Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The (il)logic of Dave King

Dave King, Olentangy board member, has always been the Ringo to Feasel's Yoko and Galloway's John. King has never had much to say. And now I know why.

In his
letter to the editor in today's Dispatch, King shows little grasp of elementary logic. Elementary illogic? Maybe.

The non sequitur:

King, in his own words, "We all gain by safe neighborhoods, engaged and successful families and businesses, an attractive workforce, higher property values and broader opportunities."

So how do my school district property tax dollars lead to an attractive workforce? Do my dollars fund cosmetology, skin care, clothing, etc? Hmmm.

OK, cheap shot. But fun nonetheless.

King makes a leap in logic when he attributes the above characteristics to a school district. Does the school district really cause families to be engaged and successful? Or is he just being circular and wanting to state the opposite causation? Or does he even know?

Petitio principii

King, again in his own words, "Our administration has successfully demonstrated that we must have an effective balance between the educational opportunities that we enjoy with the attendant cost."

Can you spot the logical fallacy here? Hint: It's called begging the question.

Our administration has demonstrated what? How?

The administration may have argued for something called balance. But they have never demonstrated it.

We are in debt to you

Finally, there is this comment, "Our community accrues the benefits of a highly regarded school district and its graduates."

Our community and our children accrue only the district's debt, which stands at $390 million, give or take.

This may all explain why King has a "strong trust in the value of education as both immediate and longterm." Immediate and longterm what?

I think King's adjectives were looking to qualify these two nouns: taxes and debt.

But we knew that already.


Anonymous said...

Great ending to a great post! Well done.

Anonymous said...

Dave King has great hair...but apparently an empty head.

How is he able to claim saving the district $42MM in build costs when the tens of millions in residuals resulting from those discounted builds* never made their way back to the public...never even being applied to future builds?

Do I have my information wrong, or were the bond residuals a result of the delta between what the district "asked" and how much the build actually cost?

"discounted" defined as the actual (lower) build price vs. the (substantially higher) OFSC-derived build budget.

Jim Fedako said...

You are correct. That's how Dave saves the taxpayer money -- by raising taxes over what is needed and hiding the residuals in the permanent improvement fund.

Some savings. Some board member.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Ohio Auditor site and pulled down various OLSD CAFRs (they have them all from the last decade, at least). I know the residual bond balance was extremely high just a few years ago (in excess of $25MM-$30MM). I know my way around a balance sheet, but bonds are a unique animal that I don't have much familiarity with.

That kind of expose' would make a great post (hint-hint, wink-wink).

Anonymous said...

Can you consider doing a Levy 101 post that we can share with uneducated voters? People don't understand the simple $241.xx per $100,000 valuation formula nor the breakdown of the permanant vs. non permanent part of this levy. That would make people stop and think more in my opinion. Thanks for what you are doing to enlighten everyone Jim.