Regarding the proposed 2010-2011 budget for the Mamaroneck School system:
The budget that is currently before the voters calls for spending $122,167,894 in the next school year. This represents a spending increase of 1.22% year-to-year, with a tax increase of 2.08%. One of the cuts made in order to achieve this small increase is $93,653 from the after school sports programs. This will result in the elimination of four freshman boy’s sports teams at MHS: football, basketball, baseball and soccer. There will also be four (of eight) girls teams cut at the Hommocks: field hockey, volleyball, softball and basketball. The savings here amounts to 0.077% of the total budget.
While you might say that the cuts have to come from somewhere, a closer look at the proposed budget shows where the real money is being spent. Unsurprisingly, salaries and benefits equate to 79% of the total expenditures. What is surprising, however, is that we are providing life insurance to what looks like every employee in the system as part of that compensation package! That is not a typo. Term life insurance policies for everyone from the principal to the janitor are being paid for by the taxpayers to the tune of almost $150,000 per annum (pages 41 and 53, line 9045).
Where does this happen in the real world? LIFE insurance? How has this system become so distorted that union members pay 7% of their health insurance costs and are provided with free life insurance while hundreds of kids are unable to have after school sports because we can’t afford it?
On May 18th I will be voting no on this budget as a matter of principle. Our tax dollars should be spent on these programs for the students, not outrageous benefits for the employees. And I fully expect the School Board to reconsider, reduce and remove these and other unsustainable benefits in the coming round of contract negotiations. It is time for the employees of the Mamaroneck school district to join the rest of us in the real world.
Larchmont, New York