Archive for Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slates set for spring elections

January 27, 2011

No matter the results of the April 5 elections, there will be many fresh faces on the Baldwin City Council and the USD 348 Board of Education with only one incumbent choosing to seek re-election.

School Board Member Josh Mihesuah was the only incumbent who filed for the April 5 election. He has served the shortest term of any school board candidates whose terms expire this year. Mihesuah was elected to the board in 2007.

“Mainly, the reason is I wanted to continue to serve the district and the kids,” Mihesuah said. “I’ve always had a passion for education. I’ve been in higher education for 30 years now.

“The main reason I really wanted to do it is because I think we’re going to have some struggles in the future, especially with the budget. I think we need some consistency with the board members with some of the things that need to happen with the district. Hopefully we can now look at this as an opportunity, even though it may not look good, there are some good opportunities to develop some things that we need to develop in hard times.”

The seats held by School Board President Alison Bauer, along with board members Blaine Cone and Scott Lauridsen will be filled with new USD 348 members elected April 5.

Running for Bauer’s position No. 1 seat are Nick Harris and Shawn Nelson. Three candidates are running for Lauriden’s position No. 2 seat. They are Ed Kite, John Dunbar and Sandy Chapman.

Cone occupies position No. 3. The two candidates vying for her seat are Chad Christie and Slade Dillon.

Mihesuah will be running for re-election as the at-large position No. 7. His two opponents will be Robin Bayer and Tony Wedel.

Because the maximum candidates running for any school board position is three, there won’t be a primary election, said Jamie Shew, Douglas County clerk. If one more person had run for positions No. 2 or No. 7, a primary would have been necessary.

“I’m not really surprised at the turn out,” Mihesuah said. “It’s great to see. I think a lot of people want to get in there and make some changes after seeing all of the budget cuts from the state. I just hope that a lot of people aren’t in there for the wrong reasons and are one-issue candidates. It’s very hard to be on the school board, because it’s different when you see it from the outside as opposed to being on the inside. It’s very different once you become part of the board.”

As for the Baldwin City Council election, three of the four candidates filed early this week before Tuesday’s deadline. Jason Mock filed first for one of the three seats. Mock also ran for city council in 2007. The other three candidates are Kenneth Hayes, Shane Starkey and Coy Weege.

The three expiring city council seats are now held by Ted Brecheisen, Mike Magers and Bayer.

The Baldwin City Signal will be publishing candidate profiles before the election on both races.

Comments

BaldwinDad 3 years, 9 months ago

I know I will catch flack for this, but I just want to know which of the candidates for BOE are in favor of removing Dorathy from his position that issue alone will probably influence my vote.

I know some say you can't blame him, but I can. He is responsible for the budget issues we are now facing.

Dorathy with the assistance from some of the BOE members stepping down proposed the $26 million dollar bond all the while assuring the voters that we would have no problems maintaining the same level of education even going into an economic depression. This was pretty clear to me back when it was originally proposed that it would be an issue, heck almost half the voters in Baldwin knew that would not be possible, but he pushed it through and now we are facing huge budget shortfalls because of this.

I would not be calling as much for his removal if the man had at least admitted he made a mistake, but since he cannot admit his mistakes and apologize to the public he serves he needs to leave.

0

robinbayer 3 years, 8 months ago

BaldwinDad,

I work in a particular field where the accepted wisdom upon accepting a new management position is that one’s staff is generally as proficient as it is going to be for at least the first year or so the assignment. Since the job still needs to get done, it would be catastrophic to the organization to just start firing, no matter bad the previous performance might have been. The responsibility falls upon the newly appointed manager to shape his or her resources to fit the tasks at hand. It is best to approach this through careful observation of the strengths and weaknesses of staff members, then create attainable and progressively more challenging goals for them, and assess their ability to achieve these goals.

I can only form an accurate opinion of a specialized resource after actually working with that person on a day-in, day-out basis for a period of time. Expectations must be set and the resource must meet those expectations to remain a viable part of the team. However, my approach with a newly “inherited” team member is to create the environment where that employee can succeed. If the employee doesn’t succeed, I’m likely to blame myself first for failing in some way to communicate expectations or build the skills (personal, professional, or technical) in that team member. Only through this difficult (and sometimes protracted) exercise can a stellar team be assembled.

I trust you can derive the answer to your question regarding Mr. Dorathy from my previous paragraphs.

