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The voters of Longmeadow will be asked to make a tough decision on Nov. 6 when a special election is held. All because the School Committee couldn't make a decision in the Spring of 2007. At that time they decided not to ask for funds to honor our new teacher's contracts, but postponed that decision until now.

That, in itself, is not bad; where the current budget underfunds the teacher's contract by $1.1 million, the override is requesting $2.15 million. Some of that extra $1.05 million is to cover projections of estimated costs for 2009 and 2010.

I believe the teachers should receive their raise but that the extra $1.05 million should be voted on separately. If they are presented to the public as one package, all or nothing, many people who favor the teachers pay raise will vote NO because we don't want to authorize extra taxes now for possible need years out. Don't let the Select Board hold the teachers hostage for their own unneeded funds.

Sam Altman