For every citizen of the Lower Merion community and especially its taxpayers, the performance of the school board members continues to be an area of great interest and continual concern---elected by the voters, these stewards of our tax dollars and our educational processes, have agreed to perform their duties "in the best interests of the Lower Merion citizens." Clearly, any rational person reviewing the spend rate of the current high schools and the grand plans for the future high schools would pause at the quality of their recent decisions and proposed future actions!
Too many courses offered to very few students, an overwhelming number of non-teaching staff administrative positions per student, and an ongoing series of comic errors from the school bus terminal location plus the embarrassing publicity to incomplete staff work for critical presentations has created great doubt in the minds of the normal taxpayer. For example only after months of thick bound booklets, piles of papers, and mounds of shiny plastic slides do we learn our school taxes would rise by almost 50% in the next five years! Kidding the public, slick public relations tricks, or merely more sloppy staff work? Who can pinpoint the cause now? Most importantly, the answers or explanations matter little now because all this work should require the confirmation or rejection by the Lower Merion voters.
We, the taxpayers, elected the school board members to perform their fiduciary duties to the best of their abilities, and did not elect them to spend our precious resources excessively or accumululate debt to the roof! The election of these individuals never offered or entitled them to unlimited access to the taxpayer’s wallet. Their role is to perform normal and ongoing duties, extraordinary decisions or issues, require confirmation beyond their role and scope and that is called a referendum. . . The role of a referendum is to ratifiy or reject a proposed decision and actions beyond their normal duties. This is the core of the school board governance model.
We deserve this voice now, a referendum on the schools to determine if we agree, not at election, with the decision to build these schools! The future holds rising costs, unfunded pensions, and great uncertainty. If we are to move forward, let's all roll forward with a single voice and test the proposal now in a clear-eyed and democratic manner.