An Empty Building
Our learned East Hampton school superintendent and the board are asleep at the wheel. The smoke screen that was put up to hoodwink the taxpayers, "it's for the children," is casting doom over all the area.
At the time this "empire building" project was proposed, Gualtieri put forth numbers that surely were a pipe dream. He also remarked that the median price of a home in East Hampton [was] $450,000, which we of course knew was horse bleep.
All one has to do is read the listings in the papers and know that it is near $650,000 and that is for an average size home and, of course, it goes only up from there. Let's not forget that the estimated tax rise in the Springs is near 20%.
So I ask our "genie" superintendent, please explain this, by using common sense in the calculation, how a family with school age children can afford to move here from the West, so their children can go to the Taj Mahal. Of course, no one looks at the Mt. Sinai District, when the estimated tax base from the defunct Shoreham Plant that was "in the bank" went belly up.
So, Mr. Wizard, add up the numbers, an established financial formula advises that one must earn at least $100,000 to afford a $300,000 mortgage and explain where some young couple has $300,000 saved in today's real world. Of course, if they need milk and bread, that is another story.
Somehow, I cannot seem to find any employment opportunities in this area that offer those wages, unless you are the Superintendent of Schools. One only has to read that enrollment is down in the schools, that will feed the hungry lion. That is a fact, not the phony skyrocketing numbers that he proposed.
Please tell us where these children are coming from that will fill the rooms?
The hidden costs of staffing will surely rise as well. We all know that our schools are burdened by the influx of children whose parents do not contribute to the tax base. Shhhhhhhh! We must be politically correct, how many are not even supposed to be in the school system?
So, we may very well be facing an empty building but will still have to pay for it (ask Lilco about that).
Maybe Mr. Gualtieri, should sit down with Mr. Perna, from Montauk, who faces reality. He seems to be totally aware. Maybe your grandiose project has to be put in mothballs before you chase everyone out. Who's looking out for us? Certainly not you!
Editor's Note: As reported in last week's Independent, the East Hampton School District is planning a massive expansion because its high school is overcrowded. By the time the expansion is completed, however, the high school kids will be long gone, replaced by students currently in the district's elementary and middle schools — where enrollment is spiraling downward.
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
October 31, 2006