Friday, June 20, 2014

Tax Hikes and Raises in Pottstown Schools

What follows below, in the Tweets from last night's Pottstown School Board meeting, is a story you've seen many times before.

It's a story of a school board about to adopt a $56 million budget with a 2.9% tax hike and a 5.6% increase in spending which attracts no attention.

Resident Bruce Madera was the only member of the public to attend the meeting and speak about the budget, and he was there mostly because he tried to get the opinions of more board members and administrators, but only two called him back -- Superintendent Jeff Sparagana and board member Thomas Hylton.

Also quietly under contemplation at the same time the board is considering a budget that will mean unemployment for 11 people, mostly teachers aides, are votes to increase the salaries of mid-level administrators by 1.5 percent and support staff by 2 percent.

There was no public discussion of this, and Business Manager Linda Adams, whose salary will likely increase 1.5 percent to $137,000 after the board votes Monday, said the list of employees affected is not ready, despite being approved by the personnel committee last Thursday.

What was ready, with hourly rates for all to see, was four-and-a-half pages of stipends for "substitute van assistants, tutors and summer cleaners."

Funny how that works.

Raises for higher-paid administrators were part of an exhibit not made available to the public and not yet ready for even the board, who must vote Monday on those raises.

Either they are trying to hide something, or they're not.

Which is worse?

School Board President Judyth Zahora said Thursday night she is frustrated that only 10 percent of those eligible vote in elections.

Wonder if she can guess what the other 90 percent might be frustrated about.

Here are the Tweets from the meeting.

As always, hit the blue "read more" bar to make sure you see every single wouldn't want to miss anything.

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