Consider other savings in the school budget to be part of funding for the new (or repaired) school.
Ending the prevailing wage mandate would cost the district nothing and still save money. School Director Doug Carney, Feb. 4, said he did not feel the savings would be that much concerning the high school project. Suppose, however, it was just a mere $100,000. Or even $10,000. One suspects if the district could get $100,000 (or $10,000) for naming rights to a classroom — one of the out-of-the-box suggestions being considered for funding — the district would be very happy.
One is pretty confident that if the proposed money-raising foundation got a $10,000 donation, the district would be happy.
And that’s not even considering savings in other projects — school, municipal or county — ending the prevailing wage mandate would garner. All tax dollars at all levels ultimately come from the same source, after all, whether it be via a purchase, a property or a paycheck.
So a strong public push to end this mandate would be perfectly logical in the context of building the high school project.
For what it’s worth, Commonwealth Foundation pegs the cost of the prevailing wage mandate at 20 percent for public projects.
Let’s consider the mandate for school districts (and counties and townships) to pay for advertisements in newspapers of general circulation when announcing meetings and seeking bids and such. The cost statewide was $26 million in 2006. This is just a straw on the back of the Springfield taxpayer but one less straw is one less straw.
It would cost nothing for the school board — and the township commissioners and County Council — to pass a resolution calling for its end.
The most damning thing about this mandate is that it actually inhibits good government. Changing the mandate to one where public notices are placed on a searchable government website would make the process far more transparent than the status quo besides being a lot cheaper.
And then let’s get the teachers involved in the matter. Would they be willing to forgo a salary increase in their next contract to help pay for the project? If a resident surviving on Social Security or who has just seen his unemployment expire asks them to, does that mean the resident is anti-child?
Just a thought.