Letters to the Editor

Public trough

July 7, 2010


To the editor:

The duplicitous rhetoric (Journal-World, July 4) being scoop-shoveled by Rich Minder out the door of USD 497’s spiffy executive offices is another disgusting example of the increased squealing at the trough of public money now that said funds are in short supply. Minder is trying to sell the board’s ongoing monument-building as an economic development initiative, replacing the shopworn “for the kids” (it never really was) with “investments (in) human capital.”

Minder and similar-minded officials need to pay very serious attention to reports such as on page 3A of the same issue, highlighting layoff risks to state and local government employees as public budgets from coast to coast go belly up in an economy that remains in decline.

Public money is being wrested by taxation from a public that has less and less of the resource. Squeeze a few more bucks to feed the school board’s fatuous dreams, and there’s less to be spent on stuff that generates sales tax revenue. Factor in lost income taxes due to unemployment or underemployment, and lower property valuations, and you have even less revenue at all levels of government.

Taxpayers often have to cut back until it REALLY hurts. Taxing authorities must begin to do the same. The J-W would do a public service by printing the votes of individual board members on fiscal matters. Elections are coming, and voters need to ship a lot of the current herd off to market!

George Pisani,



beezee 3 years, 9 months ago

The insanity and utter disregard for reality isn't limited to here by any means. CA is a rolling disaster. So is NY. And for IL see

Also, this AM we are treated to the Douglas County proposal! Voters really need to purge the system. And Weinaug deserves to be fired for "callousness unbecoming a primate."


blue73harley 3 years, 9 months ago

They're not smarter than a fifth grader.


oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 9 months ago

The school district is run a bit like Delaware Commons.


Ray Parker 3 years, 9 months ago

Overgrown big government funneling taxpayer money to educrats to spew out to friends and relatives in contracts for monuments in their names is pork city, and one of the nastiest abuses when we drift too far from local self-government. Put your hand to the ax on Pink Slip Tuesday, patriots, and cut big government.


Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 9 months ago

I call for layoffs at the school board level.


Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

"The duplicitous rhetoric (Journal-World, July 4) being scoop-shoveled by Rich Minder out the door of USD 497’s spiffy executive offices is another disgusting example of the increased squealing at the trough of public money now that said funds are in short supply. " Dude, hyperbole much?


stash 3 years, 9 months ago


May 25, 2010 Over the last three years, the Lawrence school board has given more emphasis to athletics than to academics. Lawrence has fallen from 88th to 98th to 102nd place in teachers’ average salary and benefits compared to other Kansas school districts.

During this period, Lawrence built two redundant sport stadia for its two high schools. Shawnee Mission has two sports stadia to serve five high schools. Blue Valley has two stadia for four schools, and Olathe has two stadia for four schools.

The Lawrence school board authorized spending up to $12.1 million on athletic fields in October 2008. That same month, the stock market was down over 40 percent from one year earlier. Two of the five largest investment banks in the nation were no longer in existence, and we were in our worst recession in 70 years.

Yet in April 2009, one month after the stock market was down more than 50 percent from its peak in October 2007, the school board expanded the total cost of the sports fields, restroom and locker room renovations to $18,944,521. This total includes $5.4 million left over from the 2005 bond funds and earned interest; capital leases of $9,050,000 plus interest of $2,494,521 to be paid; and $2,000,000 of capital outlay funds. I have to credit the school board for creative financing without letting the public vote on whether they approved of all the fields. The 2005 bond did not specify athletic fields, but it was to go for school improvements at the secondary level.

In March, the Lawrence Journal World reported that ninth-graders were playing on the Free State girls’ basketball team, and the team had one coach and three assistant coaches. How many classroom teachers have three assistants? Last month, I asked an employee of the school administration if the school board was going to cut any assistant coaches like they were cutting 20-30 teacher contracts. I was told that assistant coaches were needed for safety reasons. I find it contradictory for them to bring up safety issues when the school board cut busing, thus allowing children to cross dangerous intersections without crossing guards. Also, the board is cutting school nurses which is another health and safety issue.

It is my sincere hope that more of the public will become involved and informed about school issues such as the recent Save Our Schools campaign.


Lynn731 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree completely. I plan on voting against any incumbent. We need to start with a clean slate, we need to show the fat cats who caused the mess we are in that they worked for us. The word will spread quickly, and hopefully the new congress will learn from it. Thank you, Lynn


Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree with the LTE 100%. I HATE the title to it and want to know who chose it because those words do not appear anywhere in it and in no way reflect it.


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