Robin Bayer 203 9th Street 913-645-6666

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Robin thanks for that convoluted insight on how you would handle it if you were elected.

The simple fact that you state you would not eliminate someone from their position no matter how bad their performance is speaks volumes and is quite scary actually.

You then say that if an employee you hired failed to do their job correctly, that you might blame yourself. I can understand that concept given the fact that you might have failed to support or train that employee adequately. While I agree with you in theory, this should only apply if we are talking about hiring someone to work at an entry level position. However, when your talking about the position that Mr. Dorathy was hired to and not some entry level position that idea makes no sense at all.

Mr. Dorathy was hired and compensated quite well do to his experience and knowledge. Mr. Dorathy's performance these past 4 years has demonstrated that he is not capable of managing a district of this size with a variety of complex of issues.

Also the plethora of excuses Mr. Dorathy has used these last two years to explain why we had to make drastic cuts to the K-5 education budget less then a year after he and the BOE stated that their strategic vision was to strengthen K-5 education is laughable at best.

Another thing that confuses me is why you felt to need to pose your response to me in some weird Orwellian doublespeak, perhaps you are trying to be more of a politician and not give simple yes or no answer with a clear reasoning behind it. You might want to work on that.

However, I do thank you for your response.

0

NanCrisp 3 years, 8 months ago

robinbayer:

How does three paragraphs talking about yourself answer an unasked question?

0

hipgrrrrl 3 years, 8 months ago

Apparently, there is yet another professional politician in the making in Baldwin.

Mr. Bayer, I don't think that's what we need. In fact, a whole lotta 'round-about talk and apparent lack of transparency is one thing that has really hacked people off about the existing BOE and the current administrator...however, you have just done a great job showing your skill in those areas.

0

true_bulldog 3 years, 8 months ago

Robin Bayer is a hack. He's exposed himself here. Way to go, Robin. Stupid answer. Glad everyone has called you out on it.

But to answer the real question about Dorathy, he serves at the pleasure of the board. The board wanted the bond issue, so he did what he had to do. Pure and simple. Don't blame Paul Dorathy for the bond issue. He was following orders.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

true_bulldog

I would agree with about how he serves, but I have talked to Mr. Dorathy about this issue and several others. I asked him straight up whose idea where they and he advised me that they were his ideas not the BOE. The BOE asked him to reviews the options and give them and the citizens of Baldwin the best options given his vast knowledge and experience. The situation we are now is is based solely on his recommendations as the best options for our district.

Sorry, but even if they did simply tell him this is what they want any man with some integrity and intelligence could have said no, he did not. If he was their patsy then he is one patsy we don't need.

0

boredstiff 3 years, 8 months ago

The Bond Issue is Separate money. It is tax money used to build. The bond did not cause budget shortfalls. State legislature cut funds to schools and continues to do so, if you want to blame someone blame your state legislator. Again the bond money can only be used for what was stated on the bond issue and passed by a public vote. Example you can not use bond money to pay teachers.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Boredstiff,

Just so you know the bond was not free money it has to be repaid and interest on that money has to be paid.

If you look at the Budget documents found on the USD348 website you can see the latest figures show bonds debt service accounts for about 16% of our 2010-2011($2,489,298) budget which was a 33% increase from 2009-2010($1,878,315) budget, which was a 48% increase from the 2008-2009($1,267,133) budget. So as you see each year we spend close to twice as much as we have the year before on servicing that debt and the more money we spend on servicing that Debt means we have less money for other area's of the budget.

That is why the bond is impacting our budget in a negative manner and is part of the reason we our having a budget shortfall we have. Yes, budget cutbacks have hurt us, but if Dorathy had realized we were heading into a Depression as half the voting public did, then he would have realized this was not the right time to spend so much money on frivolous things like sport fields or performing arts centers, then perhaps we would not be firing teachers and making cuts to K-5 education as they are doing now.

0

Bloggerboo 3 years, 8 months ago

Learn to math. If something goes up by 48% it did not double. Doubling would be going up by 100%.

Someone with more knowledge than me should find out if Dad's premise is sound. He is saying that the interest on the bonds is being paid by funds other than from the bond issue (taxed dollars). Is this true or not?

If it is not true, then his argument holds no water. If it is, then he has a small point.

