by Duluth News Tribune
November 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
Duluth School Board members appear resigned to approving an 11.9 percent increase in school property taxes in December.
Tags: Duluth, Education, money, Politics 50 Comments »
Have they ever thought that we are suppose to live on a budget I was taught that by my parent and when things get tight we stop spending They make excuses and think they can keep asking for more I wonder where they think we can get it well it means less food or less heat in our homes so we can give them more GET REAL The board has lost respect and you wonder where they went to school when they think money grows on trees
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 135 11
More school taxes, more property taxes, more state taxes, more federal taxes – our current America is very similar to the extreme taxation that the British were imposing on the States in the 1770′s. WHEN DOES THE REVOLUTION BEGIN?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 77 10
The flawed logic to begin with was to spend all the money on buildings at the expense of the students. They will raise our taxes and then ask for a levy for more teachers. Then the teachers look like the bad guys while Dixon and JCI walk away with cash in hand. Didn’t the school board put any language in their contract like the city did with JCI, or did they just write the check? Probably why we shouldn’t elect people for this job in the first place, it should be an expert hired that is accountable to the people by contract.
This system has to change. Construction workers and their companies are stealing our money. The kids suffer in all of this the most as the schools don’t have enough teachers or books. It is sinful to watch this… Central was a nice school, yet it sits empty.
Imagine how great of a school system Duluth would have if they spent even a small percentage of the Red Plan’s money to hire qualified teachers. It doesn’t matter how many trails or theaters we restore if we are just catering to college kids who will leave and don’t have any money to spend on those things to begin with. Great school systems attract families, then the families invest in the city, and then the city grows. Too bad Mayor Ness is too close of friends with Rod Raymond and the Nelsons to really care about other issues.
I want the law to change that in order to build schools there must be a levy passed. The school board should get to decide how to spend money on teachers and books, but not decide on buildings. 20 kids in a classroom with qualified teachers should be the goal. Personal attention from teachers is what motivates kids to learn, not shiny new atriums and empty schools made into cheap apartment complexes.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 70 4
janis…..No, unfortunately….the Board Members do not even know exactly what is in the contract…….but, they do know that there is no performance clauses in the contract like the City had with JCI…..so, the board cannot hold JCI accountable! What else did we expect from the School Board with no common sense! As far as them being able to build new schools without a referendum or a levy…..that is normally the case, EXCEPT in Duluth, MPLS, and ST PAUL…..because of the label “cities of the 1st class”. Plus, the Duluth District got this approved by the State Dept of Education as a plan to “improve racial integration”. This of course is a pile of baloney….just like the rest of the “sales pitch” that was put on the School Board! Believe me….I have never seen such ineptness in a gov’t body that is supposed to watch the taxpayers expenses! Sounds familiar with other local gov’t bodies as well….doesn’t it?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 46 2
janis: There is a state law preventing school districts from doing exactly what our screwel distric did to the voters. The problem is tha our local representative Mike Jaros wrote legislation and got it passed which provides an exemption to the law for cities of the First Class, meaning over 100,000 population. The exemption was to allow large cities to accompish desegration when the voters for economic reasons (taxincreases) would likely vote down any levy to do so. What’s that you ask? Duluth doesn’t have a population over 100,000 needed to qualify for the loophole (exemption)? Well Duluth has a legislated “special” exemption to the First Class requirement passed when Duluths population first dipped below 100,000 because local politicians convinced the state that the dip was going to be temporary and Duluth would rebound soon. Well that was 30 years ago. Local politicians keep fighting to retian the First Class designation because being so classed allows for significantly more bonding (spending of tax dollars) than a city without such designation would be allowed. Thank your local politicians for getting you into these two predicaments (the exemption and the false classification) that cost you big bucks each year.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 42 4
Whoa oh! Janis!
- and well-played.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 4
This wasn’t supposed to happen. How is it that everyone in Duluth knew this was a bad idea except the bobble-headed board gazing at Dixon with their adoring eyes.
He kept up the $9/month increase mantra and they bought it.
Judy, those extra pool lanes weren’t a necessity.
Charter schools in Duluth saw a double digit increase in students.
