Saturday, March 01, 2008

Olentangy levy: The Taxpayer Summary

There's really nothing more to say about the Olentangy levy. I am reposting my executive summary -- actually taxpayer summary. I encourage you to read all my other postings so you can understand that there is no need for the March levy.

Let's focus on just five of the things we know:

  1. The $10.5 million in cuts is not required.
  2. Bond investment is available and can be used.
  3. The administration and board have no intent on negotiating tighter contracts.
  4. Schools cannot be closed to the public, churches are safe.
  5. The last year(s) of all district levies have deficit spending.
Additional explanation:
  1. The cuts list is a threat; plain and simple.
  2. The fact that there is bond investment income means that the district is not selling bonds only when bond money is needed. I don't think anyone wants the district to sit on a pile of bond money -- funded by tax dollars -- so that investment income can be earned. The board will consider this option after the levy fails.
  3. The negative balance in FY09 is cleared by tighter negotiations. It's that simple. The district is not currently proposing this as a solution, but it will after the levy fails.
  4. The district can't close schools to the public. Never could. State laws will not allow it.
  5. Deficit spending in the out-years of a levy are normal, in fact all district levies are structured that way -- including the one on the ballot.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the real problem the sustainability of the Olentangy spending model. Even if you are right about 2008, given the forecast, they would need a larger levy in 2009, wouldn't they?

Jim Fedako said...

The only way to put pressure on the continued growth in costs is to limit the amount of funds available. If this levy passes, expect larger salary increases starting next school year.

Controlling salary and benefits costs would reduce the next levy significantly.

School districts -- as all governmental entities -- expand to consume revenue. Alway have, always will.

Controlling revenue is the only way to control costs. The current board will spend whatever you give it, and they will be back to ask for more and more.