I fully support the Riverside Village Board’s decision to draw the line at match-funding the crossing guard salary expense with School District 96. Fifty percent is more than fair given the village is not required to pay anything.
Cynics among us might argue this controversy is little more than robbing Peter to pay Paul. Ironically, however, the real risk to taxpayers isn’t the village being on the hook for more than 50 percent. The real fear is District 96 accepts what is rightly their responsibility and assumes the crossing guard expense.
Historical precedence suggests that together, the administration and the teachers union would likely expand the force from its current six part-time employees earning a collective $64,000 annually, to a full-time platoon of 50 guards, each making $100,000 a year with full benefits.
The expanded force would no doubt require taxpayers to build a crossing guard lounge complete with flat-panel televisions and state-of-the-art coffee brewing technology. Funds also would be needed to send the guards to conferences in Palm Beach and Las Vegas so they can keep abreast of the latest crossing guard protocols. Additionally, a Crossing Guard Appreciation Day would need to be organized.
William H. Anderson Jr.