No one wants anything to do with this stinking RP.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 127 6
You would think they would get a buyer for the schools on paper before they built- just like Two Harbors. They had high hopes of selling the old school before they built the new one and ended up tearing down the old one when no one wanted it and the Lake Co tax payers footed the bill for the new school- promises of using the money for the sale of the old school to pay of the debt never came true.
Tansey…..as I understand it….Johnson Controls had a part in the Two Harbors school deal……as well! That means that the Two Harbors District…..the Duluth District….and the St Louis Cty Districts were all part of JCI’s dealings. ALL of those deals turned sour…….BUT, all of the mentioned school district boards ALL bought into these “gloriously inexpensive” plans. We seem to have an abundance of board members that are “easy marks” for slick companies, such as JCI…..and NOT to forget our slick “go to” guy……Mr Dixon! I mentioned several times……several years ago……this Red Plan is going to explode in our faces, as it will NEVER stop costing…..it is the ultra money pit!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 57 4
None of us needed a crystal ball to see this coming – we were warned time and time again – and the Board just blew off the taxpayers and did what they wanted adding extra stadiums, pool lanes, the list goes on – It’s criminal really. 11% because they had stars in their eyes and spent irresponsibly . And they don’t even have to ask for the increase – they simply take it. Why go through all the work of lobbying the public for a vote for a levy increase when all they seem to need to do is just take it without our approval? I hope taxpayers fill the Truth in Taxation hearing this year.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 77 3
Oh, wait a sec….so if the school board’s 380 million dollar utopian school plan runs short of operating scratch, because they don’t know how to count pennies yet, they can just break into our homes and take more of our pennies? That sucks!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 78 3
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I wonder how much the “delay” in school payments by the previously Republican controlled Legislature had to do with this? You can thank them for this tax hike because of their refusal to deal with it at the legislature.
I recall an article not too long ago about classes being packed, kids having to share lockers and sit on floors or window sills during classes. Having a good school system with good facilities help draw in workers and companies, which increases the tax rolls.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 26 69
John said “Having a good school system with good facilities help draw in workers and companies, which increases the tax rolls.” Yes John but unfortunately the Red Ink plan has become such a fiscal disaster and yet we have “classes being packed, kids having to share lockers and sit on floors or window sills during classes”. In other words…everything the screwel board said the Red Ink plan was supposed to correct. So we paid 300 + million for monuments to the screwel boards egos and we are no better off than before, only poorer.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 68 15
Oh John, really, do you believe the delayed school payments are the reason for the crammed classes where there aren’t even enough desks in the “new” classrooms or books for the students? This has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat – Do you really believe that “new” schools will draw in workers and companies? – not with the overfilled classrooms, violence caused by cramming too many students without enough supervision, and cutbacks on class offerings caused by the Red Plan’s grandiose plan to put buildings over teaching inside the classroom? Why then are the private and charter schools busting at the seams with waiting lists? Jobs bring workers – schools do not bring companies and workers. Blame lies squarely on Dixon, JCI and the Board members that got us into this mess (a few of which are still shockingly on the Board – Wasson, Cameron and Seliga Punkyo) and don’t leave out our financial wizard, Bill Hanson – whose job it is to make sure there are checks and balances in the financial aspect of everything done with the public’s money. Shame on them all. Meanwhile Dixon signed his second contract in another District after his surprise “retirement” from the mess he created here in Duluth. The people in Faribault are still probably shaking their heads. And again, – Hermantown, – are you listening?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 58 9
john….you have been listening to the school board too much! They say the reason for all this chaos is because the State witheld funds to the school boards! Yes, that is ONLY a small fraction of the financial problems with the Duluth School District. The Duluth District brought on almost ALL of their financial problems by themselves with the Red Plan…..and NOT preserving the integrity of the classroom ( operations )….instead….transferring almost 5 million per year away from classrooms to help pay for the Red Plan. I guess if you do not know the whole story about this….please, research the whole Red Plan deal so you can “discover” what the School Board is NOT telling you!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 49 6
None of this is due to the delayed payments. 709 did borrow money to cover the delay, but it didn’t affect operations. The changes in the funding formula did affect 709 to the tune of about $50 a student though.
