Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bully Pulpit

At an open town meeting on December 16, 2014, the town council told Mr. Rizkalla
  1. The township’s million dollar water project did not cause flooding in his house
  2.  Had two experts visit his house who “cannot tell us anything the Township did is causing water in your basement”
  3. Will not release the reports of those “two experts”
  4. Offered Mr. Rizkalla $19,000 to go away
  5. That he’s welcome to get a lawyer and sue
Does that sound like the town is being honest?

Here’s another piece to consider.
>>> Read more!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Aberdeen Payday

Perusing Aberdeen’s 2014 Municipal Budget, I noticed the following:
Sheet 12 –
Administrative Salaries increased 37% in one year to $168,979
Financial Salaries increased 6% this year and 56% since 2007 to $164,242

Sheet 13 –
Tax Collection Salaries increased 7% this year to $111,927
Tax Assessment Salaries increased 14% this year to $71,500

Sheet 14 –
Employee Group Health Insurance increased 113% since 2007 and is now $1.72 million

It’s wonderful to know that public service can be so rewarding.

>>> Read more!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Living in Neverland

On March 4th, the residents of Freneau submitted a petition to the Aberdeen Town Council requesting sewers. Both Deputy Mayor Montone and Councilman Cannon assured the residents the town was working “very hard”. Councilman Cannon added, “We realize it is not fair that you are paying taxes and everyone gets their streets and sidewalks done and you get nothing.”

Deputy Montone twice assured the residents the council was making “progress”. How did she define “progress”? The council has made lots of plans.

Welcome to Neverland where the future is always bright and there’s a plan to solve every problem. Taxes too high? There’s a plan for a transit village and another plan for the redevelopment of Anchor Glass. Cost of housing too high? There’s a plan for a senior residence and low-income housing. Concerned about pay-to-play? The town council has a plan for that as well. Whatever problem you may have, rest assured the town council has a plan. Lots of plans. Wonderful plans. And if those plans don’t work, the town council will make new plans. Better plans. Plans that will amaze and astound.

Such is the beauty of living in Neverland where a majority of voters never grows up. >>> Read more!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year’s Resolution

  1. I will no longer believe politicians who promise me something for nothing
  2. I will no longer trust politicians to fix all my problems
  3. I will no longer trust politicians to care for me and my family
  4. I will no longer believe politicians who promise to protect me by stripping me of my rights
  5. I will no longer believe politicians can fix a problem by simply writing a law or taking a vote
  6. I will no longer believe nice and caring implies effective and competent
  7. I will no longer trust politicians who promise to fix problems after their terms of office
  8. I will no longer trust politicians who promise to fix broken promises
  9. I will no longer trust politicians who think I’m stupid for believing they mean what they say
  10. I will no longer trust politicians who are more giving with other people’s monies than their own
  11. I will no longer support politicians who think I work for them
  12. I will no longer support politicians who take all the credit and none of the blame

May this be the year government works for us.
>>> Read more!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What’s the School Plan?

Why are teachers using online courses to attain higher degrees but the students are not? Rather than expand and experiment with new teaching technologies, the Information Technology budget has been slashed by over 30% in two years to $163,000. That’s roughly $4 per student. Add the total district library budget, and you’re just over $20 a kid.

Meanwhile, during that same period, per pupil expenditures (ignoring overhead) is up 13% to $13,430 per student.  $5,000,000 was added to capital expenditures. Teacher benefits are galloping along at annual increases of 10%.

The simple reality is that public school is too expensive and the education is woefully below student needs.

The school district should pursue a blended approach of technology, individualized instruction, and teacher/student interaction.

As a first step, the district must approach parents for permission to instruct their children in math and science via online courses. The students could work at their own pace in a supervised school environment. Those who need more time and help, will get it. Those who can fly will be allowed to do so. Parents can withdraw their children from the program at any time.

It’s either this, charter schools, or implosion. By staying the course, the district will have chosen implosion.
>>> Read more!