On Monday, May 24th, the Republican controlled West Chester Area School Board has once again decided to raise property taxes after promising austerity. Newly elected school board members Heidi Adsett, Sean Carpenter, Maria Armadi Pimely, and John Wingerter campaigned as fiscal conservatives. These candidates promised to cut wasteful spending and hold the line on property taxes. Ironically, one of those candidates, Maria Armadi Pimley, proposed an amendment to the board to raise taxes for the 2010-2011 budget by 2.83%. Also voting in favor of this amendment were board President Jim Seagraves, John Wingerter, Jim Davison, and Ricky Swalm. Voting against the budget were board members Sean Carpenter, Heidi Adsett, and Vice President Terri Clark. Board member Jim Smith was absent.
In March, Jim Scanlon, Superintendent of the West Chester Area School district, proposed cutting the the districts director of elementary education position. This cut, according to district Communications Director Rob Partridge, would have saved taxpayers $100,000 per year. This position would have been handled by other administrators but the cut was denied by a 5-4 vote. The new elected school board members that voted against this cut were Heidi Adsett, Sean Carpenter, and Maria Armadi Pimley. Also voting against the cut were Ricky Swalm and Terri Clark. The members that voted to eliminate the position were Jim Smith, Jim Davison, John Wingerter, and Jim Seagraves.
It seems that the local Republican controlled school board has made promises it cannot keep. This isn’t the first time that members of the school board have been in over their head. In October of 2009, then school board candidates Adsett, Carpenter, Pimley, and Wingerter released a flyer to the public entitled “School Board News”. In it, they criticized the school board for the 5.9% increase in taxes for the 2009-2010 budget. A little ironic, don’t you think? As taxpayers, we have to ask why the tax increase after promises of holding the line? Why does the director of elementary education position still remain when the Superintendent said it should be cut? The answer is it’s just politics as usual!