Here he goes again...
Here's a quote from Lorraine Amaral, organizer of many of the events for Save Our Sports regarding the city's twisted priorities.
“I understand that the budget is tight but they have $30,000 for the dog park,” Amaral said. “Maybe we have to get back to basics and put more where we need it, and be a little less frivolous. Priorities have to come first. I was brought up in the way there is a need and a want, needs come first, wants come second. This is a need for the whole town.”
The response from our laughable mayor...duck responsibility.
According to Mayor Mark Boughton, the money for the dog park will not be coming from tax payer money, it is being raised privately. “I could give a hundred grand to restore freshman sports, but under state law, we cannot direct the way the Board of Ed spends it. Out of the $100 million plus budget, I cannot understand why the Board of Ed cannot find it,” said Boughton.
A few things:
1. The idiotic dog park proposal WILL cost the city money as the city will be on the hook to maintain the facility. The city will also be on the hook for any lawsuits stemming from any accidents occurring at the dog park (i.e., the town of Ridgefield is currently in court over a dog attack that happened at their park).
2. It was Boughton who decreased and decreased funding to education over the years. This resulted in the Board of Education taking drastic measures in order to keep the level of education at it's current state.
3. Last year, Boughton overstepped his bounds as mayor; he "punished" the Board of Education by taking back money that was allocated to the BOE because he didn't agree with the way the money was used.
News-Times editorial, July 9 2010:
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has gone too far and has overstepped boundaries in his attempt to cut the already approved education budget.
Boughton wants to take back the equivalent of raises given to four non-union administrators, and a salary for another.
The mayor has called the 2.5 percent raises to four people irresponsible at a time when an intermediate school is closing in the city and other cost-saving measures are being instituted.
He has a point. Every expenditure must be carefully weighed when it comes to educating children -- no matter the frugality of the economic times.
But it is too late. The mayor and the City Council had their chance to review the proposed education budget; they took the responsibility seriously and allowed a less than 2 percent increase above the previous year.
It was up to the Board of Education to work with that amount, though the increase was only half of what was requested. Neither the mayor nor the City Council ought to have line-item veto power over the Board of Education.
Mayor Boughton's suggestion, which was referred to committee last week by the City Council, amounts to posturing.
For trying to do so, Mayor Boughton, a former teacher, should get called into the principal's office.
Can the Board of Education find the funds to keep freshman sports alive, probably.
Does the mayor share in the blame for freshman sports being eliminated, definitely. This entire episode is due in part to the decreased level of funding this mayor was allocated to education, which has resulted in art classes being taught from a cart, the elimination of para-professionals (specifically in Kindergarten classes) while enrollment is steadily increasing, and classroom sizes increasing at an alarming rate.
Boughton lives to duck responsibility when something goes bad in the schools while taking responsibility for the good things that happen within the school system...in Mark's demented world, he can have it both ways.