2018-06-07 / Letters

Vote down school budget

To the editor:

On June 12, Saco voters will go to the polls to vote for primary candidates and on local issues. One very important issue impacting everyone in Saco is the referendum to accept or reject the school budget. After much debate between the school board and the city council it was decided by the council to send the budget out to the voters and let us make this decision. Unfortunately, many of us are unfamiliar with the budget process and haven’t attended the school budget workshops to understand how the budget was crafted. It’s unfair to ask us, the voters, to make this decision relieving the people responsible for creating the cost centers of the budget and resulting in a $2.2 million increase over the previous budget. If passed by Saco voters, property taxes of homeowners and businesses will increase by as much as 14 percent, a 53 cent increase on our mil rate. The mill rate in Saco is $19.38 and if this budget passes, the mil rate will increase to $19.91. Our property taxes will go up.

In comparison, Biddeford’s school budget is adding only 1 penny to the city’s mil rate.

Biddeford’s school superintendent announced last week the formation of a buying collaborative unit that encompasses nine area school districts. This will allow these school districts greater buying power for all school related purchases. The Saco School Board voted not to join the collaborative. This was a bad decision by our elected officials. This exhibits an arrogance by our elected officials, a lack of fiscal responsibility and a go-it-alone mentality at our expense.

Vote no on the school budget. Send the budget back to the school board and tell them to sharpen their pencils – a $2.2 million increase is too much. Do the job we elected you to do.

Don Pilon Saco

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