Rome, NY Sucks

I can't believe how many people want to be Mayor of Rome in 2015.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Meet the Candidates

I thought I'd put up a little voter guide of the people running for our school board. Just to give you an idea of the current membership's crowning achievement, check out the Rome School budget proposal. You will notice that there are 2 budgets, the proposed budget and the contingency. The contingency budget is the amount they are allowed to raise the budget even if the proposed budget is voted down. It is $670,000 (0.73%) less which amounts to 2.4% of the property tax levy. The kicker is even if the proposed budget is not passed, the contingency budget is financed so that teacher pay remains the same and your property tax levy is the same. Cuts will be made in programs and less money will be drawn from state and local governments.

In effect, the School Board has decided that if you want lower property taxes and reasonable teacher benefits, you will not get them no matter how small the budget is. But take heart, the smaller the budget is this year, the small the contingency budget can be next year.

On to the candidates. Seven people are running for four seats. The candidates are current members Patricia Riedel (president), Paul Hagerty (clerk) and Eric Jones; plus non current candidates Stanley Wenndt, Leonard Summa, Frank Anderson, Louis Daniello. The union has endorsed the entrenched members as well as Wenndt.

Taking a look at the interviews from Friday's Sentinel, I see a good amount of sameness and waffling, but I've extracted a list of people I endorse. My choices are unsurprisingly the four non school board members. However, I do have an order to them.

I pick Anderson at the top. He seems to have some financial understanding of continued high budgets. Next is Summa, since he is critical of the lack of fiscal responsibility in the current budget. Third is Wenndt. Even though he is the union's pick, he's not an incumbent and he knows how to party. Last is Daniello. He seems to be soft on closing schools and likes the budgets, but I'll give a new guy a chance.

Happy voting.

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