Hot debate. What do you think? 24 10
Everyone, settle down. Once Duluth gets established as an urban hotspot, lots of new folks will move here and help us shoulder this tax burden.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 49 15
Yes. And the crushing property tax burden imposed by both the screwel board and the City along with some of the highest utility rates and near the top personal income taxes will all be a huge incentive for people to move here. Yup, Duluths tax and piss-away Democrats are really making this area a mecca for people to move to.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 16
But, we’ve got trails and lakes!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 49 4
And the convenience of drive-up pharmaceutical service up and down First Street.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 47 5
Yes, maybe after we are taxed out of our houses we can walk along those trails until we find a nice place along the lake to pitch a tent to call home.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 8
Please add an *S to your posts if you are being sarcastic. If you’re being serious, you need help.
Hot debate. What do you think? 15 24
Ha ha… ya, that will help – NOT!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 7
Maybe it is time to tar and feather a few screwel board members, or at least run them out of town so we can get some honest people onto the board.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 62 12
Yes, something along the lines of accountability.
Can anyone list the main players who, along with Dixon, brought us into this mess?
Obviously what we need is more teachers, and some more roads and bridges…that fixes everything. (Note the intended light sarcasm)
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 7
Point 1: Keith Dixon, and JCI are laughing all the way to the bank.
Point 2: The school board should be ashamed of themselves, instead of cutting something, they take the easy route and raise taxes on Duluth residents. This is all the more reason why I would never buy property in Duluth.
Point 3: What happened to the opportunity to sell Old New Central. Oh yea, that is right, government schools hate competition.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 53 4
Could someone tell me why a person with no children, never using the school system, has to pay the same amount towards schools as families that currently have children in school or have in the past? Is this really fair?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 42 18
The model of funding public schools really need to change. Sadly, it won’t because government, and the school districts are all slaves to the unions.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 14
Take it back. Common sense is NOT allowed!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 6
dm08…..LOL!!! I too, have said that very thing….many times here! Our school board……and the people who continually keep voting them into office…..are most certainly……devoid of any common sense!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 5
Lund…..I see your point. BUT, welcome to our world of Re-Distribution of wealth ( just kidding )…. It is just doing our part in our communities. If we educate the kids…they are in turn, supposed to make things better in the future ….for all of us! I know….I realize what you are saying here…..but, we all have to do our part. I t is just very unfortunate that the Duluth District is run so……badly, and cannot manage it’s own financial affairs! A lot of us try to vote them out of office…..but, there are too many Liberal, bleeding hearts in our area….that just keep voting them into office! You would think the masses here would finally wake up and smell the coffee…..BUT, that does not happen in the Duluth, Mn area of life!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 36 6
I am more than willing to do my part, but why should my part be the same as the family that currently has children using the school system? I have not, nor will I ever have children using the school system.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 12
Lund…..I know exactly what you are saying…….. as I do not have kids in the school district either! The way it is set up in this country…..if homeowners….landowners…..business owners….did not pay the “school” part or their property taxes…..unfortunately, there would not be enough home / land / business owners to be able to cover the “school” costs…..so therefore, their particular portions of the property taxes….would be unaffordable……unless, by some miraculously wonderful thing happened…..the school boards would learn to live under a good budget plan! Around here….that will never happen….unless the voters obtained some common sense…..is that possible? NAH!!! Anyway, the taxpayer who has no kids in school…….unfortunately…..gets the short end of the stick!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 6
With ALL due respect and no desire to offend…pay your “Fair Share” and be quiet. This is just a small taste of the income re-distribution that all levels of our government are moving toward nowdays. Those that have will pay taxes for those that don’t have to pay taxes. This is what people have voted for, we have to live with it.
Sure, right after you explain to me why someone who doesn’t own a car has to pay taxes to build roads and after you explain why I have to pay for a military that I’ve never personally used or a fire department I’ve never personally used and a thousand other services that you expect to be there even if you don’t use them every day.
Then again, if you’re childless by choice you’re essentially selfish only thinking of yourself so I can understand your point of view. People who raise children are taking personal responsiblity for the next generation.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 24 43
Thank you Mr School Board himself. Now can you tell me why 41% of state funds go toward education, and the school districts still don’t have enough money.
