“All politics is local” is a phrase many have heard. Regarding the Saucon Valley school board members, this certainly applies. Residents in the Saucon Valley School District will decide, on May 16, which candidates will go to the general election in November.
Josh Popichak, editor of the Saucon Source, held a forum on March 31, giving residents the opportunity to ask questions of each candidate. Many parents, and a handful of residents without children in school, attended. Taxes, gender issues and a new superintendent were topics of discussion. For anyone who did not attend, video of the entire forum is available on YouTube (LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRrT_Oy-O5I). It’s worth watching.
Primary and general elections are poorly attended when the choices are school board members. When I speak to many people, they tell me they don’t vote because, “It doesn’t matter–nothing changes.” This is certainly not true. The people who are elected to the board can make policy changes that affect all residents–especially property owners.
Not many years ago, I attended a meeting concerning the casino in Bethlehem and the promised reduction in school tax for property owners. I have yet to see this. I’m currently being told that property taxes for schools will be replaced by an increase in sales and state income tax. I’m still waiting for this, too. What I do see happening is a school budget that is growing at an alarming rate. If allowed, the school district budget will continue to take more of our dollars.
We who have houses in the district must realize we don’t own our property–we lease it from multiple landlords. Our most expensive landlord is the local school district. The rent is already too high and the landlord wants to raise it. And, like any landlord, if we don’t pay the rent, we will be evicted.
I urge everyone to vote on the 16th. Listen to the candidates before making your choice. Contact them if you have questions. We need people who are creative thinkers, not people who rely on the same old, “We have to raise taxes” mantra.
Teachers’ salaries and benefits are only going to increase if we do nothing by staying home and not voting. We need to stop the out of control costs. We need members who can think outside the box and propose new ideas for the school budget. This can only happen if you vote.
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