1/9/12 CCS Board meeting comments by Dawn Schaller
(I spoke, but was cut short by the “two minute rule”.)
I urge the board to vote no on the bond request.
I am concerned that the district is getting into greater debt via the proposed non-qualified bond when the district is still getting further into debt every year due to the district’s inability to pay for all of the expenses for the current “in effect” bonds.
I am concerned that administration is trying to sell the public on this being a one mill bond, when in fact, as explained tonight, if the interest rates for the two later bond issuances rise beyond the estimates or property values continue to drop, administration will have the right to increase the bond millage to the property owners to an amount over one mill.
I found that the board packet from the last board meeting and this board meeting failed to explain the School Bond Revolving Fund (although board questions brought out some answers). According to the Plante & Moran audit that was performed this past summer and fall, the School Loan Revolving Fund and School Bond Loan Fund actually extended the maximum 7 mill bonds several years to no later than the spring of 2035. This was never approved by the public and my understanding is that it was caused by a combination of the current recession lowering the taxable values of property and the district unreasonably over estimating the taxable property values over the terms of the bonds.
The district plans to spend $35,000 to hold the bond election in May instead of waiting until November when the cost would be zero dollars. When the election is held in May you are unlikely to get the general public out to vote and I’m sure that is exactly what administration wants to happen. I’m sure Administration will press the PTAs/PTOs to get the vote out by parents.
The district needs to think about what they wish to put into the new bond request. In my opinion, many of these things are unnecessary and some should be coming out of the district’s general operating fund. Bonds are not supposed to be for maintenance items. They are supposed to be for improvements.
Does the district really need the following?
1. Almost $8.5 million for brand new infrastructure for the new classroom technology and $2 million for replacement of current personal computers in the district.
2. $2 million for the addition to the “team room” and concession stand at the high school football stadium that was recently approved by the board as being paid for by fund raising, not as a district expense, (from a board meeting in July 2011)
3. $1 million for a new pool entrance at the high school. There is no logical reason to spend a million dollars so there is a separate entrance for the pool.
4. $700,000 for the Astroturf for the soccer/lacrosse field at the high school,
5. $700,000 for the Astroturf for the junior high,
6. Were the fields that the district wants to turn into Astroturf fields recently set up with sprinkler systems? If so, that came out of recent district bond funds.
I have learned over the years that the more you have, the more you have to pay to maintain all of those additional things you have. The cost of maintaining all of the technology and capital improvements (short of the energy saving improvements) are not being addressed by administration…
Just how long does the district think it will take for elementary age students to damage, destroy, or lose their new iPads? How will that affect future district costs? We all know how long our cells phones or laptops tend to last, so how long does the district think the student’s iPads will last that will be mobile every day?
In my opinion, the district is trying to spend money they don’t have for items the district doesn’t need, and the public can’t afford.