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Letter: Taxpayers and Students Benefit

Finally! All of the district’s obligations to the former bus drivers have been settled. Restitution to the bus drivers did not cost $7,925,000 as one letter writer asserts; back pay and benefits to which drivers were entitled totaled only $3,250,000. Buying the drivers out of their positions cost an additional $3,960,000 plus $715,000 maximum in FICA and ERS contributions.

The taxpayers are not obligated to pay any money; the necessary funds have already accrued through savings from outsourcing, because the district prudently banked the annual savings once the suit was filed.

There is no need for an investigation into this settlement. Rather, the taxpayers should be thrilled as they can put future savings of over $1,000,000 a year straight to the bottom line. Why someone might think that monies have been wasted when the district saves $1-1.5 million annually, I am not sure. There is no spin. Facts are facts, and the numbers have not been disputed by any professional. See the details at http://www.manhasset. k12.ny.us/files/filesystem/Comparative%20Cost%20Analysis%20Details.pdf. To say that we have been ‘duped’ is just ignoring the reality of the savings.

Before people cry “foul” they should spend time getting to know the school board members and administrators. They are fine, principled people trying to do the right thing for the children and for the taxpayers, no maybes about it. Board members are elected by and serve on behalf of the community without compensation. Why vilify them? Just meet with them and listen to what they have to say.

I hope the current board members have the strength to continue to represent us, especially as they have accomplished so much. They have saved the district over $1 million annually; a major accomplishment on the taxpayer’s behalf. This board, with community support, has brought the district’s facilities into commendable shape and has helped to bring a solid, talented administrative team in to lead our district. Our children have more options available to them, and our district is in the best shape it’s been in the last 20 years.

Keep the facts straight: the taxpayers and the students are benefiting.

Vivianne Hernandez