There seem to be some who have come to regard Batavians for Responsible Government as “that group that opposes taxes”. We at BRG would like to set the record straight.
Our group is not “Batavians Against Taxes”, but “Batavians for Responsible Government“. What is “responsible government”? Perhaps a good way to sum it up from our perspective is to borrow the words of Abraham Lincoln: “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
Responsible government advances the well-being of its citizens. That role can take many forms, e.g., the education of children, the maintenance of roads and parks, protection by police and fire departments. These services are important and should be performed proficiently. But they have little value if the cost to the people whom they are meant to serve is so great that, rather than advancing well-being, they become a burden. In either case, when government fails in its basic duties or it becomes a burden, government of the people is then no longer for the people.
Batavia has numerous governing bodies. In particular, the school district, under the governance of the school board, seems to have forgotten for whom it exists. From the parents who complain about overcrowded classrooms, to the dropping test scores, to the former teacher reporting a negative working environment, BRG believes there is much room for improvement. We believe the school district can be better, more efficient, more effective. We also believe that the ample taxes already provided by the citizens is more than enough to carry out the schools’ necessary functions, plus many of the “extras”. It’s not all about taxes, but taxes are certainly a consideration. Responsible government must take into account the needs of ALL the citizens it serves, inside the schools and out.
Not all members of BRG will agree on everything, but the above beliefs are at our core.
The third component of government, “by the people,” is what BRG was organized to foster. We’re here to listen, to learn, to educate, to support, and to participate in local government. We the people want our government back.