The past practice has been to throw money at the problem and it will be OK. If our school boards would get together and look at how working together would saving thousands of dollars in operating funds that would not cut teachers. Look at savings that could be garnered by consolidating Grand Haven, Fruitport and Spring Lake school districts, or any combination there of. As an example, how much could be saved by eliminating one superintendent and supporting staff? How about consolidating three bus operations and eliminating some of the maintenance operations and elimination of duplicate bus routes. How many assistant superintendents do we have in the three districts that are duplicating functions?
We, as taxpayers, do not know because we never see organization charts of the districts. When was the last time such information was published in the Tribune or any other newspaper? How about school budgets, have they ever been published?
We need year-to-year comparisons, as well as actual expenditures against budget. We don’t even know the actual tax revenues the schools are receiving for operations and debt service. Under the Freedom of Information Act can’t the Tribune come up with this information? It could be very enlightening and would be a real service to the communities.
We should not stop at the school districts for savings and efficiencies, but expand to the local units of government, such as the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg, Spring Lake Village, Grand Haven, Robinson, Crockery and Spring Lake townships. Look at the duplication of administrations, fire departments, street maintenance, managers, etc.
It is time to get serious and do what seem like hard things to do, but if we don’t do it now, what will the price be for our children and grandchildren? Ask yourself, can we continue to listen to the teachers’ union representatives or are we willing to support those elected representative who are willing to make the hard decisions?
— George Raymer, Spring Lake