There are a lot of terms flying around. Pushed by the Yes Group: Expert. For the Kids. Strong Community.
First let’s take “Expert” that they are applying to Assistant Professor Ford. The term expert applies to someone who has a strong understanding of the subject area along with a degree in that area of study. Extensive work experience to have a level of understanding that most people wouldn’t have. To call Assistant Professor a financial expert would imply by their use that he has a degree in Finance or Business Finance. Which he doesn’t. When my wife attended college she had a minor in Religious studies. Never would she consider herself an expert. That takes years and extensive training. Mr. Ford doesn’t have that experience in the area of finance. At best he has a minor in that area. He understands numbers just as well as the rest us us. In fact I would say that someone running a business probably has more experience than he does. If people want to take his “blog” as expertise than I have no choice to but to call him out by saying he is no expert. Not even close. I am not implying I am either but I would bet I have more time going through OASDs numbers and budgets than he does. His understanding is limited to plugging some numbers in a graph program. Anyone reading this can do that. I hardly consider that being an Expert.
Second, “It’s for the kids.” There are a lot of people that believe it truly is for the kids. I wish that were true. The only thing that made it ‘for the kids’ was creating the cuts list. The majority of the so called short fall (which doesn’t really exist) is a yearly increase in teacher’s salaries and benefits to the tune of $3.1 million. They say they have a $3.4 million short fall. There you go. They don’t want to deal with any potential budget ramifications. So they do what they always do put it to referendum and make us pay for it instead of dealing with controlling their budget. It’s the Mack form of budgeting that he is famous for in Minnesota. 16 referendums in 20+ years. I feel bad for our community that we need to deal with him. Think of poor Robbinsdale. 20+ years of this guy must have been mind boggling. He finally wore out his welcome and as steps were being taken to get rid of him. He decided to retire. Isn’t that convenient? Fast forward and here we are facing the same things Robbinsdale went through. 3 referendums in 6 years. Not including the energy efficient bonds to the tune of $36 million. If you look at their budget and examined it in depth and you still say it’s for the kids you must be looking at someone else’s budget. Certain not OASD’s. They have plenty of extra money. $16 million in reserve funds that could wipe out pretty much any problem that Mack creates. For the kids? My eye!
Third. Voting “yes” creates a “strong community”. I will admit, in a heart beat, that strong schools equal strong communities. That is basic common sense. I say we HAVE strong schools despite having Mack at the helm. Most of that is due to local school leadership and the teachers and staff doing an amazing job. I give credit where credit id due. Anyone that can keep a school in such good shape with Stan Mack messing everything up is outstanding. They deserve a lot of praise. Many of us will remember from school that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Another phrase that comes to mind is there is always “another side to the coin”. An argument could certainly be made that more money to the schools COULD strengthen them and in turn the community. The other side of that coin or the opposite reaction is that this money comes FROM the community. I am able to see both sides and judge which would have the worst effect for the community. Give the schools more money means less money for community members. Oshkosh was decimated by the recession and many still haven’t recovered. Whenever they start to recover Mack and his administration come for more money. Doing the job for less students yet somehow it always costing more. The poor and fixed income families in our district are not helped enough by this referendum to justify giving Stan more spending money. These families face tough choices every day and if anyone thinks Stan and his group care about them you are fooling yourselves. When asked they actually ignore the question. Mack will turn it to property values instead of people needing food, clothing, and medicine. Real people with real problems. Nothing he faces or cares about. He just wants more money. Our schools are strong and continue to be. The community is strong too but would actually be hurt more by this referendum than it would be helped. There is no argument against this but some in the community are still stuck on the community is stronger by voting yes regardless of the consequences. If it does more harm than good it needs to be voted down.
I know how they label us. We are greedy. We don’t care about the kids. We don’t care about eduction. We don’t care about the community. They can delude themselves all they want by putting us in a box. Marginalizing us and making us less human with their labels. They need to do that because they can’t admit that we have good points and that the OASD might not have the kids best interests at heart. It’s hard to face that possibility. I understand why they can’t. Hopefully enough of us vote no and force them to finally face what the administration is doing. How they actually have money and will gut the schools to make a point of control. We’ll see how long they keep their jobs if they go forward with their plans. Whether we stop this one or the next one in 2018 is totally up to you, the voters. I would rather get this over with now and get Mack out sooner rather than later. The longer he is here the more damage he’ll do. Food for thought my fellow citizen. Take it for what it is from this ‘greedy, kid hating, education and community hating’ voter…
Vote NO to stop this insanity. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. Let’s stop the insanity. If not see you all in 2018 for the next insanity/referendum.
We can not solve the Stan Mack problem with more money…
– Jim LeClaire