Letters: It is our sincere hope that the City remains firm in its position on MEA negotiations

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The Concerned Taxpayers of Manchester (CTM) would like to commend the obvious effort and diligence of the Manchester School Board’s negotiation team for the very thorough and thoughtful presentation given at the Special Meeting of the Mayor and School Board on Monday, April 22. 2019.

It was clear to anyone paying attention that the team addressed critical issues and concerns in their approach — while keeping the taxpayers in this city in mind as well.When one considers that the School District proposal was about $1.5 million short of the Manchester Education Association’s recent demands and that it’s original offer increased the salary and benefits lines by an estimated 13.5 percent over four years, we remain concerned that the City’s tax cap would likely need to be overridden in the ensuing years of the contract after this year (assuming a contract is reached). This year’s cap is about 2.03% and while the MSD proposal would not impact the cap this year, the math suggests slightly over a 3 percent average each of the remaining years in this contract. We suspect that this percentage will, in fact, be higher than the likely tax caps for those years.

Couple that with the fact that the MEA is looking for more taxpayer dollars than the City offered and you can rest assured that the cap will be trampled.

The Mayor was correct (at least politically) to quash discussion of putting the Tax Cap on the municipal ballot in an election year for city officials. While we continue to be appreciative of the sober efforts of the city negotiating team and the support staff, even the city’s comprehensive “three-legged stool” approach may still be too rich for those taxpayers who are not given “guaranteed raises each year.” It is our sincere hope that the city remains firm in their position and does not acquiesce to the unreasonable and insatiable demands of this MEA leadership team.

Concerned Taxpayers of Manchester