I had a letter published in the Delaware Gazette -- the very same letter published in The Dispatch yesterday. Turns out Wade and treasurer Jenkins replied ... and lied.
Here is my response, hopefully the Gazette will publish it:
There is a difference between obfuscation and lying. In their response to my letter (4-21-11), Olentangy superintendent Wade Lucas and treasure Rebecca Jenkins provide examples of both.
They obfuscate when they imply the Ohio Department of Taxation terms tax effort a simple ranking of districts by school millage equivalents. Here is the department's definition of tax effort: it is the percentage of income in a school district that is paid for residential and agricultural property taxes and school district income taxes.
District residents currently a pay high percentage of their income in the form of school-related taxes. Today, the district ranks in the top 10% statewide based on the department's tax effort calculation. The district has been moving up in rank over the past 10 years, a trend that will continue with the passage of this latest levy.
Lucas and Jenkins obfuscate with regard to bond residuals. According to page 57 of the district's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (available on both the district and state auditor websites), the district performed "a one time transfer of $12,200,000 to the other Capital Project fund from the Building fund."
Last year, Lucas and Jenkins, in essence, hid $12 million of bond funds and then have the nerve to turn around and claim otherwise.
Lucas and Jenkins lie when they state the five-year financial forecast does not include close to 6% average salary increases. Furthermore, they lie when they claim the forecast provides for "no base wage increase during the first three years."
Page 8 of the district's October five-year financial forecast (available on both the district and Ohio Department of Education websites) shows forecasted pay increases of $1,978,722 in fiscal year 2013, the first year of the new levy. This is a 2% average increase -- not the zero percent Lucas and Jenkins claimed in their response.
Add in the step increase and education advance and the average salary increase is close to 6%. And this continues for all subsequent years of the forecast.
If obfuscation is not a action residents want from their public officials, what about lying?