Letter to the Editor: New Trustees Needed After Carmel Board of Ed’s Glaring Incompetence

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The Carmel School Board recently announced that for the 2021-22 fiscal year, the district is facing a $4.7 million budget hole. As usual, the school board’s first reaction is to raise taxes instead of first trying to cut spending. Trustee Eric Mittelstadt, in an obvious attempt to appease and mollify the voters, stated that we have fairly intelligent residents who will know and understand if next year’s school budget is much higher. This is a very thinly veiled hint that he intends to override the state mandated 2 percent tax cap.

I would remind Mr. Mittelstadt that a 60 percent supermajority vote is required for the budget to pass if the cap is overridden. Board members, being fairly intelligent residents themselves, should not be looking to impose a massive tax increase, but instead should be concentrating on reducing costs and the tax burden on our already overtaxed residents.  

This month marks the second anniversary of the forced approval of the school bus garage referendum. After being rejected three times by the voters, the referendum was passed on the board’s fourth attempt. To date, the school board has made no progress toward construction; in fact, they have gone backwards. The site has no zoning variance, an issue which a competent school board would have corrected prior to purchase. A proper set of architectural plans has yet to be submitted to replace the first set, which had a second story added to the garage, nearly doubling the cost. 

I might note that the school board claims they have no idea who ordered this second floor into the plans. Is there anyone BUT the board that can do that? Also, to date, the board has yet to obtain a building permit in order to proceed with construction. Therefore, in two years, the school board cannot report any progress, but believes that the voters are intelligent and will authorize more taxes to extend this incompetence. Nothing could be further from an intelligent thought, but is more accurately described as a first-class con job.  

In light of this total incompetence and the blatant, deceitful attempt at a large tax increase, I believe that in the next school board election in May, all incumbents on the ballot should be voted out. It is time to try a new slate and give others who are interested a chance to use the taxpayers’ money wisely and make some sorely needed progress.  

Paul Collazo
Lake Carmel

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