WEST GOSHEN — About 100 voters packed the meeting room at the West Goshen Township building to hear from, and get to know better, nine candidates for the West Chester Area School District Board.
The League of Women Voters of Chester County organized the almost two-hour-long voter forum Wednesday that was moderated by league President Susan Carty.
“We really want the candidates to tell you who they are,” Carty said. “The goal is to feel like you know them a little better.”
How to balance a district budget? Carty asked.
Herrmann noted that the current budget runs $303 million and she doesn’t understand how any cuts can be made at this time.
Greenberg suggested considering how things were done in the past while looking forward.
Frey said that teachers should be paid fairly.
Durnell said he doesn’t make decisions on what should be cut and the board has been fiscally responsible. “You’re getting a bang for your buck,” Durnell said.
Christy said that the district has some of the lowest tax rates and the best results.
Bevilacqua noted that budgeting is a balancing act while considering revenues and expenses.
Spangler said that he wants stakeholders to know that the dollars were spent appropriately. Schmitt said that financial documents need to be more accessible.
“We should see an outcome based on our investment,” Spangler said.
Schmitt wants to better track where the money is going and won’t vote for a tax increase until reserves are drawn down.
Oliver talked about budgeting realities.
“There is no pressure to keep the budget in line because we can raise taxes,” Oliver said.
The candidates were also asked about coping with teacher shortages and special education and the forum then ended with a wrap-up by the candidates. Election Day is Nov. 7.