0

robinbayer 3 years, 8 months ago

BloggerBoo,

You are correct in pointing out that the spending on bonds is separate from other areas of the budget. A municipal revenue bond works by joining the borrowing of a sum of money for a specific project with the ability to repay it from a dedicated revenue stream available to the issuing agency. In this case, USD 348 as a taxing authority assesses a specific tax on property owners to finance the bond (you can see it separately on your Douglas County tax statement). This tax is used to repay the principal of the bond and pay interest to those who loaned money to underwrite the bond. In reality this is the only way that a municipality, school district, county, or sometimes even a State can finance large capital expenditures since they generally don't have enormous cash reserves set aside for such purposes.

A municipal revenue bond can only be issued for capital expenditures (i.e. buildings) and not operating expenses such as teacher salaries. As such, the amount of outstanding bonds does not affect the spending levels available in other areas of the budget (which are financed through different mechanisms or other reserved revenue streams). However -- and this is a big however -- it looks the same to the taxpayer whether the amount assessed to his or her property is used for capital expenditures or operating expenses. And for this reason we cannot ask the taxpayers to pay any more to "shore up" the operating budget, even with the steep funding cuts that were proposed by the Governor for the next few fiscal years.

Robin Bayer 203 9th Street

0

Bloggerboo 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the clarification. So, basically, Baldwindad, you don't know what you are talking about. Mine and several others who point out that the bond issue had absolutely no impact on the current financial shortcomings of the USD 348 budget are correct. Now please stop blathering on about it.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Oh..sorry your right more taxes taken out of our pocket to pay the bond has NO effect at all on the over all budget and the taxes the school is able to collect. I forget that we are all never ending ATM's and that the more they raise taxes to pay for things like the Bonds the more money we have.

I took the #'s directly from the school's budget for 2008-2010 spreadsheets, perhaps need to clarify with them on why we are spending all this money on debt service, but yet not collecting more money as it increases.

0

Bloggerboo 3 years, 8 months ago

You've been saying that the district had to pay for interest on the loans when it isn't the district at all. It is the bond money, collected by taxes. So, there is no direct connection to the district budget and its current troubled status.

That has been one of your main arguments about how bad Dorathy is. That he started this bond project and now the district is in trouble because of his poor planning or whatever. In actuality, the bond has helped us in multiple ways, and had no impact whatsoever on the current financial crisis. Your whole notion that he is not good at what he does goes down the drain if you can't pin the bond to this problem.

We can now move forward realizing that we are in a significant financial hardship mostly, I say again, mostly, because of the economy and choices made by our Kansas leaders to continually cut education budgets. Our superintendent and the BoE, while capable of doing a better job, certainly did not do the harm that you so easily place at their feet. This situation happened and was likely beyond any of their control.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Alright you keep thinking that...if you can't understand the issue of over strapped community and continued spending on items we did not need, then I'm not sure what to tell.

I might have been incorrect on exactly how the Bond spending and debt service was paid, but bottom line is we as a community are paying $2,489,298 in debt service in the most recent budget report. That money is coming from from us the tax payers, not some magical land were it grows on trees. So that being the case we are now paying MORE and getting LESS. Lets not mention the additional almost $90k we as a community pay each year to enroll our kids in school with the textbook fees that alone is enough to make me question what the administration and BOE have been doing with our money.

Also the idea that Dorathy could not have foreseen the issues now facing our district is inexcusable since that is what we hired him to do. As I said before though Dorathy and the BOE told us X and now they are delivering Y. If you want to keep clinging to the idea that this man is acting in the best EDUCATIONAL interest of our kids you do that I for one have done the research talked to the man and found it not to be the case.

0

kermit 3 years, 8 months ago

Baldwin Dad. One question. Do you now, or have you ever, managed people in a professional capacity? My guess is you have not. Whereas Mr. Bayer's answer may have been a bit verbose for this format I believe he is giving you an honest and wise answer.

I would never vote for anyone who is calls for the immediate firing of anyone until all the facts are gathered. Like it or not Mr. Dad, you do not have all the facts and neither does anyone who has not been serving on the BOE. Mr. Bayer is saying (albeit in a rather long and tedious way) that he won't fire anyone until he has done everything to try to correct the situation in order to keep continuity in process and keep USD 348 running as efficiently as possible. That is a mature and professional way to handle any oversite of employees. One you would understand if you, yourself actually had to manage people.

