Letter To The Editor: Budget Requires Immediate Resident Input

School Committee member tells residents not to wait until March to complain about a budget set in motion in October.

Next Monday, Oct. 17, the North Kingstown Town Council and the North Kingstown School Committee will meet in a joint session to discuss the upcoming budget forecast for the next budget beginning July 1, 2012.

This public meeting should be attended by every resident in North Kingstown, every man, woman and student to learn what the next year will bring. Now is the time for anyone who cares about their tax bill, child's education and what services might be on the cutting block for both the town and school department.
This is just the beginning of the process to get to a budget that we can afford, and what will remain for our town services and school programs. Not showing up will not change the eventual outcome. The input from our community will help guide both the Town Council and the School Committee as to what you want North Kingstown to be going forward.

Our budgets are affected by the same influences that you experience at home — increased cost of fuel to run the busses and heat the buildings, increases in electricity, increases in labor cost for employees and outside vendors, increases in health insurance premiums and food service supplies.
One thing that both the town and school department are facing is a very large payment required to pay pension benefits, which for the school department is approximately $2.2 million in 2012. The School Committee asked for this meeting earlier this year to get a head start on this budget and to let our residents know the financial problems that all of us are facing in the coming year. We will need as much time as possible to accomplish this task and I would ask anyone who has any suggestions on how we can save money operating our schools to please step forward with your ideas as soon as possible. Every School Committee member can be reached by e-mail, and this information is listed on the North Kingstown School Department website.
Please don't wait until March to get involved and complain about the changes that are going to happen. If you are going to be concerned in March, you need to be at the meeting on Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the North Kingstown Senior Center.
Richard Welch
North Kingstown School Committee

Richard October 16, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Dear SC & TC, Let us simply say---CUT, CUT, CUT. Do as the real people of NK and elsewhere are forced to do. $1 in $1 out, not a penny more. Pension problems, no problem-layoffs. Let the union hierarchy explain how 1-2 does not=deficit. Here's a novel idea, I think its called living within your means, sorry I lost my mind, I forgot, this is government not reality. The taxpayers will bear it, I hear blood fetches a high price in municipal circles. I know, those terrible contracts, those overbearing state mandates, those, those whatevers! Force the issues, get some fortitude, try living outside the box and do the right thing for the NK taxpayers for a change. The taxpaying goose is DEAD.
Corrine December 05, 2011 at 01:25 PM
i can agree that this is a government not reality, but really "CUT, CUT, CUT"? I don't think that is necessary The programs that they will end up cutting will be the underfunded arts programs, which will help the budget but will end up turning bored teenagers to vandalism, or worse. Honestly. Their precious sports programs will be left in its glory and the orchestra, and the visual arts will be GONE. So there has to be a more realistic idea that benefits everyone not just the NK taxpayers
Corrine December 05, 2011 at 01:30 PM
true that!
NKGOP Watch December 05, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Not if they get peoples paychecks down to realistic levels like the rest of the world! Taxpayers have NO CLUE how much money is wasted by paying the help too much. Not to bash teachers, but they are OVERPAID to a degree. No private company would pay someone with skills and education (BA from RIC) like a school teacher 100 thousand dollars and then millions more after retirement. Come on!
Corrine January 12, 2012 at 01:54 PM
the taxpayers know that the majority of their taxes go to the"schools". everyone knows that teachers are overpaid, now only if the teachers could realize it. yesterday i presented my democracy project, which was on budget cuts. Programs that make nksd individual have been at risk of being cut. The amount of money being paid per teacher is more than it should be. With a tax increase, the school department will still be 1.6 million dolars in debt, making the increase pointless. My project was on trying to find a happy middle in the budget that the school department and the town council can agree on. Last night i spoke to a town council member and a school department member. They both agreed for a balance in the budget, and each were pretty skeptical that the other would agree to what they were saying. In other words they were agreeing while disagreeing! So a balance is a nice idea, but will it really happen? with support, and alot of it, we would be able to move step by step closer to the goal of a balanced budget. In other words balance in teacher payments, balance in sports funds, arts program funds, and afterschool program funds. In the long run who knows what might happen. With a lot of support going to town council meetings, the town council will see that this town cares about these programs that make NK unique.


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