To the Editor:
I respect everyone’s right to share information and base decisions on such, as long as the information is accurate. To avoid misperceptions from the Leyda letters to the editor last week, here are some clarifications:
* School districts house their buses as allowable within their current facilities, which includes a variety of indoor and outdoor options. We are fortunate to be one of several school districts that has a building to house their transportation fleet, which enhances our tax dollars value by increasing longevity of the buses.
* A group has not been formed to take people to the polls. Some volunteers offered that service if needed but no one requested it.
* Rehiring retirees has been a common practice in public and private sectors for many years. The retire/rehire decisions at Brown Local were a significant savings of at least $100,000 over the next two years. It would not be possible to hire a younger person at a lesser salary to do two or three jobs as suggested by Mr. Leyda.
* Brown Local annually evaluates its budget in conjunction with purchase, repair and staffing plans. We have eliminated and reduced staff many times, mostly when retirements occur. Our district is definitely operating with less staff than previously.
* The “inspector” that assessed our buildings was a team with engineering, architectural, construction and specialty representatives. Again, I offer the report is available in our office if Mr. Leyda or anyone would like to review it.
* Consolidation is not in the near future of Brown Local Schools as long as we support our school district.
* We are not ashamed of our current facility. It has served an excellent purpose over many years to thousands of students and staff. Age causes deterioration over time to school buildings, homes, barns, vehicles, health, books, churches, etc. It is wrong to assume that deterioration is always due to lack of care or maintenance. I offer the belief that many of these things serve their purpose well, but wear out with time and use.
I would like to say that Mr. Leyda is correct with information that our legislators made decisions in the recent budget bill that will impact each of our personal tax bills. Public education is always dealing with legislative decisions and mandates that negatively affect our budgets. It is not an easy task to operate in a fiscally stable manner with constant legislative interference, but public education continues to overcome this challenging task.
In conclusion, I offer to answer any questions so that we may all work together with accurate information.
Connie Griffin, Superintendent
Brown Local Schools