CLARENCE: ON MAY 20th, VOTE YES, VOTE “ASK”

Clarence LogoHere it is. The moment of truth.

On Tuesday May 20th, between 7am – 9pm, you will have a unique opportunity.

First and foremost, it is critically important that you share this information with all of your friends and neighbors. Our biggest enemy isn’t any one entity working to destroy the district; our biggest enemy right now is apathy.

“Oh, I forgot there was a vote.”

“I don’t pay attention.”

“I didn’t know whom to vote for, so I just plunked down the first three names.”

“Who cares?”

All of these pose a surmountable problem.  Over the next few days, you’ll be at garage sales, concerts, sporting events, and places of worship.  Maybe you’ll be at a birthday party or a playdate.  All of these present an opportunity for you to remind your fellow parent-taxpayers that there’s a very important vote on Tuesday, and it’ll only take a few minutes to help ensure the viability and excellence of the Clarence Schools.  It’ll help to protect everyone’s property values, and maintain the unique equation of great schools and sustainable taxes that made Clarence what it is today.

There’s a vote on Tuesday. Everyone needs to go. If anyone needs a ride, call or text (716) 406-8065.

CLARENCE SCHOOL BOARD

If you don’t know whom to vote for, just “ASK“.

Andrews (line 4)

Stock (line 1)

Kloss (line 3)

You will note that the fourth candidate now has smaller signs out urging people only to vote on his line. Do not be fooled – you can vote for any three candidates, as there are three seats on the school board up for grabs.

Keep Clarence Schools Great urges you to please vote for the “ASK” slate for strong schools that are respectful of all taxpayers.

Andrews, Stock, and Kloss have dedicated themselves to fight to maintain the excellent programs that help make the Clarence district attractive, and they support the fiscal conservatism that will keep the district sustainable in the long term. Do not fall for the cheap, tawdry promises about funding our schools through some magical, unidentified sources. Good schools must be funded through revenue that actually exists in the real world, and no amount of “clean” or “creative” solutions is going to change that fundamental fact.

The fourth candidate offers nothing more than empty promises to a district with which he has absolutely no educational investment or involvement.

THE BUS PROPOSITION

The school opponents are urging a “no” vote for the bus proposition. Their arguments are specious and unpersuasive. They recommend that the schools “pay cash” for the buses. Do you pay cash when you buy a car? Probably not; you probably lease or finance.  Paying over time – especially at a subsidized, low interest rate, is what responsible people, businesses, and public entities do.

Let me put it another way. The people who say they’re “respecting the taxpayer” recommend that, instead of financing the buses with state aid and paying 35 cents on the dollar, we should pay the whole dollar in cash.

In this case, the state is covering 65% of the bill, and the borrowing is at an artificially low, subsidized rate. A person with a home assessed at $200,000 would pay $4 per year to cover the cost of new buses to replace ones that are becoming unsafe.

54 of 92 buses have over 100,000 miles on them; the older they get, the less economical they are to run. The financing would run from 2015 – 2020

We’re not talking about limousines – we’re talking about school buses. School buses that transport 5,000 Clarence kids to and from public and private schools in the area every day.

Every single lie that the anti-school forces have concocted have been exposed as such. They tried to push a myth of “empty school buses” – a lie. They tried to demand that the school district examine hiring a private coach company to do the work, but offered zero evidence to establish any savings or improved service.

Indeed, by running our own school buses, we employ Clarence people to transport Clarence kids to Clarence schools.  We pay these Clarence-based drivers and garage personnel with Clarence money, which they spend in Clarence. What benefit is there to hiring some unknown, untested private company that hires anyone with a CDL and a pulse?

Many routes have had the same driver for years. That itself is a building block of a community.

Keep Clarence Schools Great urges you to vote YES on the bus proposition (#2) to ensure that our children are transported to and from school in safe, efficient vehicles.

THE 2014 – 2015 CLARENCE SCHOOL BUDGET

If you’re a homeowner in Clarence living in your primary residence, your net tax increase will be zero. You will be entitled to a tax rebate from the state later this year. How’s that for “sustainable”? 

The budget is well with the 3.16% tax cap, and spending increase is limited to less than 2.75%. All the clubs, sports, and music programs that we lost last year are restored.

We have a long way to go – we need to decrease class sizes and restore electives, but we’re back on a good track. After last year’s debacle, hopefully people will vote their interests, the interests of Clarence kids, the interests of homeowners and taxpayers throughout the town and approve this year’s responsible, sustainable, and conservative budget proposal.

I hasten to address the anti-school people’s definition of “sustainability”; they seem to think that an arbitrary 2% rise in taxes or spending is the upper limit of what’s reasonable; that we need to do palpable harm to the teachers who work to educate our kids in order to meet this completely artificial requirement.

I challenge you to go to this website and look up the historic school taxes for your property. Most people find that, as compared with the period around 2007 – 2009, they are paying less in school taxes now, despite their assessments having gone up. Had the schools instead stuck to an arbitrary 2% tax hike, you’d be paying significantly more today than you actually are.

Keep Clarence Schools Great urges you to vote YES for the School Budget (Proposition #1) to ensure the continued strength of our schools and programs, the excellence of our educational curriculum, and to protect your investment in your homes and in the future of our town, region, and country.

 

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