School board shows fiscal irresponsibility

I have seen numerous letters in the Mirror over the past few years complaining about the fiscal irresponsibility of certain members of the Altoona Area School Board.

Despite their numbers being reduced in the last election and being replaced by more fiscally responsible individuals, the “tax and spend five” majority remains in control.

Those five have continuously voted to increase our school taxes and spend our money on unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary projects. This goes far beyond the $88 million being wasted for new construction that many in the community opposed.

The most recent example of wanton waste was reported in the June 12 Mirror. The “tax and spend five” voted to authorize over $600,000 for new tennis courts, an expenditure opposed by the four remaining board members.

Really, $600,000 for new tennis courts? Are you kidding me? What was wrong with the ones we already have? Well according to the article, the old courts are being demolished to make room for parking for the new unneeded and unwanted school building.

Those new tennis courts (cost of which is not part of the $88 million already being spent) will be placed where the basketball court currently is, so stay tuned for updates on how much a new basketball court will cost.

The Mirror reports that the board president did acknowledge that the bid was much higher than they would have liked, but he explained that they simply didn’t have time to rebid the project and get a more reasonable cost, as that delay might inconvenience the students who play tennis.

So we are paying two or more times what it should have cost us for tennis courts, because the “tax and spend five” didn’t want to inconvenience some tennis playing students. What about the inconvenience to the taxpayers whose taxes are being increased and are being forced to overpay for these courts?

I know, it’s hard to believe that this would or could happen, and those five board members would so casually flush our tax money away. Please read carefully the Mirror article from June 12. It’s all there.

It never seems to end. Fiscal irresponsibility is now the rule among the AASD board. With the “tax and spend five” in firm control, the AASD taxpayer should expect to enjoy many more tax increases in the future. Brace yourself for next year’s budget. More is coming. I mean we can’t inconvenience those basketball playing students, can we?

Michael Gannon