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The Sun letter to the editor: Put Hall on Hamburg school board


We are coming upon a season of important decisions about our schools.

First, we have the public’s endorsement of the budget, and I use the word “endorsement” intentionally. None of us want higher taxes. No one wants to see services for students reduced. And few of us want to see young teachers being laid off. Sadly enough, those are the results of voting “NO” on the Hamburg School District’s budget.

Taxes go up because expenses increase: as “they” say, “It’s the cost of doing business.” And the alternative is a contingency budget, with its extremes and limits on libraries, extra-curriculars, bussing – and just about anything else that can make school attendance meaningful and appealing.

But here’s the real kicker for anyone who thinks that a NO vote will reduce his/her taxes: You will hardly notice any difference on your tax bill by turning down the board of education’s budget. That’s why I used “endorsement” and not “decision” or “consideration.”

Secondly, this same season gives us a chance to change the tone of the board from “embarrassing” to “respectable.”

These last few years have made the Hamburg district look like a joke to our area neighbors, while in years past, our schools were associated with quality programs and our board with polite consensus – despite the usual disagreements where “two or more are gathered.”

One such candidate who is pledging a return to “its strong reputation” is Cameron Hall. In his prospectus for voters, Hall’s outline of principles include: improving the district’s reputation by challenging all to return to respectful debate and reasoned decisions; collaborating with the community served by the board; nurturing innovation and innovative teachers seeking current technologies aimed at student success and using his professional business experience to navigate complex financial matters required in school policies and procedures.

Cameron and his wife moved to the Hamburg district in order to enjoy a quality of life embedded in our community’s reputation. He works as a senior manager at ValueCentric, a healthcare service and technology provider in Orchard Park, where he is responsible for their annual budget, revenue projections, and resource allocation – that, either taken individually or as an entire entity, comprise the profile which we need desperately on our board of education. I vigorously urge district residents to endorse Cameron Hall with their votes on May 20th at the high school. Our schools and our kids need Hall on board – badly.

Edwin Beck


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