By JULIA PARKER
As Malden tries to prepare themselves for the next school year, the people realize that there are some issues in the budget, and the city, as a whole, will face some serious problems. Rumors have been going around that positions in the school environment will be cut, and these rumors are correct. The city of Malden is facing a large amount of debt in the system, and multiple teachers and secretaries are being cut.
In a Generation Citizen project, two freshmen history classes have taken up the topic of school budgeting, and the faults within the Chapter 70 formula. Focusing on Malden’s current issues, the class asked to schedule a meeting with Mayor Gary Christenson and his financial team, to give the class further insight on the problem. Agreeing quickly, our mayor came to visit the school on Apr. 29, 2014 in the school library with Planning Analyst, Ron Hogan.
After Mayor Christenson gave an introductory statement, Hogan started on the overview of the state of our city, compared to others, and the statements really emphasized on the process’ faults. For example, the city of Everett asked for 5.2 million to support their city, yet received nearly six million instead. Our city was given a fraction of what we needed, and is expected to make the rest of the needed money.
Throughout the meeting, Mayor Christenson and Hogan expressed their gratitude at the interest in this topic. “Thank God we have the both of us,” Christenson said; “we really want to say thank you for expressing an interest in this”. Not many people ask about what the Chapter 70 formula really was, and it said in the emails of the excitement the visitors had to educate the students further.
At the end of the meeting, the speakers opened the floor to any questions the freshman students may have had. “Ask away, whatever you want to know, and how we can help your project moving forward”, Mayor Christenson stated.The amount of questions the classes had took up another half hour of time, and the speakers were almost surprised at the amount they had to answer. Students left with the copies of the presentation, ready to take this data into further research, and the meeting was a success.