Mehlville Board of Education needs to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’

To the editor:

Having just read the article concerning the proposed 94-cent tax increase being considered by the Mehlville school board, I have to ask myself do these people live in a cave or just in the liberal vacuum that seems to be affecting most of the elected officials in the country?

We are in the middle of a recession, and by all indicators we are getting ready to take a double dip into another one. We have double-digit unemployment, foreclosures are on the rise again and home sales/purchases have crashed. But with all this, the Mehlville school board thinks it is a good time to ask for a tax increase.

Really? Wake up and smell the coffee. Most people are struggling to pay their bills. They are worried about losing their jobs.

What they don’t need is a handful of delusional board members sitting in a retreat trying to figure out how to con district residents into voting to raise their taxes to pay for a wish list of proposals to make our school district a so-called high-performing school district.

I, like most residents of this district, have a wish list of things I also would like to have — a new car, a built-in swimming pool, a fall cruise, et cetera, et cetera. But we’ve learned to live within our budgets. We just can’t go to our employer and say we want a raise because we want to do this or that. If we did, we probably would be called crazy, just before we were fired — kind of like the political suicide mentioned in the article.

Looking to the future is a noble idea, but when there is no money in the present to pay for the future, you learn to live within your means and make do with what you have. Maybe the board needs to be reminded of that and shelve this ill-timed tax increase for a time when the economy has recovered. And if they do decide to go ahead with this foolhardy proposal, they need to be reminded at the ballot box just who they work for — we the people.

Jeff Polka


Editor’s note: The Mehlville Board of Education voted 6-0 Aug. 19 to place an 88-cent tax-rate increase on the Nov. 2 ballot. Board Vice President Venki Palamand was absent.