I agree with Senator Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12), when he said in a letter to the Daily News and Middletown Patch about the future of education: “As stewards, we are accountable and it is our responsibility to ensure that quality products are produced; that all Rhode Island students receive an affordable, world-class education; preparing them to compete in the global economy. It’s a responsibility we cannot and must not delegate.”
But has Senator DiPalma forgotten the meaning of affordability? It has to be at a price that the taxpayers can afford, and I also would like to point out that it is the General Assembly, which he is a member of, that has been picking the people's pockets, to buy votes, for the past twenty five years.
1. They have wasted hundreds of millions of tobacco dollars, meant to help the sick, to plug their budget gaps, twice.
2. They have waited until the last days, before the State would have lost millions of dollars in Medicare reimbursement monies, to increase Governor Carcieri's balanced budget by $68 million, and he had to reluctantly sign it, or lose the monies.
3. They reneged on their promise to reimburst the cities and towns for the first $6,000 in auto evaluations.
4. They tried to pass a law that would prevent municipal union contracts from ever expiring.
5. They passed a gasoline tax that’s $0.08 per gallon higher than Massachusetts.
6. They passed a law to force cities and towns to readjust their property tax evaluations every three years, based on the sale price of homes in the community, to raise more money, or be penalized, instead of reducing spending.
7. And what about reforming the pension system, as the treasure has asked? The tab comes in at $9.4 billion for the unfunded liability for 155 separate plans run by state and municipal entities in Rhode Island, according to a Providence Journal analysis of pension-plan financial reports. The total in New York State: $45.8 million, less than 1 percent of Rhode Island’s. At least do away with the 2% to 3% compounded interest on municipal retirees' pensions.
8. If the General Assembly honored their commitments to the local communities, and stopped their out of control spending on special interest groups, then maybe, the people could afford to give more to educate the children of their community. But seeing how some 80% of municipal school budgets go to salaries and benefits, I doubt it.
Remember, you were elected to represent the people of this great State and Newport County. You are the steward, you are accountable, and it is your responsibility, to ensure that all the people have a safe and healthy environment to live in, and raise their children in first. Then to give their children the best education that they can afford to give them, not the education that you think that they should have. Unless you’re paying for it, then of cause, all bets are off.
In the end, I think you had a lot of nerve, to take this tact, in these fiscal crises that municipalities are facing, due to the General Assembly's inability to do what’s right.
Remember, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing!!
Send Comments to email@example.com