Mr. Dad--one bit of advice. Perhaps you (and all your fellow posters) should spend less time harping about the decision to close the schools and going after Mr. Dorathy and more time preparing your daughter for the new experiences she will have next year. Kids tend to get their attitudinal cues from their parents. If your online persona is the same attitude you are reflecting at home you are setting your daughter up to be miserable next year.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Kermit, first why ask a question if you are going to answer it yourself. Seems to me no matter what I say that you have already made your mind up. But to answer your question, Yes I have and I was quite successful at it. As I said if you had read my post I do understand Mr. Bayer's post and his reasonings I just found them very flawed.

I have also been to quite a few of the board meetings over the last three years and have followed the decisions of the BOE and Mr. Dorathy very closely. I have asked questions of all the members and Mr Dorathy at every opportunity they have provided. So to infer that my decision to seek the dismissal of Mr. Dorathy before all the facts are gathered is rather naive on your part. If at this point in the our districts history you or Mr Bayer have not done your due diligence and asked the questions that needed to be asked then I'm sorry, but don't use your or Mr. Bayer's ignorance as reason that I should not make an educated decision.

I thank you for your parenting advice and I have taken several actions to prepare my daughter for the next school year and she will be just fine. I also regret that you feel my persona online reflects negatively, but it's hard to remain positive when your facing so much ignorance as is posted here.

0

Spiderpig 3 years, 8 months ago

Where is Torch? BaldwinDad is going to take over your position as the most spiteful, ignorant, Baldwin hater if you don't start posting.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Sorry Spiderpig if my comments confuse you, but I do love Baldwin, I just don't associate my distaste for our current BOE actions and the actions of it's administrator as determining my love for a community.

I guess unlike you I can separate the two and are not blind in my devotion to failing institutions.

0

oscar 3 years, 8 months ago

when something sucks; smart poeple hate it so it is not ignorent to hate Baldwin like everybody around here does. Torch and baldwindad and ksrusk are just makeing the right point that education is way way way over-rated. That is not ignorence it is the honest trueth!!

0

lisagaylesmith 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad the question was asked Baldwin Dad. I am also glad Robin answered so that I know for sure who NOT to vote for. I wish all the other candidates would answer. Mr. Dorathy has got to go as soon as possible. He has done enough damage here. I understant the current board is in the process of evaluating him right now and I hope they are listening to the public.

Joshua Mihesuah also has to go. Was anyone at the board meeting in October when he fell asleep and nearly slid from his chair? The other board members usually, at least, pretend to be attentive while others are speaking but not Joshua. He says it would be good to have some consistency but who wants to maintain something that is not working well? That is ridiculous. Let's elect some new people to the board. We have an accountant running in District Two who has a lot of experience with balance sheets. Lets make some major changes.

0

hipgrrrrl 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't think BaldwinDad is spiteful, ignorant or a hater. I think that he sees many problems in how our schools are run and how our local government makes it's decisions. Is there a problem with that? I mean, our country was pretty much based on personal dissatisfaction with the status quo and activism - and we do have legal rights (although diminishing daily) to express our opinions...even those that state a fellow user is "...spiteful, ignorant..."

Of course, I agree with a whole lot that BD says, so maybe that's why I find him to be somewhat of a voice of reason in this town.

0

oscar 3 years, 8 months ago

simple answers is what we need. Thinking to much always leads to problems. why would we elect people to school board who think to much? it just stir things up like minority verses the majority. Thats not right.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

LoL...funny I like it...thinking and change just cause problems....vote for me and a no for thinking and change...it's just safer that way.

0

robinbayer 3 years, 8 months ago

In comments on last week's candidate announcements article, the blog poster 'solo' asked candidates to describe the reasons why they are running (http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2011/jan/25/five-candidates-file-tuesday-morning-city-council-/#c9810). I have summarized the reasons why I am a candidate for the At-Large position for the USD 348 School Board as follows:

1.) We Cannot Ask for More From Property Owners

Even in the wake of upcoming State funding cuts, we cannot make up the difference with increases to our Local Option Budget. Property owners in USD 348 have paid a high price for premium facilities. We cannot add to their tax burden even in these challenging times.

2.) Practice the Art of Planning - Starting with the Short Term

  • In the first six months create a Top Ten list of initiatives for rapid action on issues requiring immediate attention..
  • Create short timeframe plans against those initiatives and execute those plans.
  • After that, create and maintain plans for 2, 5, and 10 years out that will paint the picture of the premier district we are creating.

