Archive for Friday, April 5, 2013

Letter: Misleading claim

April 5, 2013


To the editor:

I was surprised that the Lawrence public schools promoted its $92.5 million new school bond issue as a “No-Tax-Increase School Bond Election.” Voters urged to vote “yes” for the no-tax-increase bond had to be confused.

It was a very misleading statement that stretched the truth and played with semantics to fool the public. The “no-tax-increase” really means that only the amount of your annual bond tax payment will not change much. However, not clear was that the number of your payments will be substantially increased to pay for the $92.5 million after the old bonds are paid off. That is clearly a tax increase. Let’s not fool ourselves.

For taxpayers whose property values have gone up, they will most likely have an increase in their school bond tax payment.

Furthermore, the school board made a very misleading case saying “we can do all of this without a tax increase” by omitting that bigger facilities will increase the operating budget and the capital budget. Amazing they can say that with no shame.

According to Douglas County officials, 66,107 voters were eligible to vote on the USD 497 bond issue, and 11,146 (16.86 percent) did vote on it. There were 3,106 who voted “no” and 8,040 voted “yes.” This means the $92.5 million school bond was passed for all taxpayers to pay by only 12.2 percent of the eligible voters. What does this say about the communications and our community?


Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

On voter turnout I am with Mr Kean...... absolutely.

Nonetheless the public school system needs the work done. We'll see how correct the letter writer is in the end.

However the capital outlay is different funding from operations.

Operations cost will likely increase no matter what due to annual increases in utilities,medical insurance ,supplies, equipment replacement etc etc etc.

Investment in energy efficiency should help offset some of increases in operation costs. Savings which are quite respectable projections.

Hopefully this investment in education and Vo-Tech training will attract clean green higher wage industries and small business ventures to Lawrence, Kansas which would be a sweet payback. Lawrence,Kansas taxpayers cannot afford polluters.

In essence this is an investment that we hope will assist in growing a green economy. City Hall is not doing so well with their reckless spending ventures.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh. I think people understood this. They just decided to invest in schools. Nearly 75% of the voting public said"The future of education is worth my investment." The people who voted for this were not deceived, they just disagree with you.

GMom05 4 years, 11 months ago

I believe of the 8000 people that voted yes, (12.2% of the voting population) some percentage of them knew nothing about what they were getting into, but they saw it was for the public schools so, it must be good, right? People frequently go to the polls without being educated about every issue and they still vote on it. Sometimes for very frivolous reasons. That doesn't make the issue right or justified. This whole project will takes YEARS to complete. (Never mind my grandkids could be paying on this bond) We'll be long onto another school board before construction is over with, so we'll just see how it all plays out. Wouldn't it be funny if the expected increase in the west came and they decided to build another school out west? Maybe so, the bond verbiage was left wide open...

Chris Baker 4 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Kean is 100% correct, and isn't arguing whether or not the bond issue itself has merit or not, but simply that it is incredibly misleading. Maybe it is a worthy expenditure, or maybe it isn't, that is for taxpayers to decide. The problem is how it was "sold" to us, and pushed on us by the school system. I received multiple e-mails from the school, my daughter was instructed to talk my wife and I into voting yes on the measure, and I even received a phone call from the district super (recorded message) urging me to vote on tuesday and reminding me not that the bond issue is a worthwhile investment, or how it will benefit our schools, but rather preaching the rediculous claim that it will not represent a tax increase. In fact, she used the system that is supposed to only be used for emergencies or weather delays, even acknowledging that fact by making a joke at the outset of the call, saying something like, "Hi I am [name] and no, I'm not calling to report a weather related cancellation..." Nobody likes being sold to, especially when they are being lied to and misled like an underhanded used car salesman.

BlackVelvet 4 years, 11 months ago

The school board is no different than the government. They have no trouble lying to you to get what they want. Education is very important, but for once, can we be told the truth???

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