Schools must live within budget

In your Feb. 9 edition, you quote Town Administrator Keezer, “The point has come where we’re not replenishing free cash at the rate we’re spending, and that’s driving a big part of the deficit.”
Let me translate: We spent more money that we have and now homeowners must foot the difference.
You see, the School Committee and the Selectmen have signed contracts with teachers and town employees promising increases that we, the town, can’t afford.
Furthermore, they knew this when they signed the contracts, and they did it anyway.
As a former FinComm member, I lost my position shortly after I voted against pay raises for teachers and town employee.  I objected to the raises because the town leaders would not tell me if the raises would outstrip revenue in the coming years. Sound familiar?
So, I guess the subsequent FinComm appointees learned not to ask this question – and here we are.
Proposition 2 1/2 limits property tax growth to 2.5 percent year over year.  Giving raises over 2.5 percent just about guarantees the situation we find ourselves in now, and our town leaders do this all the time.
Stop this insanity.
You live within your budget, make the town do the same.
You can blame the schools mostly for this mess. At contract time, they send in professional negotiators to face our town volunteers on the School Committee.  They are overmatched and routinely give away the store.  The town employee unions, knowing they cannot match the fire power of the school union negotiators, simply ask for “what the teachers got.”  That is how it works.
Stand by for the threats that if you don’t approve the override, gone will be theater, art, sports, music, along with limited police and fire.  So, your kids will be stupid, you will get robbed, and your house will burn down.
Jack Buba
Marblehead