Finance chairman Mike Guarco always has the best interest of everyone in this town foremost in his mind and heart. For many years, he has kept the Granby ship from sinking through some strenuous waters. He doesn’t just pop into the monthly Board of Finance meeting and toss around some ideas. He spends an enormous amount of time researching and studying the situations at hand, and tries very hard to prepare for several years in the future. He tries to keep the mill rate down while attempting to give residents the services they want.
An op/ed in the September Drummer took issue with Guarco’s suggestion that, since they are the majority of the town’s paid employees, the teachers, as well as all the other town employees whose wages and benefits make up 75 percent of the budget, might consider foregoing the usual yearly increase in order to pay for the many expenses incurred in order to prepare for the schools’ opening and the efforts needed to continue to keep our schools safe during this age of Covid-19. The Educational Cost Sharing income is decreasing, and the FEMA grants pay for only one-time expenses involved in the opening process.
I taught high school for 26 years in a nearby town, and yes, I enjoyed a pay raise every year, but the times were ones of prosperity, and certainly didn’t include a pandemic. As a resident of Granby and a teacher, I would be happy to trade my pay raise in a year like this one in order to keep our mill rate down.
We all recognize the teachers are having a very hard time with the online/in person hybrid situations. Yes, they are essential. A much-used phrase for our current condition is “We’re all in this together.” It would be gratifying if we could act for what is best for everyone in the town.
Shirley Murtha, a registered independent