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Letter to the Editor - Vote Yes On Sturgeon Bay School Referendum

The Sturgeon Bay Board of Education is grateful to the people of Sturgeon Bay for the support that they have shown our district over the past several years.  We are committed to providing the first-rate education to our children that our community has come to expect.  At the same time, however, we realize that we must do everything within our means to lower our expenses and keep property taxes as low as possible.  In the three years since our last referendum, we have eliminated seven staff positions for a total savings of $449,000.  We saved $950,000 per year by increasing our employee contributions to their health insurance and retirement plans.  We will save over $200,000 per year when we begin subcontracting busing this summer.  We promise to continue to search for new ways to make our operation more efficient without affecting the quality of education that we offer to the children of Sturgeon Bay. 

Because of the savings opportunities that have become available over the past three years, our district spent less than had been predicted in our budget forecasts.  Our Board elected to pass these savings on to the taxpayers of Sturgeon Bay by taxing for $630,000 less than had been authorized in the 2010 referendum.  It is extraordinarily rare for a district to tax for less than they are authorized, but we know that the people of Sturgeon Bay trust us to tax them at the lowest rate possible and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Despite all of our budget cuts, however, it remains necessary for us to once again go to a referendum to exceed the state imposed revenue cap.  As with all of the other districts in our county, it is simply impossible for districts that are experiencing declining enrollment to maintain their educational programming within these caps.  We believe that we have earned your trust.  We will spend your tax dollars as carefully as possible, and we hope that you will continue to support our schools by voting yes on the Sturgeon Bay school referendum on April 2nd.

Joel Kitchens
President, Board of Education
Sturgeon Bay School District

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