I am writing this letter to once and for all clarify all the mistaken statements that Scott Powell wrote in his letter to the editor in the June 27 issue of the News. For starters,
I want to make sure that people know that I do agree with the addition at Maurice Hawk. However, as I have been writing all along, I do not agree with the methodology the administration and board of education used to fund it.
Mr. Powell very conveniently does not address the money we could have received as state aid. He, as well as the administration, keep forgetting that if we get financial aid, we should take advantage of it.
Why does nobody address this issue? Why do people think it is OK to leave millions of dollars on the table?
Mr. Powell, I have to call your attention to the inaccurate statement that you made regarding the Howard Hughes development. Howard Hughes is not “coming” as you stated.
Fearmongering statements like this one are beyond unacceptable. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so tone deaf to the community and instilling fear. I am speechless.
In addition, you CAN do percentages of capital reserves over the total amount of the budget (Econ 101). Somebody like you that is in finance should know, because this would be an accurate way to compare apples to apples per school district and still the percentage that WW-P has for capital reserves/total budget is higher than the other districts.
What WWP is doing is unacceptable. It is hoarding money. Comparing capital reserves to property value is absolutely inappropriate due.
Even if the value of property goes down, the district still needs money for HVAC and maintenance of the buildings. Are you telling me that the amount of capital reserves should oscillate according to the value of the properties?
Mr. Powell, the property value has been stagnant for the last six to seven years, and the capital reserve has increased, therefore, your statement makes no sense.
I am the “squirrel” that works hard to put nuts away in my checking account (my own retirement), and I am telling the administration of Squirrel Land (just to continue with the analogy) to cut us a break because they keep taxing us up to our eyeballs, and the administration budget always shows a surplus.
In addition, the superintendent of Squirrel Land keeps moving money to capital reserves so the “squirrels” do not have a say. If you are not ashamed of that, you should be.
Let’s keep in mind that the school is a public non-profit organization, which means that the bottom line every single year needs to be zero. The unorthodox way of making the bottom line zero is by moving money to capital reserves. “If” there is a surplus, that means we are being taxed too much, no question about it.
—Veronica Mehno, West Windsor