Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another Indiana Tax Increase

Here we go again. Indiana’s State Sen. Luke Kenley, the Noblesville Republican has put together a plan to raise your taxes. The reason we need to have sports. So to get around the Property Tax Cap he proposed, he is now going to tax you very which way he can.

Wasn’t it Rome that kept the people in check with sports, lions eating people and fighting to the death. Is Indiana moving in this direction.

Indiana with the highest out of work in the nation, but we have football and basketball. Indiana keeps coming in at the lowest ratings in the nation in health care, etc.

Maybe Mr. Kenley should work on those problems first.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another High School?

The Hamilton Southeastern Schools is one of the best districts in the State of Indiana. But I just went to a meeting on the future of the district and the need for another high school. I have got to stop going to theses type of meetings.

At my table to get public input were two high school students and four teachers. Not what I would call public input. The questionnaire and presentation was designed and slanted to move to one answer. Damm the torpedoes full speed ahead and spent for a new high school. The “study” that was presented did not show a full inventory of buildings currently used by the district and utilization rates over the next ten years. While the study may show some of these items directly to the Board it failed to show them to the public. In the presentation overall costs based on different solutions were left out because a few people didn’t feel right about the direction. I was told at the last “public” meeting the citizens don’t want Junior High Schools and it was not viewed. Well, if the public was the same group as at this meeting, it was not the public but rather the customers of the system. A Junior High School Concept would overnight reduce the High School population by 25%. But then it removes the need to build a new high school by about 10 years or so. You might have to build a smaller school or expand, at a much lower costs, another building. But we don’t like the idea, so leave it out, because the tax payers might like it.

Also leave out the operating costs of each solution. Expanding the current schools means less administration costs, maybe we could raise the teachers pay instead.

This study and meeting was an old fashion sales pitch for a used car by a guy in a plaid jacket.

One of the comments I heard from the “public” was rather interesting: If we expend one High School size it would have more students and then they would have more to select from and have an advantage in sports.

No one noticed in the materials the time lines for the expansion of the amount of students that they would not get to the extra 1000 students in the High School for years and years, but we need a 2000 student expansion now. Also most of it is based on re-zoning of vast amounts of farmland into residential subdivisions by Noblesville. I didn’t see an economic analysis of the area growth pattern based on the current trends but rather it was based on the past ten years. So maybe the trends are not too accurate. Building permits are down and the community is aging.

What if the farmland remains farmland? What’s wrong with expanding the current high schools? Well one answer at my table it gets too big and maybe 4000 students in one building is far too much, but it works in Carmel. Another very good district. My High School had 6000 students and to this day it gets listed in the top 100 HS in the US every year.

The School Board has to take this to the voters to approve the building of a new school and I can already see what they are doing to pull the wool over the eyes of the public to spend over 100 million tax dollars.

We need a study but by a totally independent organization and not the group that presented this one sided steer the answer group.

Maybe we do need a new High School, but so far the “study” that was presented is not a “study.”