School levy breaks a promise

To the Editor:

The Troy school board is offering us yet another broken campaign promise, in my opinion.

Once again I write to offer my dismay at the methods our children’s education administrators employ to meet their own ends.

Several years ago the school board came to the public and requested we accept an Earned Income tax: “A Forever Tax.” The sales pitch at that time appeared (in my opinion), to be in exchange for no further school tax levys.

A few years later, upon learning that the school board intended to re-start, or extend, an expiring levy, I wrote this editor, only to have a high ranking school board member call my home, and try to convince to me that the “no tax levy sales pitch” only applied to new levys — not renewals.. They changed their interpretation, but not my opinion.

Now there is a new levy on the ballot.

At the levy information meeting at Troy High School last Tuesday Oct 17, when asked about the Earned Income Tax, the board seemed to stammer, but eventually claimed that the school district tax sales pitch was in exchange for not issuing just one potential new levy. They changed their interpretation again.

Do you remember it that way? Because I don’t, and feel mislead … once again.

Is this the message we should teach our children, that you can promise whatever; change it later..and that its OK as long as you get what you want?

I’m sure we need to do something, sometime on the schools, but consider this:

This levy increases the school debt by over 47 million, the maximum the state will allow us. It will take 30 years to pay off, and will cost homeowners thousands of dollars.

Troy school teachers have done alright by my family, but the extreme debt the board is now asking us to absorb seems more like a “knee-jerk” reaction to obtain time limited partial funding from the state.

I’d rather see us only spend half the debt limit, still obtain some state funding, while leaving some buffer if needed later to borrow.

At least if they change their interpretation again, we will have some options.

Its easy to spend someone else’s money. It takes discipline and truthful leadership to be good stewards for the public.

That’s my opinion.

— Peter Zelnick