WCS budget trimmed, some jobs saved, protests continue

"How many more people will they have to cut when you add 35 more students?" she asked. "They will have nothing to do."

She said that Junior Varsity sports were important to her peers and kept them involved and occupied.

"It's something we really need and enjoy in our school," she said.

Tenth Grader Megan Pierce said that involvement in sports helped nurture the qualities of leadership and determination and prompt responsible behavior in students. She said her family chose to move to Warrensburg because of the school's offerings, and she wanted to fight for the younger students to have the sports opportunities she enjoyed at WCS.

"Students elsewhere don't have the chance we do up here, and they are more likely to get into the 'lows' like smoking and drinking," she said. "Sports gives you skills to get a job and be successful in life."

Another speaker noted that the money that taxpayers shell out for several day's worth of beer and cigarettes would bankroll the entire Junior Varsity sports program.

Various parents testified that the WCS special education teachers and school psychologists - including Isobel Munoff, whose job was on the block - had made the difference between success and failure in their children's lives.

But Town Board member Bryan Rounds urged the school board to continue budget-trimming efforts. He said he'd heard from many members of the public that they'd "had enough" of high taxes.

"We've got to find a way to keep the burden off the elderly, those living on limited incomes - and the young people so they can afford to buy a home here, work here and be a part of our community," Rounds said. "This is what's paramount here."

Local resident Michael Curry said that ever-rising taxes were now forcing many elderly taxpayers on limited incomes to choose between paying for needed medicine, heating fuel or food. He added that Junior Varsity sports could be retained if the school coaching staff agreed to a one-third cut in their coaching stipends, paid in addition to their instructional salaries.

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