On April 1, I attended the Sayville school board's public forum on the 2014-15 school budget.
The meeting started with a litany from the board of how the state has cheated Sayville out of its fair share of funds and that the problem is revenue, not the district's spending.
Then 10 of the most successful Sayville High School seniors spoke about what a wonderful experience they've had. While these students were exceptional, this was not the appropriate forum for their accolades.
The final portion of the meeting was supposed to be an opportunity for residents to address the board. But the microphone was monopolized by about 20 to 30 more students extolling the merits of their arts and music programs. They pleaded with taxpayers to pass the budget.
The budget asks for an increase of $2 million, and of this amount, $1.65 million is for salaries and benefits. Residents were never given the chance to have their say, and instead, the school board orchestrated a dramatic presentation by students.
The school board members need to learn what is obvious to most of us business owners and residents: The contracts awarded to our teachers when money was flowing cannot be sustained now. We cannot afford the current taxes, much less increases. As a small-business owner, when I can't afford something, I do without it. Because of these oppressive tax increases every year, we are doing without a lot!
Louis P. Fenech Jr., Sayville
Editor's note: The writer owns a business in Sayville.