Shameless In Pottstown
No ! I have no, or, to say, little shame. Less than a year until I'm 80, I've put in a lifetime of apprenticeship in this, my hometown, Pottstown. "Been there, done that" wouldn't be unreasonable for me to answer you, if you asked me about conditions found in our town.
If asked about the ongoing latest debacle, the patching up of outdated buildings we refer to as our elementary schools, makes me shudder each time an additional oversight surfaces, escalating the cost, raising our taxpayers' responsibilities for more and more taxes.
The right to tax, remains today, the opportunity to impoverish. Pottstown has little to offer but a robust desire to tax for education disproportionate to the ability for residents to pay. Instead of an all out assault on our legislature to change to a broad based tax for education, our school administrators and directors, complacent in their right to levy taxes, are like a shuttle cock knocked back and forth over the net as over runs and under designs assault them monthly. Directors' responsibility is projection, the distant view, it's not being a daily scorekeeper.
In a shameless pronouncement : I was a proponent for the Elementary School Campus projected for the Washington Street revival area. This was a well designed, inclusive complex which took into account the total town, taxes included. Most school district are unlike Pottstown's. Here the boundary for the town is exactly the same boundary as it is for the district. Until that changes, both the borough and the district are one, and they are beholding to the same taxpayers, the property owners.
School Directors and Borough Councilors have the same responsibility to improve the town. I believe, both directors and councilors should extend every effort to change the method of taxing for education from property taxation to a broad based income tax. One of their prime responsibilities is to maintain the financial vitality of the town.
We have to finally forget forever the idea of "walkable elementary schools". This concept, narrowly accepted, has been used too often to impede a unified vision of our town. An impoverished town, when sinking, needs a more comprehensive planning module to buoy it up and send it into the 21st Century. Stop being duped by the more vocal zealots among you, you the leaders. Someday you may be old enough to become shameless, too.
Ronald C. Downie