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School board hears budget-cutting numbers

The board of education has scheduled two additional public forums to discuss the budget, or lack thereof. They are set for 6:30 to 8:30 pm on April 8 and April 20 in the district office board room. Check out usd348.com for more information. Please doublecheck the dates. I don't want anyone to miss these!

Thanks.

March 26, 2010 at 2:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Parks Master Plan eyed by city council

What is the difference between trails and sidewalks? Is it width? Length? Is there a difference at all?

If not, why can't we apply for grants to build "trails" and then build these trails where we want sidewalks (like to the pool, across 56, to the new school, etc.)?

February 8, 2010 at 6:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Ottawa man charged in Tuesday afternoon burglary

Too bad they can't charge him for being stupid.

January 20, 2010 at 4:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

save the schools

Forget whatever effect the four-day school week would have on the elementary-aged kids. Let's talk about the older ones.

Give middle-school and high-school aged students a day every week where most of them would have very little supervision? Does this make any sense? Now I know the people on Speak Out have perfect children who never dream of misbehaving and spend every minute of their spare time doing chores to help the less fortunate or studying, but I can guarantee you that doesn't apply to every student in the middle and high schools. Shall we try to imagine what would happen to those kids and what activities they would find to occupy their time? I think the alcohol and drug use would be the least of our worries.

Four day school weeks for everyone just to keep two rural schools open is not a good idea. Not only did I go to a high school that had "free" periods that led to all kinds of mischief (but never from me, of course.) But I've subbed at our high school and middle schools. I think a four day school week would be a huge mistake.

January 5, 2010 at 5:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Patrons want rural schools to be closed

Anyone consider charter schools? I don't know what the laws are in Kansas but I think this is definitely an option that needs to be considered. If the school board makes the decision to close a rural school, what are the chances of setting it up as a charter?

December 21, 2009 at 5:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

low Halloween turnout

Alterego,

Please show me in the sales tax question where you are guaranteed street lights and sidewalks with the tax money.

And you obviously have not been clearly reading my posts. I have stated several times that I support the idea of the sales tax. I have no sidewalks in my neighborhood.

What I cannot support is the way these two ballot questions are worded. There are no specifics and no deadlines. So I vote no on both until the council figures that out.

Sorry you had to eat your own candy. Maybe you can freeze it for next year.

November 2, 2009 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

low Halloween turnout

Don't worry, arcocelli. Most parents are taking their kids to FireTree where the sidewalks and streetlights are.

We had a major drop in trick or treaters as well. But there are folks in FireTree who ran out of candy by 8 p.m.!

November 1, 2009 at 8:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor

Tony,

I am not positive on this information, but I'm posting it anyway because that's what Speak Out is all about! : )

If these two ballot questions don't pass, then the city has three choices: raising the mill levy, have another special election, or make some budget cuts. If they choose to raise the mill levy, I doubt if any of them get re-elected in a couple of years. And I don't know if they could raise the mill levy now, or if they would have to wait for the next fiscal year. No matter, it won't be a popular choice.

If they choose to have another special election, they will have to write ballot questions with specifics and deadlines, things they should have done in the first place. It will actually take a little research and time and maybe they might even listen to the committees they appoint.

As for budget cuts, I am not sure where these can made, although there are some folks on Speak Out who seem to have some interesting ideas.

Personally, I think they should go with the special election and the mayor and council should all have to pay for it out of their own pockets, including the city manager, for putting questions like these on the ballot in the first place. (And yes, I am being facetious....sort of.)

But who knows, maybe one or both of the questions will pass on Tuesday. Then Speak Out can go back to sleep until another tax idea raises its head.

November 1, 2009 at 8:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Voters to decide on sales tax Tuesday

Dear K-dub,

My opposition to both of these taxes has nothing to do with their costs and everything to do with their execution.

Neither of these taxes end, no matter who is holding elected office.

There are no specifics in either proposal about where the money will go. Lots of "could be's," but no "will be's."

So I am voting no on both. I like the idea of most of the items presented in the ballot questions, but I want to know that the money raised to will go toward them. Also, I want these taxes to end without holding an election to do so. It worked with the pool. It needs to work with both of these sales taxes.

And I'm hanging on to the bottom of the ladder right next to you.

October 31, 2009 at 5:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor

There is no guarantee in either of these ballot questions about where the money will go.

The mayor and council have said the money in Prop 1 "could be" used to repair Sixth Street, fix streets, add sidewalks, fix stormwater issues, repair bridges, maintain streets, and a ton of other promises on an estimated $180,000 a year. Did you hear the catch? "Could be."

Prop 2 money "could be" used for trails. Or bathrooms. Or golf courses. Or swimming pools. Or tunnels. Or crosswalks. Or an expanded library. Another bunch of promises based on an estimated $80,000 annually. Another "could be."

Maybe. Or maybe not. It's not in the ballot language that the money could be used for any of that.

And let's not forget that neither of these taxes ever ends, no matter who is in elected office.

I'm not against the ideas presented in both of these ballot questions. I live in a neighborhood with no sidewalks or curbs or storm drains. I would love to have them. Parks, trails, bathrooms, a larger library and recreational amenities would make Baldwin a more pleasant place to live.

But Prop 1 and Prop 2 are not the right way to go about this. Let these fail. Let's pass sale taxes that end in 10 or 15 or 20 years. Let's make sure the money goes where it is needed, not some pet project of the mayor and the council.

As for the argument about the mayor and council "have been completely forward about how they intend to utilize the money," I won't go into how much I disagree with that statement here. But consider this: In two years we hold a new election and perhaps get all new leaders. If these sales taxes pass as they are currently written, these new leaders get to choose where the money goes. And their priorities will probably be different from what we have now.

So vote no on both sales tax propositions. Let's pass sales taxes with endings and specifics. It's just common sense that we place more control on where our tax money needs to go.

October 31, 2009 at 5:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )