Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Friday, June 24, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 25

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home : letters : letters to the editor June 24, 2016

3/27/2013 2:00:00 PM

Newcastle, Damariscotta and Bremen, the three towns that make up the Great Salt Bay Community School District have the pleasure of considering an 11.86 percent increase in their proposed budget this year.

School officials are inviting the public to a budget workshop at the school March 27, shortly after this edition goes to press. We encourage concerned citizens to go.

You may not like the questions or the answers, but here is your chance to weigh in before the budget is finalized

An 11.86 percent increase is tough to take in the best of times, and these last five years have hardly been the best of times. GSB officials know that. That's why they are inviting you in before they finalize their proposed budget.

Based on our experience, we confidently assert there is very little fat in local budgets to cut.

While it is easy to point fingers at the school board, the fact is much of what the schools spend is required by either state or federal mandates, special education being a prime example.

We strongly believe that a government mandate should be safely ignored unless the money to comply is provided, which it almost never is, but that is an argument for another time.

As it is, mandates have to be followed; somebody has to pay for them, and unless otherwise specified, the buck stops with the local property taxpayer. It always does. It's a shameful state of affairs, but that's the fact on the ground.

What it comes down to at GSB this year is the toughest of choices.

Whether the three supporting towns decide to bite the financial bullet, consequences be damned, or look ahead to county and municipal budgets to come and reduce accordingly by cutting people and programs, it is not going to be pretty and it is not going to be easy.

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