Peters parents need to remember we are in a recession

Published Mar 27, 2013 at 11:24 am (Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 11:24 am)

I just finished reading, with disbelief and some disgust, the article in your March 20 issue, “PT parents want a new high school to be built.” When a survey last year of Peters Township residents came back with a “resounding negative response” about building a new school, these people decided they need to come up with an excuse to get what they want, so now they are using student overcrowding and safety to push their agenda. What part of “NO!” don’t they understand? I believe the real reason they want a new school is to “keep up with the Joneses” – aka Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park. There appears to be an egotistical faction in Peters that just can’t bear the thought of not having the best/biggest/most expensive of whatever it is – just look at the new soccer complex at Peterswood Park.

These parents must not realize this country is in a recession, and things probably won’t be improving for a long time, and may even get worse. With the higher prices for gas, food and practically everything else, many people are just making ends meet. Contrary to popular belief, even though we live in “upscale” Peters Township, not all the residents are wealthy, a fact these parents either don’t know or don’t care about. Many are on a fixed income or make well below the “median income,” which they brag about as being the highest in Washington County. From their addresses in the article, they live in affluent neighborhoods and it’s obvious they are part of that upper income level that keeps that median income level high. The reason most of us live in Washington County – I was born and raised in Peters, went to all 12 school grades here, and still reside in the township – is for the lower taxes and quality of life, and it’s my “home.” The management of Peters Township has done a good job of keeping taxes bearable by being fiscally responsible, while still offering us high quality services and products in the community. Aside from not needing or wanting higher taxes, some residents can’t afford them. If these parents want a new school, then they should move to Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park or even South Fayette and pay the corresponding exorbitantly high Allegheny County taxes. But don’t try to make our community like those, because that’s not what we want.

There seems to exist in today’s society an excessive amount of greed, over-indulgence, instant gratification and certainly a game of “one-upmanship” in our everyday life; these definitely aren’t admirable qualities. They are some of the reasons this country is 16.5 trillion (and growing) dollars in debt, and is going broke with no good chance of ever recovering. I was one of the first graduating classes from the original “new” Peters Township high school in 1971. Since then, the building has gone through a few renovations to keep up with the times and increasing enrollment, with the latest in 2000 – only 13 years ago. Those upgrades have worked out fine for many years so far, so why not do something similar again, obviously with a lower cost than constructing a complete new school. I’ll tell you why – because it’s not as ‘prestigious’ as a new, big, high-tech, modern building. It’s part of society’s “money-is-no-object” – as long as others are made to pay for it – mentality which these parents seem to have. We were taught to make do with what you have and be glad you have it – and if something didn’t fit your need, you either alter your way of life to accommodate it, or slightly alter that something to suit your need; either way, it was done to minimize the financial cost involved and effect on others. We were always satisfied with “better” and “adequate,” and weren’t obsessed with having the newest, fanciest, most, biggest and/or best, and we all turned out OK. In today’s world, it seems the trend is moving toward a “disposable” society – from smart phones to big-screen TVs to automobiles to homes, and everything in between (even jobs and marriages). It’s this type of thinking, especially from those with more money than wisdom and/or common sense, that are getting and keeping this country in the financial mess we’re in now; there is not an endless supply of money. Peters Township doesn’t need to be burdened with additional unwanted or unnecessary expenditures just for the sake of being considered “elite.”

Ken Cushey


Peters parents need to remember we are in a recession

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