3.) Transparency - Let Constituents See Everything We Do

  • Enforce strict compliance with Kansas Open Meetings and Records acts
  • Review current procedures for convening Executive Sessions to ensure compliance with all Kansas laws.
  • Publish ALL working products related to fiscal decisions in a timely fashion.

4.) Become Highly Responsive to Constituents

  • Provide verbal feedback, as appropriate, to those who address Board Members during public comments. Some have suggested that it is against State laws to provide this verbal feedback, but this is NOT the case.
  • All presenters in meetings must face the audience and speak directly to them as participants in the meeting along with the Board.
  • Move Executive Sessions to end of meetings so that busy taxpayers can maximize their participation in publicly visible decision-making.

In any election there are always candidates who will tell you that "all we have to do is " and all our problems will be solved. This election promises to be no exception. I urge you to view such statements with a great deal of skepticism. The problems we face are highly complex and have been years in the making -- but they are not insurmountable.

The first step in tackling these complex problems is to build and refine the processes by which the Board and Administration listen to their constituents and then act in the best interest of those constituents. A better process will result in better decisions, which in turn drives future process improvements. With each successive “better” decision, we take one more step in the creation of a premier district for which we will all be proud to be a part.

Robin Bayer 913-645-6666

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 8 months ago

I have seen a number of interesting numbers posted on this forum with the general consensus being that the current school board and Superintendent have somehow failed us by being irresponsible with the taxpayers money. I do not see how that makes sense as it was the community in general that voted in referendum to raise these taxes. I believe that the facilities that were supposed to be built have been completed or are getting close to completion. To my knowledge there were no cost over-runs and we got what was promised. We were told how much our taxes would increase and what we would get for them. In what possible way is this a blemish on the school board or the superintendent? Yes, the economy went into recession, yes our taxes are the highest in the area. Again, so what? The benefits of a good infrastructure to our town outweigh the drawbacks of higher taxes. We can continue to be a the shining example to our neighbors or we can become just another rural town in decay.

If you want a real judge of how the district is doing look at our KSA scores and drop-out rates. Look at the number of students that go on to college. These are the numbers that really matter. If you want to complain about something then complain about the fact that our teachers are under-compensated. A fact that directly affects student performance - even more so than class size.

The current popular mindset has taxes as the number one evil in America. Why? Because the real problems facing America are too damn hard to face. Almost completely ignored by press and politicians alike is is that, on every level, our infrastructure is failing. The post-WW II boom was 60 years ago and the infrastructure created in that time period is wearing out. Now, think about it. The period in which this country experienced its greatest growth was the same period in which we paid for the largest infrastructure projects. Interestingly this was during a Republican administration and it was considered pro-business to support these projects. The simple fact is that there is such a thing as the common good and it is paid for by the people who have the most to gain (or the most to loose). I suggest to all those folks bitching about high taxes to be thankful for the things they have to tax and to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gmail.com

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

I would not call the small majority the community in general. If I remember correctly the bond only passed by like 2-3% margin, barely a majority. Even so your right and it did pass, but as I have pointed out on several occasions the BOE and Dorathy made several promises when seeking to get this bond passed, they also made commitments to strengthening K-5 education, neither of which they have kept.

So what?? This is your response to a business administrator advocating huge spending increases on his business heading into what was obviously an economic downturn?? All the time knowing that he would not be getting the funding necessary to continue to support said business. Then when faced with the loss of income he chose to cut his core product while continuing to fund additional none essential items??

I agree with you on the KSA scores we all need to look at those scores. You will see that we were doing excellent prior to Dorathy and the current BOE disastrous spending fiasco, so I would assume that we will be doing great after he and they are gone. To me those scores show the strength of the community and not the performance of the BOE or the current administrator.

The single biggest problem facing this country is our Govt followed closely by the Media which really has become almost a fourth branch of our Govt. The problems are not that big and are quite easily to faced, one just needs to stand up to the people in Topeka and Washington. I would love it if my taxes where actually being used to support my local school and infrastructure but since our Govt has felt the need to pander for votes using fear and payoffs it’s not. We now pay for things like multiple pointless wars, funding an ever growing police state, propping up failing schools and other Govt institutions, not to mention we subsidize so many other failing business it’s not even funny. If you want to bring back efficiency and cost effectiveness to our schools start by ending the monopoly that Govt has on them and allow competition.

