Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tom Lotito's ranting isn't a solution...

Here is a recent rant sent by Tom Lotito to a local resident:

"Don't know the answer to your question, But I would speculate and say, yes. I would like to see every budget fail every year in order to see what's in it. The issue as I see it: Does the cost per pupil spent equal the amount of taxes we pay? In other words, what are we getting in terms of value compared to what we are paying? Is the quality of education worth what we are paying for it?"
"Having said this, it is my suspicion that administrator, janitors salaries at the HS school need to be looked at before we cut these needed classroom programs. It is my opinion, like the K-8 school , WMCHS BOE administration is in a survival mode. Outsourcing janitors must be seriously looked at the HS and the K-8 schools in order to save these programs."
"Having looked at the way the WMCHS BOE handled the construction project, the addition that took five years, which by the way, was riddled with very expensive change orders, and was 2 million dollars over budget and scaled down. I have my doubts that WMCHS BOE is looking into this in a cost effective manor."
"far as I'm concerned, it is foolish to constantly throw money at our schools, that winds up, not in the class room, but in administrators pockets. Current teachers salaries with a shrinking demographic and a shrinking piece of the pie are unsustainable."
"As we move forward into 2011, higher federal tax increases and shrinking income will effect all of us, these issues will force us to make even tougher decision next year. I am not for cutting programs in the classroom, I am for cutting our BOE administration to a lighter smaller cost efficient model and return to the mission of educating our children in the classroom."
Tom Lotito
While Tom is certainly entitiled to his opinion, let's put a little perspective on how much he is contributing to the cost of his own children's education in the contex of where he says "what are we getting in terms of value compared to what we are paying?". Tom currently has one child in the middle school and one child in the high school. By conservative estimates, the cost to educate his children is in the neighborhood of about $22K give or take a grand or so. That's what Tom is "getting". Now let's look at what Tom is "paying". According to Morris County tax records, Tom paid less than $7,000 in property taxes last year. To put it bluntly Tom put $7K in the kitty, but took at least $22K out. Sounds like a good deal, huh? Why isn't Tom happy? Things could be much worse. He could have paid over $15,000 in property taxes and have no children in our public schools (like I do). But then again you don't hear me complaining, because unlike Tom, I understand how a good K-12 education; can lead to a good college; which leads to a respectable job; which leads to a standard of living above the norm.

If Tom Lotito were anything but the "angry white male" that he is, he would stop all his pathetic whining and simply run for a seat on the BOE and try and influence the change he so desperately seeks in a constructive manner as opposed to vowing to "defeat" school budgets out of spite. If the whole town agrees with him to the degree he always claims, he should have no problem getting elected, right?

Back in 2005, I had a problem with the Township Committee's imposition of an 11% municipal tax increase. I ran for office and brought about the structural changes in our budget to ensure this would never happen again. The chart on the upper left speaks volumes as to how things turned out. Tom Lotito should consider a more constructive approach.

No comments:

Post a Comment

To ensure this site remains a valuable service to our community, no anonymous posting is allowed.

Names will be verified (online Morris County Tax Records) prior to appearing on the blog. If you are not man or woman enough to sign your real name to a posting then you should probably keep your opinion to yourself.