Merger would be about taxes, not kids

I have read letter after letter to the editor telling residents to vote “yes” on the proposal to merge the Mayfield and Northville school districts.

I have read that if we do not merge with Mayfield, Northville Central School will go bankrupt, will have no programs and will be forced to merge by the state. None of these assumptions are based on fact. According the 2013 NCS audit, we are in solid financial condition and no programs are being cut next year. Also, according to information from the state Office of Educational Management Services about state education law, “Statute provides that formal voter approval is required before a reorganization order can be implemented.”

I also have read the merger study, so perhaps the biggest myth of all is that the merger will be “good for the kids.” Of the $19 million of incentive aid, the report says about $11 million could be earmarked for “stabilizing property taxes with Mayfield” and “student programs.”

However, due to the substantial tax-rate differential, it seems all of the incentive aid would go toward trying to stabilize taxes while none of the aid would go toward additional student programs. The tax-rate gap between Mayfield and Northville makes it impossible for this merger to center around the students; instead, the emphasis is on trying to bridge the tax gap with Mayfield.

Regardless of the outcome of the merger vote, taxes will increase. Northville residents must decide if they want their tax dollars to stay locally to help our students, or instead would they prefer the hefty tax increase be used in an attempt to resolve a tax issue with Mayfield?

On a more personal note, I am discouraged by letters saying young people aren’t going to move to Northville because of the school. We chose to move to Northville (as did many of our young friends) because of the school. We could have gone to the Johnstown or Broadalbin-Perth school districts, but we moved into Northville because the community plays such an important role in raising a family. In today’s world, it is refreshing to have such a unique school where our children are not lost in the crowd. There are hundreds of big schools with more programs and more students. I urge everyone to remember why they came here in the first place. Let’s come together and make NCS the school we know and love.