At a time when the State of Colorado is looking to increase taxes to satisfy the appetites of politicians they may want to pause because an audit in June 2017 found that more than two million dollars in cash payments to film productions companies that did not qualify for incentives was spent without justification, and more than a few taxpayers are more than just upset.
The Thompson School District, which serves Loveland, CO., and surrounding area, will not close schools in the coming year because of a vote by the Thompson School Board, 6-1.
Van Buren Elementary and Stansberry Elementary, which were identified as possible closures, will not be shuttered in the coming school year. However, the possibility of closure remains for the next two years as the board considers details regarding cost savings if closures were implemented and how closures would impact the rest of the district. The delay was not well received by parents and residents of the district alike.
For several years the Thompson School District has been using money in a reserve account for operating expenses. Based on current projections the reserve balance will be depleted in two years. In order to ensure a reserve balance is maintained the district has undertaken cost reductions which include the consideration of school closures.
Critics of the financial practice have repeatedly suggested than administrative overhead, including the salaries paid to the superintendent’s office, be dramatically reduced or eliminated entirely.
Members of the school board have suggested changes to district boundaries, changes to transportation requirements for students, consolidations of schools, closures of schools, while planning for projected growth in the district.
School board member Jeff Swanty has repeatedly noted that presently the district has schools within the district that have availability of more than twenty percent, and others have low enrollment or relatively small classes, contradicting the proposal of school closure.
According to Gordon Jones, the chief financial officer for the district, closing one school in the district could result in a saving annually of at least five hundred thousand dollars. Closing two schools could save more than a million dollars a year, against a deserved reduction in costs of five million per year in order to preserve the existence of the reserve fund.
Thompson School Board members are scheduled to discuss the possibility of closing two elementary schools in the district. The discussions have been underway for more than a year, but to date a final vote on the matter has not taken place.
A member of the school board, Jeff Swanty, who previously requested that the topic be discussed as soon as possible instead allowing a delay until at least March of 2018, has voiced the opinion that such a closure would not happen for at least one school year, possibly longer. He has also been quoted as saying that closing schools lacks logic and reason for doing so, and has sought more research regarding the matter before allowing administrators to make recommendations for closures.
A reason given for closing schools is attributed to a perceived need to balance the district’s budget. If the reasoning was factual at least five schools within the district would have to be closed, not two as previously discussed by the board, specifically Van Buren and Stansberry Elementary Schools.
If closures were to take place the result could affect classroom size, bus routes, and other factors currently not considered. Additionally, boundary changes would have to be considered to make better use of remaining buildings because a bond was noted for by voters in the 2016 election cycle that would have supposedly provided for remodeling and construction of new locations.
The Thompson School Board meeting will take place at the district offices, 800 South Taft Avenue, in Loveland, CO., and begin at 7:00 P.M.
Democrat Jared Polis is running for Governor of the State of Colorado, and would like people to believe that he is a caring, philanthropic individual, as demonstrated by the existence of The Jared Polis Foundation.
Mr. Polis reportedly has an estimated worth of more than $300 million. With such a fortune at his disposal it seems his foundation would be financially well-off, benefiting many.
Several investigations into the private foundation, however, contradict the perception advanced by Polis.
Mr. Polis donated more than $2.2 million dollars to the foundation over a period of five years. Roughly, less than twenty percent of one percent of his financial fortunes was given to worthwhile causes.
Less than twenty-five percent of the monies given to the foundation were then given to charities and grants.
During the same timeframe more than $600,000 dollars was paid to the executive director of the foundation, Gina Nocera.
The five grant programs the foundation oversees, comparatively, received slightly more than $500,000.
Another one million dollars-plus was paid out to expenditures and staff salaries.
If Jared Polis wants to be taken seriously as an elected leader he would do well to lead by example. Financially speaking, that is.
Democrat Jared Polis has made it known that if elected Governor of the State of Colorado he would support abolishing The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).
Advocated by fiscal conservative, s TABOR was passed in 1992 in the State of Colorado, which amended Article X of the Colorado State Constitution that restricts revenues for all levels of government, and requires local and state governments to get voter approval to increase tax rates. Additionally, such government bodies cannot spend revenues collected under existing tax rates without voter approval if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation.
In other words, Jared Polis does not believe the voter and taxpayer of the State of Colorado knows what is best where finances of the state are concerned, and he does not believe in the Democratic process.
The increase in the state minimum wage will result in higher prices for everyone. Starting January 1, 2018 the minimum wage in the State of Colorado increases to $9.30 an hour, with annual increases until it reaches $12.00 per hour.
For many small businesses this means hiring fewer employees and it also means fewer small businesses will be able to provide existing employees with full time work.
If the State of Colorado wanted to do something worthwhile they would abolish the minimum wage, forgo the flawed concept of a “living wage” and implement a salary system based on education and work experience.