Citizens group supports teachers, but does not support wasteful spending.
I’m disappointed that a number of people seem to be spreading false and misleading information about the United Citizens of Auburn’s position on schools and teachers.
Some misunderstanding may have come from a March 13 article in the Sun Journal.
It’s quite difficult to separate my personal opinions from those of the group, despite my best efforts.
We invite everyone to join our group and get yourself educated as to what we stand for, what we are doing, and help find ways to save money in both the Auburn city and school budgets.
We support teachers and strongly believe that providing a good education for our children is vital to Auburn’s future. We have repeatedly stated that we would reject any attempt by school administrators to cut the budget by sacrificing teachers. In fact, many in our group supports increases in teacher salaries.
We do believe that there is very significant waste and mismanagement of taxpayer funds in the school department, however. Some concerned school department employees have come forth with information about some of this waste, but refused to go on record with this information because they fear losing their jobs.
Attempts by some citizens to investigate by requesting data were met with roadblocks, delays and hostility. A rational person may conclude that this indicates that someone has something to hide.
Furthermore we are not “focusing” on the school department. In fact we have spent over 90 percent of our energy on the revaluation itself, the city charter, city departments and city capital projects, such as the parking garage project.
Everyone in this city, including teachers, school administrators, city staffers and city council members, needs to understand one thing: the resulting new tax burden on Auburn citizens due to the revaluation and increased city and school spending is way too high. It is devastating to seniors on fixed incomes and hard-working families on lower and moderate income levels. Many people have come forth stating that they will have to sell their homes, and the huge inventory of houses on the market indicates that there may be truth in those statements.
I think there will also be other negative economic fallout due to the reduction in personal disposable income.
Unfortunately, very few people in this city seem to care enough about how the school department and city spend their money to actually get involved, and it’s going to cost us all dearly.
Walter Reed, vice chairman of the United Citizens of Auburn