Three years ago public opinion polls showed that more than 70 percent of Americans did not want the Affordable Health Care Act as it was proposed, yet it was voted into law in 2010 by officials elected to represent the people.
Earlier this year, polls showed that more than 80 percent of Americans approved of mandatory background checks for gun purchasers and that issue didn’t even make it to the floor of the U.S. Senate for debate.
It’s enough to make one scratch his or her head and wonder who elected officials really represent. Worse yet, it makes you wonder if the elected officials have turned the day-to-day responsibilities of their positions over to hand-picked, or in some cases party-picked, “administrators” whose primary interest is keeping their boss (or political party) in office and hanging onto their own high-paying jobs. They seem to care about the opinions of their bosses’ constituents only in the weeks leading up to an election.
Far away from Washington, D.C., in the Upper Perkiomen and Quakertown school districts, the stage has been set for a similar battle: to outsource the jobs of certain service workers or keep them as employees of the districts. Is the amount estimated to be saved worth the cost? Worse yet, is the amount estimated to be saved a real number or something that can be buried in an obscure line item next year when job duties taken for granted emerge as an extra cost because they weren’t listed in the “request for proposal” and the need to save face supersedes the administration’s responsibility to the taxpayers and students.
Citizens showed up in mass at recent school board meetings. In Quakertown, dozens of district support staff workers and community members greeted school board meeting attendees with a rally at the district’s administration building.
In Upper Perkiomen, more than 200 people attended the April school board meeting and more than 200 showed up again for the school board’s financial committee meeting last Thursday. The same number is expected at tonight’s Upper Perkiomen School Board meeting which will be held in the high school auditorium tonight at 7 p.m.
In both the Quakertown and Upper Perkiomen cases, some were there to seek answers, but far more were there to show support for employees who have become the low-hanging fruit for the pickers who pretend to be true reformers for school budgets but choose to concentrate on saving nickels and dimes while wasting dollars.
As mentioned in earlier editorials, taxpayers aren’t always opposed to a tax increase; they’re opposed to their tax dollars being wasted.
From the top of the pay scale to the bottom, from the purchases made to the trash in the dumpster, from the quality of the education provided to the value of the extra-curricular activities available, show the taxpayers that their investment in the public education system isn’t being wasted and they will pay.
A title can be given to anyone. Credibility and trust is something that’s earned.