I would like to express my gratitude to Montpelier’s school board members and the staff who have worked so hard to present a reasonable school budget to voters. As a former school board member, I know how much time and energy this kind of public service requires.
That’s partly why I find the opposition coming from Vibrant and Affordable Montpelier supporters so disappointing. By listening to them, one would be led to believe that the school budget is driving many, many Montpelier residents to leave.
However, I never actually met a person who is moving out of Montpelier because of the high property taxes. I have only heard threats of moving if property taxes aren’t reduced.
In fact, my wife and I moved into Montpelier four years ago from a town where we paid less in taxes in large part because we thought highly of Montpelier’s school system. And at the March 19 school board meeting, I heard similar testimony from three other parents who moved to Montpelier because of the schools. Not a single person spoke out who actually said they were going to move because of the high taxes.
I think our children and the future of Montpelier are best served by having an informed discussion about how much we as a community need to spend to provide an education that meets the 21st-century needs of our young people, not one based on threats.
Please vote for the school budget on April 15.
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