Tonawanda News

Columns

October 9, 2012

CONFER: Cut school sports -- for financial reasons

Tonawanda News — The past few years have been almost as difficult for local governments as it has for the private sector.

Unlike state and federal governments — which still seem addicted to their spend-heavy ways despite the short-term and long-term financial implications – municipalities and school districts have had a dose of fiscal reality that once was found only in the business world and in peoples’ homes. They have had to make some very difficult and unpopular cuts and their residents find themselves doing without in order to balance budgets or keep spending increases at a minimum.

Things really aren’t getting any better; their sources of revenue remain stressed. Most businesses are still depressed and definitely hesitant about future growth (the unemployment rate is 8.8 percent in NY). State and local sales tax revenues are a combined $300 million below projections across the state. New federal standards have changed the way educational funding is acquired (“Race to the Top”). The state’s population continues to both decrease and age (upstate’s median age rose by nearly seven years in the period of 1990 to 2010). Foreclosures are still at epidemic levels across the Empire State (140,000 homes are currently seriously delinquent).

Because of those factors, and no real relief in sight, local governments will have to get even more creative in the coming months and years. What was thought to be hard decisions in recent years will look almost pedestrian to what will have to happen in 2013, 2014, and beyond.

Nothing is out of question and everything is fair game. Even the most sacrosanct of all publically-funded programs should be considered for the chopping block. First and foremost should be high school athletics.

When it comes to budgeting at your workplace and with your household finances, every dollar — no, every cent — matters. That same belief should hold true with school budgets. Just because something seems like such a small piece of the puzzle doesn’t necessarily make it so. It’s an accumulation of those small pieces that contribute to the overall organization. When you expand on the statistics, the reality of that is evident.

Text Only
Columns
  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video