Last I checked simply earning a living and making money did not mean I have to give it up to someone else for the supposed benefit of a larger group, if that is the case then I guess we are all nothing more then slaves working for the profit of our Corporate and Govt masters. If you want to continue being Caesar’s slave you can do so I prefer to be my own free citizen with my own voice.

0

Bloggerboo 3 years, 8 months ago

"Last I checked simply earning a living and making money did not mean I have to give it up to someone else for the supposed benefit of a larger group, if that is the case then I guess we are all nothing more then slaves working for the profit of our Corporate and Govt masters. If you want to continue being Caesar’s slave you can do so I prefer to be my own free citizen with my own voice."

That may be the dumbest thing I have ever read from you, and that says a lot. Are you not familiar with the concept of how taxes work? How we pay them to keep other things operating that we could not otherwise afford on our own? Some portion of your income and mine, and everyone else's has to go to keeping a vast number of services available to us. Roads and infrastructure being big ones. The military is another. They protect the freedom you feel is given up because you had to pay a few extra dollars for new facilities to replace old, and expensive ones. Get over yourself and grow up. Learn how the world works and you'll be a lot happier.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Bloggerboo, if you actually read my full post you will see I said I have no problem with supporting my local community and schools.

What I have a problem with is that the largest part of my taxes are now going to things that we as a community don't need nor do the majority of people even want, our Govt however fails to listen to the people and instead uses our tax money on things like agricultural subsidies, wars of aggression in the middle east, and corporate bail outs. Our Govt, both state and federal are more concerned with increasing their power and protecting the interests of their corporate donors.

If you can't realize that we have in fact almost become nothing more then slaves to our Govt then that is not my problem. I for one have taken the time to educate myself past the spoon fed propaganda given to us by the corporate run media and the monopoly that is our Govt run school system.

You can call me crazy or some anti-govt nut, but all you would be doing is playing into the propaganda of our system where critics are simply labeled and dismissed, while their issue they bring up are never truly addressed.

I didn't start the whole tax issue that was Nathan, I simply responded to his rhetoric. My issue was with the promises made by Dorathy and the BOE that they have failed to keep.

0

kermit 3 years, 8 months ago

Nathaniel makes some excellent points. We, as taxpayers got exactly what we asked for when we voted in that bond issue two years ago. It was not a wise decision and we are now living with the consequences of that bad decision. That is not entirely the fault of the school board or Mr. Dorathy. As taxpayers we should have known better, but as Americans we are an impatient lot and we want, what we want, when we want it ! Also we are woefully inept at teaching basic economics and therefore we had a large bulk of the district voters voting on emotion (yes Torch it was "for the children") rather than on any kind of financial acumen.

Now, as a result of a bad economy we are faced with hard, hard decisions. Closing the rural schools was one of those decisions. Given the budget problems we are having and a state government that will likely cut more from education I am sure they made an informed choice that they believed was best for the entire district.

Some like BaldwinDad don't like that decision. That is his opinion and does not make him spiteful, ignorant nor a hater. In fact, I think BaldwinDad has spent a great deal of time on this issue. He is an informed voter.........to a point.

I see red flags when people start demanding the firing of anyone in public office when they do not know the whole story. yes, BaldwinDad has been to many a BOE meeting but he has not been privy to any Executive sessions. He has not worked with Mr. Dorathy on a day to day basis. Therefore I find his and Lisa Smith's call for firing a bit of an emotional overaction.

The best people to decide if we need a change in leadership are those that have intimate knowledge of the inner and outer workings of USD 348. Not someone who is running on platform of "throw the bum out".

The only thing that scares me more than a one-issue voter is a one-issue candidate.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the support, but you made a mistake in your description of me.

I have NO issues with closing the rural schools, in fact I think it's not that bad of an idea to consolidate the schools. I do think however that it was poorly executed and my real issue with Dorathy is the lying to his employers the citizens of Baldwin and his extremely poor decisions making over the last 3-4 years

My issue with closing the schools was against firing 6 teachers grades K-5 so soon after the BOE and Dorathy made the commitment to us to fortify early education. Also the cramming of kids into classrooms to save a buck. This is where the real savings was coming from, the schools themselves cost us hardly anything to keep open. I'm also positive that with the next 2-3 years we will never see any of that supposed savings due to disenfranchised parents taking their children out of the schools.

