Bureaucracy is a money pit

  • Published in Letters

To The Editor:

I’ve lived in Fayston for 51 years having moved from Manhattan in 1967. When our son went to Fayston Elementary School (FES) he was in a kindergarten class of two. FES had 32 students. The following is a tale of which you may not be aware.

In the early 1990s, there was a misguided movement by a small and very aggressively vocal group of residents who were convinced that Fayston Elementary School should be replaced immediately by a much larger facility because the current school would be totally inadequate within a very few years. In their hysteria, they even wanted to put the new school at the top of Center Fayston Road. Crazy. They put forth lots of impressive multicolored charts and “government” and/or “expert” projections and opinions. It was going to be very expensive, but they said the kids should come first and it would save money in the long run. Sound familiar? But I and others thought common sense should also come into play.

I was part of a counter group that slowed everything down and eventually calmer heads prevailed. No new school. The Fayston School population in 1990 was 104. The Fayston School population today, 28 years later, is 104.

My point is this. No one can predict the future and grandiose plans with excruciatingly tight and aggressive timelines are fraught with unintended consequences. Putting kids on a bus from Warren to Waterbury in the winter is almost as stupid as taking kids to the top of Center Fayston Road. Juggling school populations around now won’t solve the unknown school population demands of the future. And, of course, the financial end of it never hits the mark. Never.

And speaking of money. Remember how the creation of the Washington West School District was going to save everyone a bundle. It’s still growing like crazy and costs hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Bureaucracy is a money pit. It doesn’t teach a single kid anything. How about Act 46? Anybody noticed their real estate taxes going down lately?

And, speaking of elementary schools, how come virtually everyone in my generation learned just fine in a class of 20 or more but nowadays, every group of 12 or 14 needs a teacher and a teacher’s aide. I just don’t understand.

Tony Egan