Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cluster Offers to Pay Some School Taxes Too

Super Cool Panoramic Photo by Evan Brandt's iPhone
Green-shirted members of the Federation of Pottstown Teachers stood for nearly an hour Monday night as teachers, students and parents testified to the school board about how a particular teacher had changed the lives of students.

The latest tactic by the Federation of Pottstown Teachers in their ongoing efforts to pressure the school board into a settlement that includes raises was unveiled Monday.

A total of 14 speakers -- teachers, parents, students and teachers reading student letters -- took to the lecturn Monday night to talk about the value of teachers.

But while that is significant, and will be addressed in an upcoming Mercury article for how it intertwines with a salary dispute on the board, it was not the most significant news of the night.

Also on the agenda was the Pottstown Cluster of Churches and their pending zoning hearing regarding the non-profit's use of 61 N. Franklin St.

Already rebuffed by Borough Council, which voted 6-1 earlier this month to oppose the zoning relief, the Cluster turned to the school board and, in a change of position, offered to pay 25 percent of their school property tax bill in the same way they had pledged to pay 25 percent of their borough property tax bill.

It would amount to about $1,000 out of a $4,009 tax bill, said Picardi.

The Payment In Lieu of Taxes offer, called a PILOT, was no more effective an offer with the school board than it was with council.

Once board member Thomas Hylton made plain that from 2008 to 2014, Cluster revenues jumped from $341,000 to $1.8 million in just six years, there seemed to be little appetite on the board to support the zoning request.

Hylton pointed to Cluster attorney Kenn Picardi that the school district "is in the lifting people out of poverty business" and that public education has a much broader impact on lifting people out of poverty than any of the Cluster education programs.

"I think we need to make a strong statement to the Cluster," Hylton told the school board in making a motion to send a letter to the zoning board in opposition to the zoning relief sought by the Cluster.." $1.8 million in revenue and they can't pay $5,000 in taxes?"

Hylton's motion to send the letter of opposition was approved unanimously.

Now, here are the Tweets, videos and links from the meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment