Thursday, March 27, 2014

Music To Present A School Budget By

Ken O’Brien

Budgets are boring.

However, when you get right down to it, there is no more critical function in government.

Budgets are where the true priorities of an administration are given concrete form and expression.

Still, it would be nice if there was a way to make the dry and often arcane numbers that constitute a bureaucracy’s budget more accessible to the general public. What is needed is some mechanism that reveals the true intentions and message being conveyed by those responsible for the way money expropriated from the public is going to be spent.

We pondered this while listening to the budget presentation by Southbridge’s Superintendent of Schools the other night.

Finally, with the help of a friend, we were directed to something that has always served us well in the past in capturing the fundamental essence of any situation – MUSIC.

In order to find just the right choice, however, was a daunting task.

Finally, after scavenging through old, dusty and musty musical archives I believe we came upon just the right composition.

It’s a 1923 recording by Jack Haley who gained fame years later as the Tin Man in The Wizard of OZ.

So, the next time you watch the Superintendent’s presentation of the budget for the Southbridge school district for FY 2015, do so with this lyrical accompaniment in mind.

UPDATE: In response to overwhelming (well some of you anyway) demand here’s the audio clip. The more technologically proficient among you can download and edit it to serve as a ringtone. So the next time the Superintendent calls you, you’ll get an appropriate “Buzz”. Or you can go HERE to download in VBR Zip or Ogg Vorbis format.


  1. The Worcester Telegram reports: Southbridge school board OKs $26.2M budget proposal “The School Committee this week voted 6-0 in favor of Superintendent Basan Nembirkow's proposed 2015 budget of $26.2 million budget, which is $1.1 million more than the acting town manager wants appropriated.”

  2. Why were those other three high paid school officials sitting at the Buzz table. Were they there to wipe his brow? Tackle him if he went postal? Provide immediate CPR if he had the big one? Or simply to sit and smile and nod in agreement with their skipper?

    It was quite a love fest with these three and the bobble heads behind them.

    If the town council gives them that amount of money they are nuts. But it's our money! This school committee is a cluster. Bring back Jovan!


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