We have shared many things on this site. Many reasons to VOTE NO:
– Budget issues/irregularities
– High central administration salaries
– Transparency issues
– Administration not sharing cuts
– Lying about budget numbers and per student spending
– The district has some very motivating things to make you want to vote yes:
– The cuts list.
– Budget short fall.
– The cuts list.
– Spending gaps.
– The cuts list.
– It’s for the kids!
You get the idea. I could see how this would motivate some. I mean who doesn’t want to help the kids right? That threats/cuts list if pretty scary.
The only problem is that they don’t have a budget for the next 2 school years. I have mentioned more times than I can count that you can’t have a budget short fall unless you have a budget. You can’t have a cuts list unless you have a short fall. IT CAN NOT BE. Yet they ‘projected’ the short fall and ‘created’ the cuts list. The cuts list is a collection of very real threats to intimidate voters. The only question becomes are they willing to follow through. They say they are but Stan Mack has presided over a similar situation in his old district in Minnesota, (Robbinsdale).
The article I found was word for word what we are facing now. Budget problems and cuts. You could change the date and make Robbinsdale Oshkosh and print the article in the Newspaper. The No group there hired a consultant to organize the No campaign. From everything I have read not only did the district fail to pass that referendum they never went through with the cuts. They called Mack’s bluff and the voters taxes didn’t go up.
Did you ever stop to think that maybe the district wants to do the cuts anyway? Not all of them but some… What better excuse to cover their butts. No matter how this plays out the district wins.
Mr. Mack’s budgetary style isn’t about keeping the line and controlling spending. It’s about expanding an ever growing budget to increase spending. He did it in Minnesota and they were quite happy to see him leave. Right before his announcement to retire in 2010, a petition was launched to force the school board to fire Mr. Mack. It didn’t gain much momentum because Mr. Mack retired soon after it was started. Right after retiring he started looking for a new job. He was a finalist to superintendent in the St. Paul Schools District. Enough people heard about the things he did in Robbinsdale and he didn’t get that job. Nor did he get one he tried for in Bismark, North Dakota. They also checked him out and passed.
In 2012 our School Board, in their infinite wisdom, hired Mr. Mack. I question whether they vetted him at all. I found so many red flags on him and that was a simple internet search. Which is why I feel he was brought in here to push one thing… Referendums. After all he did 16 in his time in Minnesota and with this referendum he has done another 3. He is proud of that too. Just ask him. After all he was the one who told me this with such pride. Who would be proud of having budgets so messed up, so many times, that you need to go to referendum 19 times in a 30 year career?
I don’t believe our budget is as tight as he says it is. In fact I am beginning to question almost everything he says. That makes me very sad. I would love to work with our district to help our kids but I can’t trust them with $10 much less $28 million. Stan reminds me of the relative you NEVER loan money to. I think we all have one of those.
Once trust is lost it is hard to gain back. In this case the only thing what would help is to have Mr. Mack step down and bring in new leadership. For example the Winneconne Administrator, Peggy Larson, put forth a referendum with permission of their school board to ask for money to do some construction projects. The message there and here are like night and day. They put forth EXACTLY where they are using the money. They have shared their budget without having to have an open records request filed. There have been no threats to back it up. Just straight, transparent information and if it is voted down then the voters have that right. No propaganda just information to help the voter decide. I would probably vote yes if I lived in Winneconne. Lets bring her in or someone like her that is a solid leader. Someone that will tell us truth not just one modified version of it.
Depending on how this referendum plays out we might be seeking to add a question on the November ballot seeking a vote of no confidence in Stan Mack. Asking the school board to seek a new superintendent. I hate to do it but we need to protect our children. It would be nice if the Oshkosh School Board would take a leadership roll in all this but they have proven to be less than effective. I have never lived anywhere where the school board answers to the superintendent like it does in Oshkosh. I always thought the school board was the boss and told the administration what to do. Too bad we don’t have a school board like that. We can’t do anything about that yet but we can send a solid message that we have had enough of these budgetary games at the cost of taxpayers. Let’s vote NO and call Mack’s bluff just like they did in Robbinsdale. – Written By Jim LeClaire