Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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November 13th, 2018

Monticello Central School District Bond Vote: It’s More Than Just About the Kids – Approve It – Wednesday November 14th

On Wednesday, November 14th, voters in the Monticello Central School District will be heading back to the polls to vote on the new Classroom 2020 Bond Referendum. This $54 million proposal is almost half of the prior referendum proposals offered last year on two separate occasions. The Board of Education President Lori Orestano-James has made it clear that this is just the start and what was needed in the full number but that this amount must be considered now to be the most fiscally responsible to our community.

This Board of Education is hands on. They vowed and have delivered on being out at school and community events to help all understand the issues surrounding this referendum. They have held “Community Open Houses” visiting neighborhoods and organization meetings to answer questions. They have attended pancake breakfast’s roast beef dinners, community Halloween events, school functions and even just spent time in places like ShopRite, Walmart, and local diners and restaurants to be visible and accessible so we, as citizens, can get information. In addition, there has been an update at every Board of Education Meeting regarding the project. Nobody can say they didn’t reach out to make sure we didn’t understand the issues or their plan.

Now, it is up to us! We have a choice. We can vote to support what is needed or once again say no. To me, saying yes is the only way to go. And here is why. First, this yes vote will NOT increase taxes but voting no will and possibly mean cuts to programs. Why? Because the bond for the new (now 20 year old) Robert J. Kaiser Middle School will be paid off. What that means is that the district will loose that portion of state aid in their annual budget design. Bonding now keeps the state aid coming allowing for no additional cost to taxpayers.

By voting yes, you ensure that the state aid return will be 52 cents on every dollar. More than have of the costs will be returned to the district through state aid. The district has no choice. The necessary work which is based on the required every 5 years Facility Study is all based around major repair and safety. And yes, state aid is still tax dollars but the total amount given throughout the state is based on the debt the district carries. The larger the debt – the bigger piece of the pie given to that school district. In short, debt for schools is a good thing. Why should the state aid equation benefit NYC and the big five areas when we are in need?

This Board has also shared that the plan for this and future proposals will not exceed the 2% tax cap in the operational budget. If they are required to use portions of the budget to fix our schools, the district will only realize state aid on $100,000 annually which is not a fiscally responsible way to do this work and the operational portion of the budget will have to be maxed out.

Let me also remind you all that communities that invest in their schools invest in their local economy. Investing in our schools sends a message to home buyers and businesses that this is community they want to be part of. Home values go up and businesses thrive increasing the tax base. So there is an positive economic impact that can be realized by voting yes.

The bottom line…this is a “No-Brainer!” No increase to taxes, continued guarantee of state aid to balance operational budgets, growth of economy and better home values and market, necessary work done to the school facilities and, oh yes, the right thing to do for our community. So you see, it isn’t just about the kids but in reality, it should be!

Vote tomorrow, Wednesday November 14th from 8am until 8pm. Put your excuses aside. Can’t help what has been, can only head in a forward direction. This volunteer board has worked to bring forward a plan with long range outcomes that are positive for us.  Make the commitment to be sure we are doing the fiscally responsible thing in taking care of our schools, students and community. Vote Yes on the Classroom 2020 Capital Improvement Bond Referendum! I is graet for all!

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Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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