Northville-Mayfield school merger: don’t believe all the hype
I have read several letters to the editor telling residents to vote yes for the merger. I have read that if we do not merge with Mayfield, Northville Central School will go bankrupt, will have no programs and will be forced to merge by the state. None of these assumptions are based on fact.
According to the 2013 Northville audit, we are in a “solid financial condition,” and no programs are being cut next year. Also, according to section 1803 of New York state education law, “Statute provides that formal voter approval is required before a reorganization order can be implemented.”
I have also read the 72-page merger study, so perhaps the biggest myth of all is that the merger will be “good for the kids.” Of the $19 million in incentive aid, the report says $11 million will be earmarked for “stabilizing property taxes with Mayfield” and “student programs.”
However, due to the substantial tax rate differential, all of the incentive aid must go toward trying to stabilize taxes, while none of the aid is going toward additional student programs. The tax rate gap between Mayfield and Northville makes it impossible for this merger to center around the students; instead the emphasis is on trying to bridge the tax gap with Mayfield. Regardless of the outcome of the merger vote, taxes will increase. Northampton residents must decide if they want their tax dollars to stay locally to help our students or instead would they prefer the hefty tax increase be used in an attempt to resolve a tax issue with Mayfield.
On a more personal note, I am discouraged by letters saying young people aren’t going to move to Northville because of the school. We chose to move to Northville (as did many of our young friends) because of the school. We could have gone to Johnstown or Broadalbin-Perth, but we moved into Northville because the community plays such an important role in raising a family. In today’s world it is refreshing to have such a unique school, where our children are not lost in the crowd.
There are hundreds of big schools with more programs and more students. I urge everyone to remember why they came here in the first place. We all had a choice, let’s come together as a community and make Northville Central School the school we know and love.
Downtown Sch’dy needs more handicapped parking
The revitalization of State Street in downtown Schenectady has made the district a destination for people throughout upstate New York. People who aren’t handicapped, that is.
I recently counted a total of 74 parking spots on State Street between Broadway and Lafayette Street. How many handicapped parking spots? Amazingly, only three. To enjoy the city they helped create, my elderly parents and their friends would have to park in the parking garage and then painfully limp their way for blocks to their dinner destination. So they choose not to go.
How many other handicapped taxpayers, many being veterans, are effectively banned from enjoying downtown by a callous city administration?
I believe at least 20 of those parking spots should be re-designated as handicapped parking spots. Let those of us lucky enough to be healthy complete the trek from the parking garage.
Don’t glorify hunter’s opinions in headlines
While I thoroughly agree with the Dec. 27 letter writer regarding Mr. [columnist Ed] Noonan’s so-called “hunting” techniques, what appalled me was the headline on his Dec. 27 column, “Buying another gun can be therapeutic.”
Really! Who could come up with a headline that insensitive, with our country reeling in the wake of so many gun-related tragedies?
Many ways to walk, and benefit from, labyrinth
Joyful thanks for Joanne McFadden’s Dec. 28 [article], “A path to well-being.”
I’m a passionate labyrinth enthusiast and have attended workshops and walked innumerable labyrinths, which are so plentiful in our area.
However, the writer omitted the fact that even the handicapped can “walk” the labyrinth. A hand-sized plaque with the labyrinth design allows a finger to trace the path.
The soothing benefits are equal for both the sick and the well person.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.