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To the Editor: West Stadium Athletic Field improvement

November 7, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I understand the PMSD board will be further discussing and evaluating the addition of major changes to the West High School field this evening. I am very concerned that the ongoing decrease in student population may eventually lead to a closing of the West HS so the potential expenditure may be of little value long term. It seems logical to use the funds that are liberated in the selling of closed schools for other capital needs that will then allow excess tax collections to be used to reduce debt and lower taxes.

As you know all four of the districts in Monroe County (MC) are experiencing declining school enrollments and one has to ask why?  I have little doubt that high school taxes while not necessarily the root cause have exacerbated the population decline.

The other issue that needs careful analysis is when enrollment has declined 20% from ’05-’06 to ’10-’12 millage has increased 35% in the same time frame. I understand that in the next five years student population is projected to decrease another 13%.  All of this would prompt a very careful analysis and some very conservative projections along with some very prudent cost cutting in anticipation of continued decline.

I would strongly urge the board to sit on this expenditure for a few years to see how the projections of further student loss are trending and to see if we experience a flattening of the projected loss trends. As we also suspect our legislature is unlikely to make any progress in revamping taxes as the higher population areas will not support change so we will be saddled with the current formula for the foreseeable future.

Karl M. Weiler

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