By now, I am sure everyone received their brochure explaining BOCES $38.55 million bonding plan to address their "needs". There are 12 component schools and it looks like New Hartford, New York Mills and Clinton taxpayers will pay for almost half the cost of the bonding plan with the other 9 component schools paying the other half. New Hartford taxpayers will pay $6.46 on a home assessed for $100,000 or $.0646 per thousand. And for New Hartford residents, this amount is on top of the roughly $27.00 on a $100,000 assessment for the town bonding plan and the New Hartford school bonding plan that will add approximately $25 a year on a home assessed for $100,000. If your home is assessed for more, you do the math. And this does not account for any "extra expenses" added to the budgets each year.
To quote the BOCES brochure, "we anticipate this project will meet our facilities needs for the next 20 to 30 years. What is the maturity of the bond--couldn't find it in the brochure, but I would guess 30 years!
I love the question in the brochure of "what will happen if the referendum does not pass?". The answer---they will "proceed with plans to renovate the existing space, an option that would not require a vote, but could be more costly." Is that a threat? And to further quote the brochure, "If these problems are not solved, we will be forced to shut down some programs and send students back to their home districts." That's almost as bad as Mr. Gilligan's (Superintendent of New Hartford Schools) saying prior to the December 13 bond vote that it might cost another $2 - 3 million due to inflation if they have to put their bonding plan back up for a vote. And how about the fact that Mr. Gilligan implied that the purchase of the land will be addressed at a later date? Will we see it as a separate item on the May budget vote?
Again, we are back to the difference between "wants" and "needs". It is about time the school, town and county "leaders" learn the difference! Taxpayers are getting tired of all the want! want! want! chants.
Let me point out some of the key things you need to know regarding the voting procedures for the BOCES bond vote:
Each person will be required to vote at their school districts at the locations that are normally used for school budget and school board elections. (Everyone, but not New Hartford. We will be voting in the High School Band Room instead of the gymnasium! Gee, I wonder why? Could it have anything to do with the $15+ million Performing Arts Theater that is part of their bonding plan?)
The polls will be open from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. on February 13, 2007.
You will need to bring a photo i.d. with you such as a driver's license or non-driver photo i.d.
Absentee ballots will be available from the Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES district clerk's office. You should contact Deb Griffiths at 315-793-8558.
To contact Mr. Howard D. Mettelman, District Superintendent, call 315-793-8561.
Everyone should make sure to get out and vote--either in person or by absentee ballot. Let your voice be heard!