And now they still want more, while there are 50 students per class in some high schools, who sit on the floor, or on a window ledges, but who cares, they have great atriums, fine cafeterias, and copper cladding on the outside. Forgot that story from a couple of months ago? And since you have the knowledge of all things ISD 709 because you supposedly attend more meetings than members, where are these great Red Plan savings supposed to kick in? Is it when Duluth will have 100k residents, or when hell freezes over?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 5
Doug, I’ll buy your first paragraph. I believe that an educated population benefits the entire population.
As for the second paragraph…really? Age-old, trite, inaccurate, and may have once been true…in 1950. What can be more selfish than replicating yourself? We have mouths that are not fed; kids who are not disciplined. Our population growth rate is fine…we could stand with a few less “gifts” bestowed on society. Moreover, I volunteer over a thousand hours a year to my community. Please don’t infer that I am “selfish” because I don’t choose to add to an overpopulated world.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 2
Good grief Doug, did you really just say that? People who don’t have children are selfsh? Unbelievable! You never cease to amaze me. Climb off that high horse your riding on.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 2
I think Vern …….is actually……Christopher Walken.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 4
Keep voting these types into office,,,,,, thats what you’re gonna get people!!!!! Don’t cry now. Too late! Keep those yard signs out! Support those you elected!!!! Dig deep, this is what you people wanted, otherwise you wouldn’t of voted them in…. When will you learn? Remember this next November, and ask those who are running for office these questions then, before its too late. This is very simple Duluthians…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 42 3
ctcmn……LOL!! Seriously, I have said the same thing for years. You will have to remember…..the voters around here, are very Liberal…..and they will never remember things like this when it comes time to vote again! Bottom line…..these same Board Members will get re-elected again…..IF they choose to run! That is a fact of life in our area!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 7
CTCMN: You hit the nail on the head! You get what you vote for! The other commenter is right also, most liberals, are always thinking: This is what is best for kids, city, blah, blah, but they don’t ever do the math homework, and ask those tough questions, where does the money come from? Your house payments and rents will go up to pay for this. I could type forever on this issue, but nothing will change!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 6
I agree with ctcmn- we need to vote for a new board. Even most taxpayers who supported the Red Plan at first can probably now see that it’s not what was promised by the board. But yet the board members who voted for it just won’t admit that mistakes were made and are not willing to look for solutions to the mistakes beyond raising taxes. They need to admit they made a mistake and be honest about finding solutions that don’t include more money. If they can’t do that, then they should have the class to resign. If they don’t resign- then they need to be replaced.
Aso for those who say they don’t like paying because they don’t have kids, I think they should stop and consider what their retirement would be like without well educated young people to keep the economy going. Education is an investment for everyone in this community, not just people with kids. There is a long and very American history of providing education to everyone because education is a central necessity of a strong country. It is very much in everyone’s interest to see that the kids of all people are well educated. People with kids in school pay taxes but also additionally support the schools with activity fees (some of them large), fund raising efforts, and volunteer hours. But don’t get me wrong – NO ONE should have to pay for extra swimming lanes when classes have 40 kids in them.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 2
Yes, you can say it is an “investment” in our youth. But if you look at the return on investment, it isn’t very good as late. And you can’t blame my source as being “conservative” either.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 1
The red plan, is like a severed artery. If you suffer from a severed artery you will bleed(hemorrhage) to death, if medical attention is not received immediately. This is same thing going with the school district, someone needs to stop the bleeding(spending), before the school district goes bankrupt. It appears to me this is becoming a life threatening situation!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 4
Just curious what happens if and when the schools and other properties actually do potentially sell? Do we get an 11.9 % decrease the following year, or even more? RIIIIIGHHHHTTTTT!!!!!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 0
Sadly, with some classrooms with over 40 students, the red plan has somehow ended with less for more….when in these times, more for less is imperative.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 0
All those who voted for those who are in office, step forward, admit these mistakes, and next election make some noise!!! Put your foot down. Send a message! Otherwise you are deemed to repeat the same mistakes.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 0
Well, that was a total let-down. When I scanned the first sentence of the article…I thought WOW… excellent news.
I read it as “Duluth School Board members resigned”
It wasn’t till I actually read the article that I realized I’d missed the word appear.
Like or Dislike: 17 4
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