Letter: Wilton budget out of balance

To the Editors:

At this year’s town meeting there were complaints because we had not increased school spending for several years. It was pointed out that we sent $$$ to the state for schooling and we only received $ back. “That’s not fair!” “Why are we paying for Bridgeport Schools?” were some of the outcries. Yet when some of us who think we should have excellent schools, but that we do not need to be in the top 1%, the outcry was deafening. “Our darlings are precious and we are doing a disservice to our children if we don’t give them every opportunity!” “People come to Wilton because of the excellent schools.” “Our housing values will crash if we don’t have the best schools.”

To that I say poppycock (I would rather say the BS word but …). I have never had a child in the Wilton school system but strongly feel we all have a responsibility to support education for children. Not just “our” children.

Don’t be selfish. I think $1,000 spent in Bridgeport would do more good for educating children than $1,000 spent in Wilton. Your child’s “wants” shouldn’t become my (or our town’s) “needs.” You live in Wilton. You probably have a good education from a school that was not in the top five in your state. You probably own a beautiful house and drive two late-model cars. You can make “wants” happen without asking for a handout.

Think about the dynamics. You say people move to Wilton so their kids can get a great education. That education is subsidized by the 50% of residents with no kids in school. Many seniors and people whose children have graduated try to sell up and move away. Why? Could it be possible the taxes are not seen as returning value? (As a senior, I get a $0.50 discount on my Transfer Station ticket, period!)

Don’t fool yourself. Our homes stay on the market far longer than neighboring towns (173 Ridgefield, 212 Wilton). Taxes keep getting higher while funding for everything except schools is squeezed. Many of us volunteer for organizations that raise money and contribute time for town improvements and amenities that make Wilton the welcoming place it is.

Wilton is like a one-trick pony — schools. If we had a more balanced perspective of what our town might be, we might attract people from other demographics. People without school-age children might want to move here. Seniors might want to stay here.

Dean Keister
Ridgefield Road, June 4

7 thoughts on “Letter: Wilton budget out of balance

  1. Agreed.The Iffland family has lived on Cherry Lane for five generations, so we’ve seen Wilton change over time. From Emily Post in a one room schoolhouse on Hurlbutt Street to $19,865.00 per student per year. Let’s hope our town is not on the brink of a slippery slope.

  2. Providing schools is mandatory and not worthy of elevation to “pony tricks.” Every town has them and every towns’ schools in this county are better than NY City’s or miscellaneous towns from which any relocating family might be moving. Ergo – Wilton schools is not a ‘value add’ benefit of the town, it’s standard equipment for this area and not worthy of faux elevation (read: increase the budget as the sky’s falling) to Rolex implied status in a entire county of Rolexes.

    Prospective home buyers simply decide which of the areas similarly no-pony town they prefer for myriad reasons unrelated to reputation of – accurate or not – the schools.

    Could it be that Wilton parents also shop this way? Like paying $100 for the identical something at a (hyped-brand) mall store instead of $80 at Walmart. Seems like it. Wilton can deliver an equal or better education for less. Tell the Board of Ed to cut costs and raise edu. Now.

  3. How much are Wilton school administrators spending and wasting of local dollars on national topics like the USA wide coordinated guns walkout day, the Anti Defamation League presentation at Middlebrook auditorium the night after the phony locker post it note, and the Little Theatre auditorium political event last Saturday?

    Evidently while the teachers want to excel in teach reading, writing, humanities, science, and math, the administration and select teachers find that too hard or boring or both. They’d rather cost students unrecoverable learning time with detours into easy-class-time current events discussions and hosting national movement events.

    And people wonder why students are sweating about their college prospects and acting out? #resignBOE, #resignSmith&Smith, #resignWHS&MIddlebrookPrincipals.

    Wilton needs new principles and new principals.

  4. Two uninformed, uninvolved “experts” second guessing volunteers and paid professionals who spend thousands of hours working for the Town and whose work is then rewarded by the ultimate vote record of the population. People like this may be living in the wrong place.

  5. Hello Ray,
    You continue with all is well in Wilton. Alex Ruskewich and I would love to meet with you and Mr. Hudspeth at your earliest convenience to bring about the facts in town. When are you and Mr. Hudspeth available?

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