|Ocala, FL -
January 20, 2012|
Published in the Ocala Star-Banner on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
Schools over hospital
I wanted to give our county commissioners a pat on the back. There have been a lot of negative articles about them lately.
Raising taxes for anything is always a sensitive subject, especially right now. The commission has to consider a multitude of budget options.
Personally, I don't really want any property tax increase at all. If I had to choose, though, I would choose a tax to support our schools. So many cuts have been made in every school department. Teachers and school staff have suffered and made many sacrifices for the children of Marion County. Yet, the education of our children and, thereby, our future continues to fall further and further behind.
Meanwhile, there are administrative-level employees at Munroe Regional that have six-figure salaries, fully paid pensions and bonuses. While no one is suggesting they take cuts, instead the talk is of adding a new tax to further support the hospital.
The Board of Trustees at the hospital currently is stacked in the favor for the management group that runs Munroe. So our elected county commissioners, through their appointment of trustees, are trying to balance the board out more. We as taxpaying citizens have a right to know the truth and be apprised of both sides of an issue. That's why it is important to have trustees on the board willing to challenge the justification of new taxes versus alternative ideas and suggestions.
We have plenty of hospitals, walk-in clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and a major state-funded university hospital just 40 minutes away. We can't afford to fund unnecessary local expansions at this time. We just need quality care. We as residents should not be pawns in any institution wars. Please help our schools.