Letter: Who decides what is a ‘fair share’
I appreciate Mr. Letizia’s letter to the editor (“Proof of WIC support,” May 29 Reader’s Write), and I greatly respect him for living within his means in not accepting the WIC benefits for which his family qualifies. (Would that our national government act likewise, but that’s a different topic.)
I said from the start that our teachers and school staff do indeed deserve raises. My main point was that the school budget has gone forward for many years, being passed without question or meaningful scrutiny. Such a paradigm naturally breeds wastefulness, duplication and a top-heavy bureaucracy. My surmise is that a carefully scrubbed school budget would yield potentially substantial savings that could then be passed on to the teaching and support staff.
Overall, I would like very much to see a new approach to all of Gloucester boards’ and departments’ annual budgets, wherein each comprises a prioritized listing of all proposed line items. This information should be available to the county citizenry, perhaps on the county website, so that we can see exactly what we are being asked to pay for. Such transparency would allow for a lively public debate and provide a legitimate basis for the board of supervisors’ budget decisions.
Lastly, however, I must take issue with Mr. Letizia’s contention that Gloucester’s property taxes are low (which is one of our county’s positive attributes) and that there is a “reluctance of some in this county, indeed in this nation, to pay a fair share of taxes.” Who is to determine what is “fair?” The school board? Should anyone be telling anyone else what their “fair share” is? That is how it is done under socialism but rightly is an issue that should be up to the citizens themselves and not a bureaucracy.