Through The Board Of Finance Looking Glass

Across the country, lines are drawn. 

Democrats are tax-and-spend liberals.  Their recent passage of healthcare legislation will bankrupt the nation, advance socialism and create Armageddon.

Republicans are penny-pinching, cold-hearted conservatives.  Their opposition to healthcare legislation ignores the economic help it will provide to millions and the deficit reduction that will ensue, probably because Republicans are too busy throwing rocks through Democratic congressmen’s windows.

Except in Westport, which is located just this side of Alice’s rabbit hole.

The White Rabbit (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Last night — after effusively praising the Board of Education budget as well-crafted, realistic, yada yada yada — the Board of Finance voted to cut $1 million from it.

The proposal passed on party lines.  All 4 Democrats voted for the reduction; all 3 opposed it.

Lest you think that the Republicans wanted a deeper cut, think again.  Republican Avi Kaner suggested only a $197,000 reduction; fellow GOP member Ed Iannone offered up $600,000.

It was Democrat Allyson Stollenweck who came up with the $1 million figure.  That was still less than her Democratic colleague Brian Stern; his suggestion was $1.2 million.

And it was Republican Kaner — not any 1 of the 4 Democrats — who said:  “The schools are the one thing we cannot compromise on.  Don’t mess around with it as much as you are proposing.  I think it’s an awful mistake.”

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backward…

9 responses to “Through The Board Of Finance Looking Glass

  1. There were so many strange moments last night that it is hard to pick the best/worst. A comment made about parochial schools paying teachers less and turning out a better product seemed odd to me. My parents spent money to send me to private high school run by “Brothers of Holy Cross.” In college I realized what an inferior education I had received. When I compare my experience with the experience of EVERY SHS student, I feel sad for me and happy for my students. I had a lot of catching up to do on my own.

    I never did understand how the suggestion to go from 56 custodians to six would actually work without the Board of Health shutting down the schools.

    Oh, and I will never forget the statement about the education model we are now using in Westport is unsustainable and we have to move to a new model. Is that REALLY what parents in this town want for their children. Did so many move to Westport hoping that the model now used to educate children will undergo a radical change?

    Thanks for your blog Dan. I’m as confused about the whole thing as you are.

  2. Innocent Bystander

    Very nice piece of journalism. Perhaps it is forerunner for things to come where political labels are cast aside and our representatives actally vote their beliefs instead of holding the party line and worrying about being reelected.

  3. Did the signed petitions and emails asking the BOF to support the BOE budget as submitted mean nothing at all? Parents want great schools and are willing to pay for them.

  4. Nina,

    If what you say is true (I believe as you do), then thousands of those parents need to let the four BOF members who want to dismantle the schools and replace them with a “new model” know that they are on the wrong side of this issue.

  5. I think the issue should reflect what all Westport taxpayers want. Also, I can’t believe that $1 million is what separates our great Westport schools from less-than-great.

    As for the Republican vote, it has less to do with schools and more to do with Republican election-day strategies. Mr. Kaner, by the way, almost pleaded poverty Tuesday night when talked about the higher taxes that CT-to-NY commuters like him will face because of changes in New York laws.

  6. Curious – there is no Board of Finance election this year. Mr. Kaner is not up for re-election for another four years. I also watched both night’s budget deliberations. Mr. Kaner stated his primary objective of funding the pension obligations. He explained that budgets would have to be adjusted to meet these obligations. However, he insisted on prioritizing those cuts the same way one prioritizes his/her household or business budget. The school system, in his view, is an area we must preserve – our shining star.

  7. Jim Goodrich

    Deja Vu all over again! This year’s budget process is following much of last year’s script. I was annoyed about cuts to the BOE budget then and am annoyed about the recommended cuts now. Both years it my fellow democrats who were the aggressive cutters and I do not like it.

  8. Hey Dan,

    Did you know democrats also wanted to throw rocks through Democrat windows.

    Read on http://thehill.com/homenews/house/87519-its-been-a-living-hell-says-rep-stupak

    Seems when Stupak was against HC, his life was also a living hell. Funny, we just never hear that.