As a taxpayer of Northville Central School District, I feel obligated to address the Northville Central School / Mayfield Central School merger issue. In my opinion, too many people are looking at this issue on an emotional level; i.e., no more Northville Falcons, no more varsity games at Northville, no more high school concerts and musicals at Northville.
Not being a native of Northville, I feel very safe stepping back from the emotional side of the issue to focus on the practical matters.
A merger would allow Northville students programs and services that have been cut or eroded through budgetary constraints. This includes some athletic teams, some art and music and occupational and speech therapists.
Though not essential to the basic educational program, these are essential to the overall well-rounded development of students. The more experiences they have in high school, the more likely they are to succeed in college and the work force.
Another major issue is transportation. I have heard many people express concerns about bussing students the 10 miles between the two facilities. There are many students in this state who are bussed greater distances. It is likely that many people reading this letter survived school bus transportation of this magnitude.
As for money matters, the merger incentive aid and the increased building aid on new projects as well as on existing debt is a huge factor both districts must consider. Yes, NCS District residents, your school tax bill will increase slightly to equalize your tax burden with comparably assessed Mayfield properties within the new district. Recent tight budgets in Northville have resulted in district residents enjoying the county's lowest school tax rates while the student program suffered.
If the merger fails taxes will not go down. Without a substantial increase in state aid, taxes will have to increase well above the imposed tax cap to restore cut programs and services. Which brings me back to the true emotional issue, which is: what is best for students; not what is best for sports, musical and concert spectators.
Remember to vote Jan. 7.