scott bideau

scott bideau 1 day, 2 hours ago on Steamboat Springs School District will get $480,000 less than hoped for under school finance bill

"but that amount may fluctuate based on state enrollment."

Scott: my point is that the state doesn't determine what is adequate. Otherwise the above would not be true and they would fund more in total as more pupils enrolled, keeping the per pupil amount the same, at a level they decided was adequate. Instead, they give what they can and essentially tell the school districts to divide it all up. The whole thing is a complete failure of our obligation to the state's most important asset: children.

Meanwhile, money allocated to education by the voters gets redirected to economic development via URAs. Often it's by the same city council members who say they don't want to hurt their schools. Let's hope the Steamboat City council keeps their word on that point.

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scott bideau 1 day, 20 hours ago on Steamboat Springs School District will get $480,000 less than hoped for under school finance bill

"Per-pupil funding in the district is forecast to increase from $7,014 this year to $7,275 in 2015-16, but that amount may fluctuate based on state enrollment."

Confirms that the state unfortunately funds education based on how much money they allocate in total divided by the number of pupils and NOT by first setting an adequate per pupil amount and funding appropriately.

(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs School Board, these comments are my own personal opinions and may not reflect those of my fellow board members)

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scott bideau 3 days, 4 hours ago on Our view: Education fund request is a no-brainer

Scott - I have seen a fair amount of compelling evidence showing that children who participated in all day kindergarten perform significantly better. The EFB will obviously have to decide if they agree with that evidence enough to fund the request. This is what I love about the Education Fund Sales Tax. The tax itself must be continually re-authorized by the local voters and each request approved by the Fund Board. I'd take this process over the state legislature's education funding fiasco any day :)

(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs School Board, these comments are my own personal opinions and may not reflect those of my fellow board members)

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scott bideau 3 days, 4 hours ago on Jim Clark: Why do we have to call it 'Mud Season'?

Personally, I call it "local's season." The restaurants aren't over crowded, traffic is light, and sales tax collections don't dip as dramatically as most mountain resort towns. To me, that sounds about perfect as is.

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scott bideau 3 days, 10 hours ago on Our view: Hurry up and slow down

So often, large scale projects in this community first start with emotion, or even fear tactics, and simply manufacture the data second. Take the Yes 2 Air project, which said that our economy would be doomed without the new tax. One year into that tax the actual seat capacity fell to within a few percentage points of the supposed doomsday scenario without the tax with no realistic plan to get us back to the promised levels. I hear that tax will be put back to the voters this year. It will be interesting to see if this newspaper supports the continuation of such a haphazard plan in the interests of economic development at any cost.

Getting back to the school capacity issue, the data shows that we needed extra capacity yesterday, not in several years as this article suggests. The emotions of the community have been fully supportive of making a prompt yet intelligent move forward based on that data. This includes conversations I've had with individual community members and the District Accountability Committee (DAC), which is comprised of both parents, teachers, district staff and the business community. On January 22nd, the DAC unanimously stated that "current overcrowding is unacceptable and the board should move swiftly to investigate potential solutions." I have not heard a single person questioning the pace at which at which things are proceeding or the need for new classrooms, so I question where this statement came from but would be happy to discuss this concern if it truly does exist.

A yes vote from me on this subject won't come easy at all. I will keep pushing to understand both the pros and cons of acting now versus acting later and dig deep into the data and socialize that with the community for their full support. If I cast a vote to place this subject on the ballot, it won't simply be because "financing costs are low" as one city council member recently suggested as the reason both a URA and school bond should happen sooner rather than later. If I vote to place this subject on the ballot, it will be because I firmly believe that the need is real and needs to be solved now. From there, the voters will get to decide if they agree and will fund that need.

(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs School Board, these comments are my own personal opinions and may not reflect those of my fellow board members)

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scott bideau 3 days, 10 hours ago on Our view: Hurry up and slow down

"If the school board and members of the master planning committee listen closely, they’ll hear members of the pro-education community already questioning the pace at which things are proceeding. And there are those in the community who challenge whether the need for new classrooms has been clearly established."

This is the second time in 4 days this claim has been made (http://t.steamboattoday.com/news/2015/apr/12/our-view-hurry-and-slow-down/), yet not a single person has expressed this concern directly to me, or any other board member to the best of my knowledge. I will repeat the comments I made on Sunday below:

The analysis and planning has been going on for quite some time. A 10-15 year old facilities audit talked about various improvements and expansions need at that time. Some were completed through the Soda Creek project, some with the district's maintenance budget and COPs, and others remain to be solved. Demographic reports have been continually updated to track the actual versus expected growth in the population of our school children. That growth has been astounding, including examples like actual enrollment even without Steamboat 700 exceeding the predicted enrollment with a Steamboat 700 assumption.

It's also important to highlight the fact mentioned above regarding the community's desire to keep Soda Creek elementary in its current location. I moved here in 2007 and didn't witness this event first-hand, but I plan to learn from history, not repeat it.

Personally, I find that reality = true reality when decisions are based first on rational data and then cross referenced with the emotional connection.

