheet of paper considered “ballot” and the voter, how can we be sure that “No” votes were not replaced with “Yes” votes?
Shame on the RVCSD for making a mockery of the voting.
My default vote on school budgets has always been NO because I know that pencils get sharpened. In other words, I know the school board has something better to offer.
Assuming no shenanigans took place, I chalk it up to a better economic environment. That said, someone should tell us how, and to what extent, this new “revenue” will extend the new budget into the future.
You know the answer, it will increase costs forever. Unless someone in authority says, “With all this new revenue, we should use some of it to pay down our compounding debt.” The question is, how do you get authority to listen to common sense?