Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Washington Elementary School District Committee

Washington Elementary School District No. 6: Yesterday I received my copy of the “Informational Pamphlet” on the upcoming Bond Issue and Budget Override request by the WESD. NOTE THAT THIS AFFECTS EVERY ONE OF US IN MOON VALLEY!

There are a number of things I found interesting about this booklet. First it states that “…you will have the opportunity to decide two important fiscal matters for the District. First you will be asked to authorize the issuance and sale of not to exceed $65,000,000 principal ad valorem tax bonds….” (This issue will cost us $90,000,000 before it is over) “Next you will have the opportunity to decide the level of increased expenditures in the District”. The operative word in both of these “Opportunities” is “INCREASED”. If, like me, you have received your 2010 tax bill you will find the following statistics interesting:

1. WESD accounts for 36% of your total assessment
2. WESD represents 56% of the total assessment for “Schools and Education”
3. WESD current bonds and overrides represent 15% of your total assessment
4. Current Bonds and Overrides equal 42% of WESD’s total assessment.

Almost one half of their current total ‘budget’ is to pay off their last Bonds and Special Overrides and now that want to increase your tax bill even more because, unlike you and I, they cannot seem to live within their means nor adhere to the Law regarding spending levels. I don’t think so!

Additionally, this Pamphlet informs me that: “The bond election recommendation is the culmination of over two years of research, analysis and planning by the five WESD Regional School Facility Planning Councils, each of which is comprised of parents, staff and community members.” I do not recall being asked if I would like to serve as a “Community Member” on these “Councils”…do you? Who are these people and what portion of these “Councils” did they make up? 50%? 25%? 10%? We do not know but I suggest that since this entire move has been kept a big secret from the vast majority of tax payers they were not in the majority on these “Councils”. Secondly, why has there been virtually no public information issued on these “Studies”. Until I opened this “Pamphlet” that was the first time I had heard of them or their recommendations. Why the cloak and dagger approach? As further evidence of this secrecy, there are absolutely no “Argument Against the Washington Elementary School District No.6 Bond Election” nor against the override section either. Somehow I cannot believe that ‘everyone’ favors these moves…do you?

No sir…in these times of economic down turn and decreased property values (which is not at all reflecting in my current tax bill) coupled with the City of Phoenix placing over $150,000,000 in increases in water fees, other fees, and taxes on our food, I find this ‘recommendation’ totally insensitive to the Tax Payer and I, for one, will vote against it. It is time for all of our government services, including our schools, to live within “our” means. The Tax Payer is not a bottomless well of funds. This proposal sounds a lot like: “I’ve got mine…how are you doing?”

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