Spring is hardly here yet here comes the flood. No, I’m not referring to rain, but to the recent flood of glossy mailings courtesy of RBHS District 208. At issue, a deficit and a tax increase.

Voters have lost jobs or taken pay cuts. The value of their homes (if not in foreclosure) has dropped significantly, but somehow the taxes manage to go up. Add to that gas, electric rates and food prices climbing ever higher and now the school district comes to us with their hand out.

To be fair they did warn us of an upcoming deficit, only after the first referendum was in the bank so to speak. That referendum of 2006 put $58 million in their coffers and handed us a heavy long-term tax burden.

In spite of this problem on the horizon the school board provided then-Superintendent Jack Baldermann with a generous salary of $270,000 and later even agreed to pay him over $9,000 in consulting fees while providing free health care to him and his family.

The school board also agreed to a very generous five-year teacher contract averaging 5.58 percent per year on an average salary of $86,442. The school board has simply viewed all this as if no one could have seen the coming economic meltdown. Others saw it as a contract the district could not afford.

Now regarding those RB brochures, they state that the increase will be “only $1.15 a day. Less than a cup of coffee.” What the district is not saying is that this increase continues to go up as your home value improves.

If you had sticker shock on your last tax bill, imagine it going yet substantially higher. Good luck then when you go to sell your home. I am not against school or fair raises, but we need to see some restraint and common sense from Riverside-Brookfield High School. Until then I’m voting no on April 5.

Rick Kotowski
Brookfield