Greenwich BOE votes to spend what we won't be getting

Coming soon, COURTESY of greenwich taxpayers, the "new" new LEBANON school

Coming soon, COURTESY of greenwich taxpayers, the "new" new LEBANON school

Voted last night to ask the town to advance construction funds for New Lebanon School. 

Readers with a long memory — all the way back to May, perhaps — will remember the BOE's promise to hold off on this boondoggle until state funding was secure. Now that the funding is not secure: Malloy, in fact, has vowed to stop it, they want to start construction anyway, committing $12-$22 million of our money. That way, by the time the state finally leaves us entirely on the hook for this $37-million disaster, our town officials will scratch their collective rear-ends and say, "well gee, we're already committed — we can't stop now!"

The excuse for this huge, over-sized structure is that it will serve as a magnet school and draw students in from other, whiter, areas of town. That isn't going to happen, because parents prefer neighborhood schools for their children. This applies to New Lebanon parents as well, who last year loudly rejected a proposal to shut their school and bus the children to other, under-utilized facilities around town. 

And I side with the New Lebanon parents: one of the great things about Greenwich is the system of local, neighborhood elementary schools. We could build a new school there that's of an appropriate size, at half the price, and tell the State of Connecticut to go pound its diversity sandbox: what can they do, cut off our funding? They did that years ago.

Related, possibly:  talking with local fellow-agents, we're all noticing a drying up of the $3.5-$5.5 market, even in Old Greenwich and Riverside. With CT still without a budget, billion-dollar deficits stretching out over the horizon, and the new tax bill on the table down in D.C. that seeks to punish the blue states by ending the federal deduction for blue states' high taxes (an excellent idea, but it won't make things easier around here), my pessimism grows.