Too often, agendas are dictating votes

I usually hesitate to offer my opinion on issues if I don’t have all the facts, but several recent letters and articles in the Mirror have tempted me to offer some thoughts.

The letter on Feb. 2 contained good facts and figures. It mentioned wages and benefits as major expenses. One issue that was mentioned a lot earlier with respect to all public employees was a “looming pension crisis.”

Considering all the issues in the Feb. 2 letter — current debt, other projects that may need to be addressed, state funding issues, the pension issues — does the Altoona Area School District board have a plan to fund operations without constantly raising taxes on people already struggling financially?

Making only interest payments for 15 years indicates, to me at least, that you cannot afford what you are proposing.

I believe that is the problem with all government and quasi- government. Though an honest attempt may be made to be financially responsible, in the end the agenda usually wins out.

Another letter to the editor concerning the reassessment/tax hikes stated that maybe the commissioners didn’t understand the effects on their constituents.

I think it may be something more ominous: The agenda came first.

As long as you can just continue to dig deeper into someone’s pocket, things that don’t seem so financially responsible may prevail. I liked the letter comparing the issue to buying a car. You like that Cadillac, but you can’t have it.

One of the real purposes of this letter is to offer support for the new board members and thanks to the two current members who have always voted to keep costs and taxes in line while still providing for good educational opportunities.

Again, I don’t have all the facts, but on the face of it, closing schools then having overcrowding issues even after one new school is built seems like questionable planning. And now it seems there are issues still unresolved (like administrative space), so what will be the real costs of this project?

I don’t think any new board member needs to apologize for wanting time to look at what is going on.

I feel that big issues like this should be put on the ballot but, if you think about it, in the last election a big supporter of this project was not elected and an opponent and undecided candidates were elected.

It seems the people have already spoken.

Joseph Rouzer

Altoona

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