You know, after five years of fighting with tax-and-spenders who are more interested in image than substance, I needed a break. Wouldn’t you? There is a lot of stress dealing with people who would place the wants of the few over the needs of the many. Yet, it did not take long for the Octorara Area School Board to fully embrace their spending ways.
At the very first voting session after the 2017 Election, the Board voted to absolve the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force of the remaining balance owed, which is roughly $2,260. Why? The fact is what I warned would happen did happen. Once the new track was in place, all enthusiasm for fundraising fell flat.
Download the December Meeting Minutes: Dec 11-17 Reg Meeting Minutes
It was, for this reason, that back during the September 2015 vote, there were Board Members (not just myself) who argued to limit the District’s liability and not move forward until the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force had cash-in-hand. Nevertheless, the Board leadership and Administration almost immediately began to work at working around that Board action.
We were told that the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force had cash-in-hand for Phase 1 when they didn’t. We were told no construction would start until the funds where available, but the Task Force did not make their very first installment until both Phase 1 and 2 were complete.
Add to all that, in September 2016, we were told that the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force was only short $10,000 to complete their obligation. Moreover, that $10,000 was caused by unforeseen costs. So, the Board (minus myself) voted to move forward on Phase 2 and complete the total project.
Now, you may think the forgiven $2,260 is not a lot of money. Yet, there are things we need to keep in mind. If, in September 2016, the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force only needed $10,000 to fulfill their obligation, why is it that the Board needed to forgive 23% of that obligation a year and a half later? Are we to believe that the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force could not raise $10,000 in 18 months after supposedly raising well over $200,000 in the roughly 24 months prior?
When we step back and look at everything in total, it is obvious that the Octorara Community Stadium Task Force was never held to the Board action. There was a hope that they eventually would raise the money, but there was a strong effort to usurp the original Board action with intentionally deceptive information. Moreover, as soon as the Board thought no one was looking, they released the Task Force of their obligation and placed the burden on taxpayers.
And, all that ranting is before we even start to talk about the 2018-19 Budget Presentation- Dec 11 2017. Who would like to talk about deficits and tax increases?
So, my question to you is… Who is watching the hen house? How much more taxes are you willing to pay to accommodate the whims of a School Board who thinks your money is their money?