LETTER: In Race for Greenwich BET, Democrats are Politicizing Our Schools

Submitted by Harry Fisher

To the Editor

In the race for seats on the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET), the democrats are politicizing our schools.   Please do not be fooled.

First, my background.  I am a current member of the BET elected in July to fill out Michael Mason’s term.  I am not standing for election, but I know all the republican candidates well.   I endorse them all.

Back to school budgeting and the democrat distortions.  First on the operating basis, despite cuts to the Board of Education (BOE) budgets, in most years the BOE does not spend all the budgeted money and returns funds to the town’s general fund.   On the capital side, no reasonable request for capital has even been refused by the republicans on the BET.  Never.

Why does this matter?   Whichever party garners the most votes on November 2nd gets the chairmanship of the BET.  That carries with it a tie breaking vote, which often has been important to preserving the modified pay-as-you-go policy that has served the town well for decades.  Operating expenses are paid from current tax revenues and funding for large capital projects is spread over a short period with public market financing.  The democrats have advocated selling long term bonds to increase capital projects that have not been requested by the BOE.   Not only does that make zero sense, but it would endanger the town’s triple A credit rating.  

Capital projects must be requested by the BOE; the BET cannot force them onto the BOE.   There is a new multi-year plan that was developed with cooperation of everyone on the BOE and BET.  Funding for schools should be non-partisan, but the democrats think otherwise.

Please join me in voting the entire republican ticket for the Board of Estimate and Taxation.  Thank you. Harry Fisher