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    « Friday's Rye House Tour: A Preview | Main | Zahm Letter: School Budget Needs to be on Sustainable Funding Path »

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    Restoring the writing mentor program "downwards" is important and a good fix. To make this a complete fix, however, upper grades should once again have access to writing mentors -- something this budget does not fix.

    The actual tax increase is considerably more than the advertised $172/average household as the Board has actively discussed imposing a utility tax that could add as much as $400 per household. Taken together, that's a $572 tax increase per "average" household. While to many Rye residents that's easily paid, to others, it's material. Also, the so-called Cuomo re-election checks will only cover the $172, not the Utility tax.

    While the district faces a $3.8 million budget shortfall, waste continues. As a real estate agent in this community, not a day goes by that I don't hear complaints from seniors, especially those on a fixed income, that this present board acts as though it holds a blank check. While resources for many necessary programs and services have been cut, the board continues to make irrational decisions about where to spend our money. This type of behavior HAS TO STOP.

    I do not support implementing a 3% Utility Tax. I do not support a tax-cap override which requires 60% approval and would disqualify Rye residents from any tax-freeze checks.

    I believe we are already overtaxed. Higher taxes do not equate to higher home values.

    If elected, I will work endlessly to make sure we stop wasting taxpayer's dollars and keep our budgets within the 2% tax cap without relying on reserves or additional taxes.

    I will bring skills and talents that are crucial to any governing organization and sorely lacking on this board. I will do everything possible to stop the waste and keep taxes low, never cut programs and services, show respect to every parent, taxpayer, student, administrator and employee that seeks my advice.

    The seniors in our community also have a stake in the quality of our schools and I will represent them on the board to make sure their voices are heard.

    My decision to run was based entirely on my commitment to helping the taxpayers of Rye as well as it’s youngest and most precious residents.

    We need to make fiscally responsible decisions that prioritize directing resources to the classroom.

    I believe that too often there has been a disconnect between decisions that are made by the school board and the needs and realities of our schools and families.

    I am committed to making sound decisions and choices that will benefit all of the children in the Rye City School District and which correspond to the actual needs and requests of our families and taxpayers.

    My commitment to transparent and thorough communication is of utmost importance - not only during my campaign, but during my term of service to the taxpayers and the students as a Rye City School Board member.

    Jason L. Mehler

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