Editorial: Happy New Year, please

12/23/2010 1:36 PM |

When the crystal-covered ball high above Times Square drops down at midnight as the old year dies, will we be celebrating the demise of 2010 or the promise of 2011?

Probably both.

This year was far from the worst of the past three or so, but who will lament its passing? Are we still in the grip of the Great Recession? Or is the worst of it truly in our rearview mirror?

This country’s best and brightest haven’t yet figured that out (assuming they can), which leaves us no choice but to carry on and hope for the best. If we’re good at anything, it’s doing just that.

What can we expect in the new year? Some serious economic challenges, certainly. It’s disturbing and frightening to hear the superintendent of the Mattituck school system liken himself to the captain of the Titanic as he faces upcoming school budget deliberations. Governor-elect Cuomo has made it quite plain that the state has no money and budget cuts are coming, including state aid to education, one of the topmost reasons for the unfortunate Titanic comparison.

Can we avoid getting slammed again by spiking energy costs, particularly gasoline and diesel fuel? Driving here and there is one thing, but when most of the stuff we use and eat is carried by trucks, it all becomes more expensive.
People of all political persuasions have long rattled on about the need to keep spending under control, to “tighten our belts.” And yet the reverse seems to take place year after year. If only half the candidates who promised to “run a tight ship” and operate government “like a business” did what they said they’d do, we’d have the most efficient and effective public sector since the time of the Romans.

Obviously that’s yet to happen. That’s understandable, to a certain point. The conundrum, Town Councilman Bill Ruland observed during a town budget discussion, is that people often make conflicting demands for maintaining low taxes while also maintaining services.

These lean times demand an end to that. It’s unrealistic to keep pinning the blame on “they” and “them.” We’re in this together and the sooner we accept some responsibility the better.

Who knows where 2011 will take us, but wherever it is, it’s clear it won’t be a solo trip.

Comments

comments

4 Comment

  • I do not have a child in the school system, but I have worked in a school for over twenty years and NEVER was such a notion put forward. My children went to public schools and never was an assembly confused with a field trip and never was I asked to pay for such a thing. If this is all that this new superintendent can do to improve the education of our students, let’s get rid of him as soon as possible. Same goes for everyone else on this Board who considers this appropriate. They should all be ashamed of themselves. We pay taxes to support the schools and the children should be able to enjoy their assemblies without telling their parents to pay for it. An assembly is not a field trip.

  • I really do not think this is a big deal, we were asked to pay $7 total for three in- school events. I think your reaction to the superintendent and board is a little harsh, especially since he then asked for input on the community on the issue.

  • I don’t think it is a harsh comment. It is so unfair to ask parents, many of whom are having financial difficulties, to pay so that a child or children can attend an assembly. Sorry, but a walk from the classroom to the auditorium, gymnasium or lunchroom, wherever they hold these events, is not a field trip. It is disengenuous for the Board or the Superintendent to phrase it this way. It is also unfair and embarrassing to ask a parent to request a subsidy from the PTA or anyone, to pay for this. What is the cost incurred by the district to have the children walk from class to the assembly site? If they asked for input, here it is – it is simply not right and I repeat, they should all be ashamed of themselves.

  • NOT ONLY SHOULD PARENTS PAY FOR ASSEMBLIES, BUT THEY SHOULD ALSO PAY FOR SPORTS, CLUBS AND ALL EXTRA CIRRICULAR ACTIVITIES. IN MY OPINION, THESE ARE ALL OUT OF POCKET PARENT EXPENSES . . . IT IS UNFAIR TO ASK THE COMMUNITY TO PAY FOR THESE EXTRAS. READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC — THE BASICS SHOULD ONLY BE COVERED!!!!