No matter the issue facing our city, the answer is always taxes are too high and what we need to solve the problem is to cut expenses line-by-line. According to this reasoning, our budgets have buried within them a secret set of expenses, that once vanquished from the income statement, magically transform our tax rates from the highest to the lowest with absolutely no negative impact.

After all, why pore through reams of documents if this is not the underlying ideology?

In the recent school board selections, it was more than clear that the public embraces this notion of expense cutting electing candidates espousing a line-by-line approach. As I mentioned previously, the referendum on the election had nothing to do with academic performance, it was strictly centered on budgets. I should also note that the election, based upon turnout, was a referendum on apathy of the public on governance of the school district.

Lest I be accused of arrogance and condescension, let me try to frame my challenge to this line of thinking (note clever pun) in a polite question:

Given the recent ranking of Amsterdam’s GASD at 80th in school ranking via the Capital District Business Review, what expense(s) should we cut to raise the ranking of the school district? As a follow up, how many dollars of expenses need to be cut from our $50+ million dollar budget to see a significant rise in rankings?

To broaden the question a bit outside of the GASD, Broadalbin-Perth slid from 35th to 49th so let’s ask how much needs to be cut from the BP budget to restore their 2011 ranking.


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