This is what Arthur Green said to the Sandown Selectmen tonight.
The Timberlane School Board has disclosed that the estimated school tax increase on Sandown’s November tax bills will be about 9%, or about $500 on the typical home.
The seeds of this bitter fruit were planted in this room 1 year ago, at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting following Old Home Days, when 3 of the Selectmen still on this board voted to disband the committee which had been unanimously voted on behalf of the town to study the option of withdrawing from the Timberlane school district.
School taxes are skyrocketing for a single reason – the school district is grossly overspending and grossly overstaffed.
Mr. Tombarello, Mr. Goldman, and Mr. Trainor can claim credit for stifling the examination of alternatives which could have saved town taxpayers $1 million per year.
At school deliberative in 2014, Mrs. Green and I argued that Timberlane could operate perfectly well on $64 million, which was $3 million less than the district was proposing. We were met with threats of draconian cuts and draconian fees. What happened instead? Timberlane actually operated 2014/15 for $64 million, and the threatened apocalypse failed to arrive.
At school deliberative in 2015, we argued for a “responsible budget “ of $65 million, again about $3 million less than proposed. Again, apocalypse was threatened. Again, the district actually operated on $65 million in 2015/16, with none of the threatened horrors.
We were right in 2014, right in 2015, and again right this past winter that Sandown could operate an exceptional district on our own at a million dollar annual saving to taxpayers compared to Timberlane.
But the possibility of saving taxpayer dollars was not taken seriously by Mr. Tombarello, Mr. Goldman and Mr. Trainor.
By squashing the withdrawal study, you sent a clear signal to the school district that Sandown is willing to pay whatever the district demands. We are seeing the result.
Driving around town, I see a great many signs for Mr. Tombarello’s County Commissioner election. Every resident with one of those signs on their property is saying “thank you for raising my school tax $500 this year”.