The ‘No Vote’ Narrative – by Valerie Nye
Beware the narrow lens of the “no vote” narrative in Clinton. Each budget season they pitch their version of the facts, selectively choosing metrics convenient to their narrative. A letter in last week’s Harbor News [“Must Adjust to Reality,” April 6 letter by Kirk Carr] compares Clinton to Old Saybrook and Madison. Comparing the budget realities with Madison and Old Saybrook these past two years presents a very different picture.
In 2016, while Clinton’s education budget increase was 1.2 percent, Madison’s was 3.1 percent and Old Saybrook was 2.7 percent. In 2015, Clinton’s increase was, again, 1.2 percent while Madison’s was 2.5 percent and Old Saybrook was 3.0 percent.
In addition, in the very same paper, Old Saybrook indicates its healthcare premium savings were a result of a low claims rate. Clinton had an exceptionally high claims rate this year. That is what drives premiums regardless of a consortium.
This letter proclaims a mill rate increase based upon a cut in state funding that is not reality, and, if history repeats itself, may never be reality. If the state does end up cutting the proposed $5.2 million to Clinton the reality is that drastic, detrimental changes to the education landscape in Clinton would be made before asking the taxpayers to fund the difference, but the reality is that last year the state threatened a cut of $1.5 million and ended up cutting $87,000.
Valerie Nye is president of the Clinton PTA.