0

BigCat 3 years, 8 months ago

"If you want to complain about something then complain about the fact that our teachers are under-compensated. A fact that directly affects student performance - even more so than class size."

A few questions Nathaniel. First, teachers in general or teachers in the district? If you say in general, then yes I would agree. As a whole they are underpaid for what they do. If you say in the district then I would disagree as they are paid at or above average. That makes them compensated just right as far as averages are concerned, not under.

Second sentence...prove it. Where is the reasearch?

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 8 months ago

BigCat

You make good points and I will try to answer in the best and most honest way I can. First of all, I mean that teachers are under-compensated in general. The starting salary for teachers is $27,840. Comparable professions requiring the similar amount of education are considerably higher.

http://teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state

For people who argue that teachers only work nine months out of the year I would say that they are making the argument that someone who works four days a week doesn't work as much as someone who works five days a week. They do if they are working ten hours a day instead of eight. The mount of work that a teacher does during the school year amounts to about 60 hour weeks at the very least. Sorry if I don't cite a study - this is based on personal knowledge from family members.

As to the second part of your comment: How much does teacher compensation effect student performance? I wish I hadn't cited that example. My point was this is a topic that should be examined as opposed to the seemingly all-important tax issue. Having raised the point I will try to explain what I mean and how I arrived at my belief. First off, factually, there is no question that districts that have higher pay for teachers have higher performing students. The problem is that it is probably not causal. The districts pay more because they are in more affluent areas and this means the students are less likely to be at-risk. I think what may have raised your ire is that it may have sounded like I was for performance based pay. I am BUT I think the whole system is fraught with stake-holder's studies showing information that protects their interests.

I find this article is a good example of how stake holders are selectively pulling facts to support their beliefs. The author of the article does it and then has the temerity to point out how other groups are doing it. It is a good example of what is NOT useful in the debate.

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/8038

Having said all this maybe I can suggest that we take up the topic in a different thread called something like "Issues that the school board candidates should be addressing"

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gmail.com

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Nathan, I don't want to drag this off topic anymore then it already has been, but doesn't this also fall under the issue that you accuse others of with their complaints about the high taxes?

Even you admit we the community are paying a premium with our taxes, but yet in the same post you admit we are not even receiving the premium service of highly paid teachers that we are paying for.

Seems to me this is the reason that people are complaining about their high taxes is that we are not truly receiving the premium benefits that you indicate we should be glad to pay for.

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 7 months ago

BaldwinDad,

I am not even sure if you will see this post as it comes far later than your last post but "for the record" then I guess. I think what you are asking is "Do I feel that we are getting our fair bite out of the government apple?" It is a tough questions. I agree with many of the points that you bring up, to include the fact that our federal government is essentially an extension of our corporate nation. In fact I would say that we are largely a Corporate Socialist Nation. Having said this though, I do not see any other models that works as well. I can't remember who said Democracy is the least bad choice but I think they were right. The majority of taxes paid in this country come from people far wealthier than anyone living in this district. We derive benefits from those taxes because the major purpose of the federal government is reapportionment of taxes. Kansas is neither a wealthy state nor a poor one. I suspect we net about even though the studies I have seen put us in the receives more than pays column due to our low population and high infrastructure needs. Either way, I do not have any real problems with reapportionment itself; I mean who wants to live next to States that would be the equivalent of third world nations were it not for reapportionment? Come to think of it, that goes for counties too. Which finally brings me around to my point. Humorously it is the same point that you made. Is it even possible to know when a government is unfairly doling out the resources when the stakeholders control the media (literally not figuratively)? If you add up all the budgets of all the governments of each size, the two largest chunks remain the same - Military spending and Social Security/Medicare. The amount of money spent on education is trivial by comparison. The reason it hurts so much to people like you an I is that it is not a progressive tax in that the brunt of it is born by the middle class. We REALLY feel it when a bond issue passes or w/e. I wonder if starting a war had the same kind of effect on regular peoples income would we so readily become involved? I could ramble on but I think you see where I'm coming from

-Nathaniel Johnson

0

kermit 3 years, 8 months ago

Any one know what Ted B. decided not to run again? He has been a fixture on the council for years.

0

oscar 3 years, 8 months ago

maybe he got tired of taking crap for telling the trueth to baldwin city resident. Ted Breckhisen is the only council man to make sense. Well miss his rantings i predict.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.