Letter: Yarmouth must rein in school spending

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What are the needs and what are the wants of a community? We understand the desire by the Yarmouth Town Council and town manager to maintain a fixed or moderately higher tax rate each year. The result is a fixed pool of income from taxpayers, based on tax rate and property valuation. But if the municipal needs are great and the municipal budget must increase, that leaves a limited amount of money available for the School Department.

This year the municipal budget is in need of extra funding. Yarmouth has put off road repair and other essential improvements because it’s always the municipal budget that gets sacrificed in order to provide the School Department with money it asks for, and at the same time limit the tax rate. We’re being asked to bond (with its necessary interest costs) for road repairs that should have been completed annually and not postponed because the School Committee asked for more money.

It’s time the School Committee was told that they can’t have the funds they want this year, because the municipality needs those funds to operate and maintain the municipality of Yarmouth. This is the message that Yarmouth taxpayers need to send to the Town Council. Concentrate the school budget on important academic needs.

No, the council cannot tell the School Committee how to run the schools, but the council has the right and authority to limit the funds that taxpayers authorize at Town Meeting, and to make that recommendation to Yarmouth voters.

Bruce Soule

  • Factshonesty

    Bruce Soule is 100% correct!

    Yarmouth under Nat Tupper for years has spent like money grows on trees and driving up property taxes and adding new fees like they are competing to see how many people they can tax off their land.

    If Tupper can’t start rolling back property taxes and get the school system and the town system to cut budgets then it is time for a new Town Manager (really acts like a Mayor).

    People in the private sector have gone through an economic reset downward…..it is time local government employees and towns are included in that economic reset.

    The schools have more sports teams and facilities than they do science teachers and science labs. Heck, the High School has a multi million dollar turf field and track and they don’t even have a modern language lab in the school. Then we add expensive football, expensive ice hockey, and on and on it goes. These sports team do nothing but detract from academics….time studying and funds! The AD is the 2nd highest paid staff member in the high school….and she has a f-t secretary and works unbelievably easy hours. If the town wants sports teams….then form a separate sports federation and fund that outside of property taxes and manage those teams outside of the school system – PERIOD!

    • EdBeem

      Nat Tupper is a terrific town manager. Yarmouth taxpayers get a lot for their money in their schools. The success of the Yarmouth athletics program is a function of the high performing ethic that is reflected in academic achievement as well. Bruce Soule tried to cut the school budget last year and found out that he was in a distinct minority. He is as wrong as you are.