Has yet to see letter challenging facts presented by Mehlville CFO

To the editor:

In

concerning the Mehlville School District, Sharon Needham states her opinion that the school district is not spending her tax dollars wisely.

She specifically recommends that teacher salaries be reduced to eliminate projected budget deficits, just as she must make cuts from her budget to live within her fixed Social Security income.

She notes that the cost-of-living adjustments to her fixed Social Security income do not cover her actual living costs and laments that she doesn’t have the option to ask taxpayers for more money.

She should probably thank her lucky stars for that. Imagine that the federal government decided to push responsibility for administration and cost of Social Security down to the state and local levels and that in this scenario, part of the taxes collected to pay for current Social Security recipients would be levied against the value of personal property and real estate.

Now let’s further imagine that the board of directors for the “Mehlville Social Security District” felt the need to request a tax increase to provide more money to current Social Security recipients.

Based on the number of letters printed in the Call that express opposition to additional funds for the Mehlville School District, it’s likely that a tax increase for Social Security recipients would meet similar skepticism and lack of support.

It is also possible the voters against the increase would object to the automatic cost-of-living benefit, and some might even recommend that Social Security payments be cut because they believe the recipients are just not frugal enough with the money already provided. For many of those opposed, facts about the financial condition of the recipients will not matter.

With regard to Mehlville School District’s current financial situation and possible need for a tax increase, I have to agree with the district’s Finance Committee, which in

wrote: “Challenging times are facing the district and the school board will be faced with some tough decisions, but when evaluating and discussing the issues, it is important for everyone involved to focus on the facts and engage in informed dialogue.”

I also thought Chief Financial Officer Marshall Crutcher did a very good job of presenting the facts regarding past and future district spending in the Feb. 12 article headlined,

I respect those in opposition because it is important to make sure the district isn’t distorting or selectively using the financial data.

However, I have yet to see a letter to the editor that challenges the points made by Mr. Crutcher.