Garden City Seniors Have Mixed Feelings About Rising School Taxes

Some criticize the "system" while others feel it's an "obligation."

Patch spoke with several seniors at the St. Paul's senior center to find out how superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen's recommended $101,117,058 budget for 2011-12 - which calls for a 2.58 percent tax levy increase (with STAR) - will affect their wallets.

One senior criticized the "system" while another felt it was her "obligation" to endure the rising taxes whether she has a child in school or not - because seniors did the same when her six kids attended school.

“Why can’t taxes be frozen for seniors?" Jeanette Ferrell asked. "Our children are long out of school. Why is the burden only on the homeowner? Part of the problem is the structure. I think it’s an unfair system. City taxes are half of what our taxes are. The state should be responsible. The burden should not just be on the homeowner."

Kathleen Auro of Merillon Avenue had a different take: “I feel that when my children were in school, senior residents paid taxes for my six kids over the years. I now feel I have an obligation to do likewise whether I have a child in school or not.”

Resident Helen Carss questioned the need for so many administrators. "We have such well trained teachers and principals. Is it really necessary?” she asked.

Roslyn Colangelo said the district's reputation speaks for itself. "The main reason my daughter moved here is because of the schools and their reputation.”

MD May 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Personally, I think the taxes are way out of hand. The schools don't need as many administrators. The teachers are way overpaid. Most of the money paid by homeowners goes toward teacher and administrator's salaries. Their work does not warrant the salaries they receive when you total their packages - time off, benefits, etc. The children suffer because the money is not going to their benefit. I don't have children and I feel it is not fair to constantly burden homeowners to pay for schools. The childrens' math and science scores have dropped over the last decade so apparently, teachers and administrators are not doing a very good job. It is truly a scam that should be addressed.
William Duckfield May 04, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Am I the only person that believes that a 101 million dollar budget seems astronomically high for a small school district?
George May 04, 2011 at 04:08 PM
Labor costs, Pensions/Benefits....are common burdens in EVERY school district....if there was an easy solution most districts would have adopted changes sooner....just look on the web at the many school district debates around the island (and elsewhere)....as for the burden of homeowners without children, it should be less....but....without it, you can only speculate on the further decrease in village marketability if the schools were less than desireable....
Don Pfail May 06, 2011 at 01:28 PM
It is too much - the administrative costs are the driving force, you don't need those assistant principals. But look who is running the show - a former principal himself - can you blame him? At least we know they are very diligent about the budget process and the School Board Trustees actually know and care about it.


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