Congratulations to the two new Lacey Township School Board members. They have a tough task ahead of them if they hope to accomplish any positive changes for the taxpayers.
I have been reviewing all the monthly bills since summer 2013. I have located several superfluous items that need to be stricken from the next LTEA contract. So here are a few thoughts and ideas for the new Board members to contemplate.
In district mileage reimbursement must go. It is a slap in the face to taxpayers to reimburse mileage for employees making over $100K per year. It’s less than 4 miles to any one building from another. If the job requires the person to go to more than one location, so be it.
Uniform and clothing reimbursements must go. Anyone making over $50K per year can buy their own uniform/work clothing. If the District wants to a require a uniform shirt for custodians with their names, then let the District issue the shirts instead of checks that the employee can do anything they want with. Also, enforce a dress code if that is what required. I see no defined uniform and I have visited all 6 buildings on different occasions. Clothing allowances for custodians are an antiquated union benefit left over from the days of shoveling coal into furnaces. This is not the case in 2014. This money amounts to thousands of dollars which should be for the teachers for classroom supplies, textbooks, class trips, etc.
Another item that should be stricken is the coach checks. $150 to each and every coach of any and every team every year. How many jackets and uniforms do they need? Especially if the same people coach the same teams over and over again. This is an expense the taxpayers should not responsible for. And it amounts to thousands. Coaches that are teachers receive a stipend on top of the clothing allowance check. After a while, these clothing checks are like bonuses. A volunteer is a volunteer and there should not be cash compensation at the taxpayer’s expense.
Last but not least, the benefits contribution proportions MUST be changed. The State minimum is not enough. A larger percentage of payment must be made by the employee…. On a sliding scale of course. And a larger contribution should be made towards family health plans since they are much more expensive than single person plans. Family members who practically get free insurance from the taxpayers are not employees of the District and should not be given low cost health benefits. They are not school employees. A more logical and cost effective system would be to offer practically free health insurance to the actual employee of the District and then ask the employees to pay for the family insurance plan. The taxpayers should not be liable for individuals who do not work for the school district. Lacey cannot continue in the business as usual format in this town. It has not worked and things must change. The citizens of Lacey are demanding that their tax money be spent prudently. The School Board must remember they are beholden to the taxpayers and not the employees of the District. The sooner the School Board recognizes this fact and who is paying the bills, the better for all of us taxpayers here in Lacey.
Regina Discenza, Lacey