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scott bideau 6 days, 9 hours ago on Our view: Hurry up and slow down

So often, large scale projects in this community first start with emotion, or even fear tactics, and simply manufacture the data second. Take the Yes 2 Air project, which said that our economy would be doomed without the new tax. One year into that tax the actual seat capacity fell to within a few percentage points of the supposed doomsday scenario without the tax with no realistic plan to get us back to the promised levels. I hear that tax will be put back to the voters this year. It will be interesting to see if this newspaper supports the continuation of such a haphazard plan in the interests of economic development at any cost.

Getting back to the school capacity issue, the data shows that we needed extra capacity yesterday, not in several years as this article suggests. The emotions of the community have been fully supportive of making a prompt yet intelligent move forward based on that data. This includes conversations I've had with individual community members and the District Accountability Committee (DAC), which is comprised of both parents, teachers, district staff and the business community. On January 22nd, the DAC unanimously stated that "current overcrowding is unacceptable and the board should move swiftly to investigate potential solutions." I have not heard a single person questioning the pace at which at which things are proceeding or the need for new classrooms, so I question where this statement came from but would be happy to discuss this concern if it truly does exist.

A yes vote from me on this subject won't come easy at all. I will keep pushing to understand both the pros and cons of acting now versus acting later and dig deep into the data and socialize that with the community for their full support. If I cast a vote to place this subject on the ballot, it won't simply be because "financing costs are low" as one city council member recently suggested as the reason both a URA and school bond should happen sooner rather than later. If I vote to place this subject on the ballot, it will be because I firmly believe that the need is real and needs to be solved now. From there, the voters will get to decide if they agree and will fund that need.

(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs School Board, these comments are my own personal opinions and may not reflect those of my fellow board members)

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scott bideau 6 days, 9 hours ago on Our view: Hurry up and slow down

I too would like to hear additional community comment on this very important subject. A couple considerations to recall:

The analysis and planning has been going on for quite some time. A 10-15 year old facilities audit talked about various improvements and expansions need at that time. Some were completed through the Soda Creek project, some with the district's maintenance budget and COPs, and others remain to be solved. Demographic reports have been continually updated to track the actual versus expected growth in the population of our school children. That growth has been astounding, including examples like actual enrollment even without Steamboat 700 exceeding the predicted enrollment with a Steamboat 700 assumption.

It's also important to highlight the fact mentioned above regarding the community's desire to keep Soda Creek elementary in its current location. I moved here in 2007 and didn't witness this event first-hand, but I plan to learn from history, not repeat it.

Personally, I find that reality = true reality when decisions are based first on rational data and then cross referenced with the emotional connection.

(continued below)

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scott bideau 1 week, 6 days ago on Our View: That won't fly

So about twice what the city wants to take from the school district for a URA was wasted away on private airplanes by an ignorance of their own signed contracts. Doesn't the city attorney and finance director get paid to make sure these types of things don't happen?

Reason #1,001 why I don't trust this city to enact a "hold harmless" agreement for the school district under any URA.

(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs School Board, these comments are my own personal opinions and may not reflect those of my fellow board members)

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scott bideau 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Scott L. Ford: TIF is a bag of snakes

Steve - a couple points of clarification I'll offer for the public's benefit:

  1. The sales tax was passed by the voters and is managed by the Education Fund Board (EFB), which reports to city council, not the school board. While this money is obviously directed to education and is very much appreciated, it is not an official source of funding for the district. Additionally, it expires in a few years unless renewed. A TIF on the other hand would take money that was allocated to specific uses by voters in the ballot box and instead redirect that money to other uses, without a public vote.

  2. I don't think there's any dispute that property tax has grown and will continue to grow without a URA. Historical projects like Howelsen Place, Olympian, Old Town Hot Springs remodel, and many other projects confirm this. Planned projects such as the police station and YVEA redevelopment are already underway despite no URA. Yet a TIF would take all of that property tax increment that would have happened anyway away from the other taxing entities like the school district.

  3. City council has not revisited earlier concerns about the blight report. If you feel otherwise, please direct me to the exact timeframe in their council meeting video recordings, as I've either attended each meeting or watched it later on video and can find no such occurrence of the blight report questions being resolved.

  4. When city council did revisit their earlier comments about the BID requirement, several council members made completely inaccurate statements about their previous discussions. See http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2015/apr/01/scott-bideau-ura-frustrations/ for a full transcript.

  5. While you haven't said this, many URA proponents claim to "not have a horse in this race." I have always disclaimed that as a school board member, I do - which is to defend the funding of our children's education, a duty I was elected to perform. Other than that, I make no income from downtown Steamboat or the city as a whole as a location neutral business person. I simply believe that our community is a great one and that decisions like this should be made with great care and with the facts in mind. I do agree with you that it "depends on one's perspective." As such, I believe it's important to note that you are a member of a real estate development and investment firm (Blue Sage Ventures) and had previously made an offer to purchase the police station and perform the very redevelopment I reference above (http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2013/jan/31/developer-submits-competing-offer-steamboat-spring/). I assume that you would be a direct benefactor of any public fund investments via the URA, so this perspective is important for the public to realize.

(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs School Board, these comments are my own personal opinions and may not reflect those of my fellow board members)

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