Hayden district to pursue mill levy override

School Board also approves Luppes as half-time superintendent in 2010-11

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— The Hayden School Board agreed to move forward with a ballot measure asking voters to approve a mill levy override to generate an estimated $344,560 annually for the district.

At Wednesday’s School Board meeting, Board President Brian Hoza said revenue generated from the override would help the district address future expected cuts from the state, maintain staff, protect staff salaries and benefits and minimize programs that might be at risk.

He said a survey this spring of Hayden residents living in the district was “overwhelmingly” supportive of a mill levy override and half-cent sales tax.

“Both were supported, but we felt the mill levy was more appropriate,” he said, citing dependability of generating revenue from a property tax increase versus a sales tax initiative.

Finance Director Jnl Linsa­cum said the override would cost about $33 per $100,000 of residential property value annually.

Hoza said the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has been notified of the district’s intention. But, he said, official notification isn’t due to the county until late July and the ballot language isn’t due until the first week of September.

The School Board again will discuss the mill levy override at the School Board meeting in July and will adopt ballot language at a meeting before the early September deadline, Hoza said.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the School Board approved Mike Luppes as the district’s half-time superintendent in 2010-11. Luppes will be paid $50,000 plus about $20,000 in benefits.

Including the time he spent as the Hayden High School boys basketball coach and as administrative consultant, he cannot work more than 110 days in 2010, under provisions allowed by the Public Employees’ Retirement Asso­ci­ation. Luppes retired as the district’s superintendent in 2008. That provision will change in 2011, allowing retirees to work up to 140 days.

In other action, the School Board:

■ Approved the 2010-11 budget with a general fund of more than $5 million. The budget includes about $345,000 in cuts, based on a decrease in funding from the state, increased costs for health insurance and retirement benefits and lost revenue from fewer students next year.

■ Approved a service contract with the Moffat County School District of $20,600 to receive yearly bus service, inspections, driver training and evaluations.

■ Approved new athletic fees at the high and middle schools to generate an estimated $6,000 to $8,000 in additional revenue.

■ Approved accepting more than $106,303 in gifts from the Education Fund Board.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboapilot.com

Comments

sledneck 4 years, 6 months ago

$70,000/ year for a "half-time" position?

And, it's not "$33/ year". It's an ADDITIONAL $33 on top of the thousands we already pay. For someone with a $300,000 home thats another $100/ year every year for the rest of your life, your childrens life and their grandchildren... forever!

If the people of Hayden approve this they are fools.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 6 months ago

sled - Why so many issues on people getting paid to work for a living? You made comments about Cunningham also.

Colorado ranks extremely low in the intellectual output of students. Education is not the place to make cuts.

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housepoor 4 years, 6 months ago

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sledneck 4 years, 6 months ago

Duke, A fair question. I will attempt to explain.

Wherever I turn these days I hear government saying basically the following: "it's just a little more"... "it's only a small increase". That sort of thing. It's not the $100/ year that is unacceptable, it's the fact that the $100 is ON TOP of the burden we already bear. Imagine a dump truck driver at a weigh station. When the police tell him he is 5 tons overweight his reply is... "but I loaded the truck really, really slowly, putting only 33 pounds per axle on it each year." Does that matter? No! The truck is overloaded and unsafe no matter how slowly it was loaded. So too are the taxpayers of this Nation, and it doesn't matter how gradually they add to our burden.

I could argue (with ease) that government education is an abysmal failure and that throwing good $$$ after bad is crazy but thats for another time.

The choice to cut education funding or increase taxes is a FALSE choice. The real choices are to either get our priorities straight or not. For example, the $11 million spent on our new library would have been more than enough to cover this current "problem". Even if we had just built a conventional library and not spiked the costs sky high with all the feel-good features we could have saved enough to solve the school "problem" for years to come. For $11 million we could have probably purchased computers and internet service for every student in the county. With the internet at their fingertips students could access every book ever written... including the relative few in the library. And get this, EVERY student could "check out" the same book at the same time.

Now, for those who say the library is too important I have 2 words... IRON HORSE. O.K. 2 more words... Rec. Center. The point is there are trade offs in life and our government is failing miserably at its duty to get its priorities correct. If we say we want the best for our kids let's prove it, not by raising taxes but by giving them the $$$ we are wasting elsewhere.

And finally, I am disgusted by the perpetual tone of those who claim that every spending proposal and tax increase is "for the children". Using the "for the children" excuse is shameless and it's a lie. If most of those people really cared about the childrens' future they would not be enslaving them in debt, would they?

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James Earley, MCSE 4 years, 6 months ago

Half time pay to do a full time job. Luppes will earn that money, and he's doing the entire community a favor by accepting that position instead of enjoying his retirement in MN.

Not everyone can understand the ROI in public education that their children and grandchildren will benefit from. From a global perspective, we better get our edu-act together pronto, and it won't free.

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sledneck 4 years, 6 months ago

How will our children benifit from a bankrupt nation? Return on investment? Our government schools are the worst return on investment imaginable. Many of todays high school graduates couldn't get promoted past the seventh grade 30 years ago. Without the government to care for them they will face a future of chaos and want. Internationally, our education system is a laughingstock.

There is no better proof of the delusion about the value of our government schools than the bumper sticker... "MY CHILD IS AN HONOR STUDENT AT..." as if that were an accomplishment of some difficulty. If you can fog a mirror...

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John Fielding 4 years, 6 months ago

.

There is ample evidence that it is not how much you spend but how well you spend it.

The following quote is from www.freestrongamerica.com

"One of Governor Romney’s top priorities as Governor was reforming the education system so that young people could compete for better paying jobs in the global economy of the future. In 2004, Governor Romney established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship to any Massachusetts public university or college. He has also championed a package of education reforms, including merit pay, an emphasis on math and science instruction, important new intervention programs for failing schools and English immersion for foreign-speaking students."

This is just a soundbite of course, for a detailed explanation of how education systems can be improved read the book; No Apology, the Case for American Greatness.

.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree that the public should not automatically approve tax increases and government is more inclined to seek additional revenues than to seek efficiencies.

The City of SS is on a constant campaign to demonstrate the maxim "easy come, easy go" and I think will never get a tax increase approved. Spending over $100K in a time of not so much extra money on a court case that they lose, lose on appeal and so decide to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court is just the example of the day of how too much money creates a culture of wasteful spending. Iron Horse becomes possible because the City had so much money that just needed to be spent.

The SS school district has an unfortunate history of finding it cheaper to spend huge money on replacing and finding a new superintendent instead of working with the superintendent hired by the previous school board.

Does the Hayden School district fall into that category that could gain the benefits of another $300K just by operating better and wasting less? Or is it well run and the tax increase will bring classroom improvements? At least the voters get to decide that.

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