Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mission Impossible

Parents, school administrators, and teachers, among others, want to increase our school funding every year. These are usually big increases of at least $1 million. This year they requested a little more than $620,000. The rationale behind these requests is that the Derby Schools are historically underfunded and they never quite catch up and that without more money we cannot provide a good education for our children. Many of these school funding advocates show up at the Tax Board budget workshops and hearings to speak their mind. I highly respect these people for their commitment to our children, although I don’t agree with their logic.

A large portion of Derby taxpayers want us to hold the mill rate down, i.e. hold taxes down, even if it means less school funding. These people don’t tend to go to the workshops or hearings and that is a pity.

Then we have the political side. Incumbents tend to keep the tax rate low while potential challengers try to drive up the rate as much as possible.

The ideal solution, put forth by many thinkers, is that we need to grow our grand list so we can afford to fully fund our schools and our public services without overburdening our taxpayers. I would have to agree with this idea but I don’t see where a significant amount of business is going to come from in order to meet that objective. Our economy has been flat for almost 5 years now.

We have our developer, Eclipse, for downtown. That could be our answer to a greater grand list. However, in order to bring that project to fruition we are going to need a City united, not a City divided. I’m not seeing that.

Making this all work truly seems like an impossible mission to me.


  1. It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    1. So true. Thank you for many ideas and contributions!