School budget cuts

In my letter to the editor last week for Citizens for Value in Education, I suggested that the burden placed upon the taxpayers of Rockport (and upon other district towns) in support of our schools needed to be reduced by 10 percent. There are, perhaps, those who may think that such a reduction is draconian. It is fair to mention that vast numbers of businesses have recently been forced to make much more significant cuts than those I am suggesting for our schools.

Furthermore, in the past 10 years the school portion of the town of Rockport budget has increased by $3,671,062 to 70 percent of funds raised from taxes. That is an increase of 90 percent in the 10-year period. While the dollar figures will differ for other district towns, the impact on their budgets will have been similar.

My suggestion is a decrease in the tax burden for Rockport taxpayers of $774,425 — the 10 percent reduction previously referred to. The dollar figures for such a 10 percent reduction would also vary from town to town.

Should this 10 percent reduction be achieved, it would amount to merely 21 percent of the increase in the tax burden allocated to the schools in the aforementioned 10-year period.

To put the proposed 10 percent reduction of Rockport’s portion of the budget into further perspective: The tax burden placed by the schools on Rockport taxpayers in fiscal year 2007-08, just two years ago, was only slightly above the proposed net budget number and the figure for the 2006-07 fiscal year was $600,000 below the budget figure resulting from the proposed 10 percent reduction.

From the outset, Citizens for Value In Education and I have sought to work with the schools. That posture will continue. To that end, following letters will suggest possible areas for examination in meeting the above objective.

One clarification: In my Jan. 6 letter I said the historically more normal portion of the town of Rockport budget taken for schools was 60 percent. That statement should be amended to say, excluding adult education. In fiscal years 2002 and 2001, excluding adult education, the schools took 59.4 percent and 61.9 percent of funds raised from taxes respectively in Rockport.

Alexander Armentrout

Citizens for Value In Education

Rockport

To the people of Waldoboro

The holidays have come and gone and the people of Waldoboro have been amazing once again. It’s been a rough year for everyone economically. The people of Waldoboro have proven to be amazingly generous and thoughtful. I see it every year, but it still awes me how generous you are. This year’s Waldoboro Toy Program went very well, with a lot of help from you. As always, I feel very privileged to be part of such a wonderful and generous event.

We provided toys, hats and mittens to 210 children (or 90 families) this year. We started the year with $732.06 (as of December 2009) in the Waldoboro Toy Program account and spent $2,581.73 on toys, hats and mittens. We raised $3,077.53. We earned $4.57 in interest for 2009.

I would like to thank the citizens of Waldoboro who helped make this year’s Waldoboro Toy Program come together successfully. I especially want to thank the many children who donated toys so that other children could have a better Christmas. My hat’s off to you all.

I would like to thank the following people and businesses for their donations of money, wrapping supplies, mittens, hats and moral support: The Methodist Church and the Methodist Women’s Group, the Masons’ King Solomon’s Lodge, Family Holiday Wishes, Salvation Army, Meenagha Grange 555, Soule-Shuman VFW Aux. 4525 and Alma Jones, Medomak Valley Senior Citizens, the money that came in memory of Gordon Scott, Mary Wolff and The Helping Hands, Charles C. Lilly Post 149 – American Legion, Ronald and Martha Barend, Becky Maxwell and the Waldoboro Women’s Club, Ralph and Gertrude Hoffses, Soule-Shuman Post 4525 and Dodd Day, John and Susan Morris, Doris and Wallace Prock, Karen Prock, Shirley Woodcock, Sherman and Eleanor Smith, the Medomak Valley Honor Society, the Coastal Christian School students, the Medomak Middle School students, Michael Monck, Ted and Elizabeth Wooster, Clarissa Feltis, Patrick and Mary Logue, Marcia and Maynard Prock, James Pyne, Burton and Margaret Smith, Perley and Beverly Bousquet, Janice Kelley, Joyce and Dennis Beaudoin, Sandy and Jack Pierce, Maine Antique Digest and its employees, Kathe Marion-Gallant, Roberta Marion, Valerie Shields, Patricia MaGee, the Waldoboro Hannaford, Sally Pennington, Dezarae McPhee, Raina McPhee, Naomi McPhee, Jane Lichtman, Joy Taylor, Trista Tracy, Marcie Martin, Clyson and Dyann Peters, Bill Maxwell, Hilma Foster, Jeanette Belanger, Susan and Larry Jackson, Joyce Lupien, Anne Kennedy, Virginia Weed, and Janet Gallagher. Finally, I would like to thank Pam Rengle for all her valuable help and moral support. If I missed anyone in the shuffle I apologize and assure you that all the help was needed and greatly appreciated.

As always, I was greatly impressed with Waldoboro’s generosity, caring and giving. Without your support this program would not be possible. Thank you.

I hope the coming year brings prosperity, happiness and health to you all.

Melody Tracy

Waldoboro Toy Program

 

Thanks to all

Thanks to the good people who stopped to help me after I went off the road on Old County Road in Rockland around 10 a.m. Saturday.

The wind pushed me toward the edge of the road and I lost control, striking a Central Maine Power Company pole.

A special thanks to the kind passersby, the Camden rescue crew, the Rockport Fire Department and rescue crew, and Officer Smith of the Rockport Police Department. The Camden wrecker service was very helpful also.

All were very caring and professional. Bless these men and women who do this fine work on a daily basis.

I will be fine. Thank you, Penobscot Bay Medical Center emergency staff.

Barbara Farbian Smith

Rockland