More cuts neededIs it not time the Hudson School Board manages your money a little bit better? How about starting with consistent reporting for transparency?
By: Ray Hornung, Town of Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Is it not time the Hudson School Board manages your money a little bit better? How about starting with consistent reporting for transparency?
How about a better explanation of why we just could not tighten our belts a little more? They will say “we did.” I respond with “not enough.” The School Board’s 2009-10 Annual Meeting Book indeed states the 2008-09 levy was $26,236,270. Yet in reviewing the 2008-09 Adopted Budget/Levy, one sees the resolution for a levy of $21,673,459. Was this not the amount approved by the School Board on October 28, 2008?
Go to the District website and look at the School Board budget report for that date.
I have asked the district administration to explain why these two figures differ; the response was silence. Did they compute the levy differently this year? Perhaps. If so, why? And why have they not explained this to us? Such misleading numbers makes the change in the presented levy amount more palatable for some residents. Perhaps the District Finance folks added in some or part of the $1,859,211 the District received from the City of Hudson in Tax Increment Financing.
And what about the over $2 million in stimulus money the District received some months ago; where did that go? If we just absolutely must forcefully take more money from the pockets of our property owners, why are we not doing something more to reduce the $49 million in debt the District is carrying into this school year? We have an extremely well-paid Communications Specialist on staff; yet the District and the Board fail to effectively communicate and explain these issues to the taxpayers. Again, why?
$28,400,682 in school taxes for 2009-10 is too much to ask us to give. As many have pointed out to me, the elector resident vote earlier this month is non-binding. I think it is time for the School Board to put that vote aside and make the District Administration formulate a more lean budget, just like most other businesses struggling financially must do in these tough times. “A given result at the end of a straight path is not made a different result because reached by following a devious path.” (Minnesota Tea Co. v. Helvering, 302 U.S. 609).
Editor’s note:Apparently there was a change in the way the numbers are reported, but the bottom-line tax levy in 2008-09 was $26,236,270 (general fund and debt service). The 2009-10 proposed levy is $28,400,682 (general fund and debt service).