Jun 24, 2009

My wallet is closed. Sorry!

Locked down, to be more specific.

We’re in a thought economic situation. No doubts about it when I see the drop in the value of my house or when I see local business closing down.

And while government is pushing to take over every single thing in our lives they can think of during their every morning coffee, the local school district is salivating over increasing taxes on property owners.

“The 16-mill property tax increase, which would amount to $16 million a year in extra revenue for the district, comes after six months of work by the Citizens Blue Ribbon Panel”.

Really? Did they really spent money on a Blue Ribbon Panel to “study” the need to increase taxes. And that panel raised $40,000 for signs instead of donating that money to the “troubled” District‘s budget? Unreal.

Everybody with a sane mind in the country is scaling down on expenses, tightening and going back to the basics but they can’t? Why not?

We are talking of a district with one of poorest performances in the state. A district that pays exorbitant salaries and extras to their top executives – not the teachers necessarily.

Teachers who educate our children should be well compensated, specially the good ones, but we're not even talking about teacher's salaries here.

And, in any case, when many people are choosing between having a raise or keeping their job, teachers should also pick up their part in the tab.

We're are talking about the district where I first heard of home schooling. A district that have reduced recess and play time for elementary school kids, when it is a vox populi secret that at that age, kids need playtime as much as instruction time in order to successfully develop their potentials.

And, even though I am not very familiar with the board, most people in the community thinks that the board is not working for whom they are supposed to: the taxpayers that pay for their bills, and the children.

I have known, personally, wonderful teachers, administrators and employees of this district, and I don’t think we could throw them all in the same sack.

But it is undeniable that the big picture is not attractive, especially to the eyes of the taxpayers that are footing the bill from this chronic failure.

Don’t count on me for this in the next ballot.

Sorry, but District 6 have not demonstrated they are good stewards of public monies with their wicked set of priorities for me to put more of my hard-earn money in their hands to feed their wasting spree.

On top of that, they are scared as hell of transparency – nobody knows exactly where they spend the money they currently receive, and they are not very willing to talk about it. (Could I suggest the District to take note and follow the steps taken by the county commissioners?)

Show me the checkbook first. Post your expenses online. Have all big bosses resign and bring new, responsible people – without spending another absurd fortune in a “recruiting” galore. Get rid of the current board and bring new, committed people to represent the interests the community.

Put children’s interest first and then, only then, this local wallet will be willing to take the risk to give you more money.

Actually, I have a better suggestion: go to any given small community school in another country for a month, learn about frugality and efficiency while providing a decent education and then, when you come back, we can have this conversation.

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