A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 69

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.

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A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 63

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.

A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 53

The number of readers of this blog continues to increase. More specifically, the number of readers who claim to live in Northern Colorado, as documented by the growing number of e-mails from individuals who claim residency in Larimer County, with each e-mail received communicating the growing dissatisfaction and displeasure with the supposedly professional news media in the Fort Collins and Loveland, CO. areas.

For example, several e-mails recently regarding an act of vandalism that occurred in one of the public parks in Loveland, CO.: All but one of the e-mails explicitly blamed the news media in the Loveland area for the disrespect and contempt inflicted on the property and its resources, asserting that the physical expression of contempt, which included profanity, was a result of comments allowed on the local newspaper’s Social Media platform, where accounts using aliases are allowed and where these fake name accounts frequently publish obscenities, profanities, and expletives against those who do not support the undeniably anti-American agenda of the newspaper, including explicit threats against the President of the United States of America and other elected officials who represent Loveland, Larimer County, and the State of Colorado.

Additionally, each e-mail that advanced this opinion expressed thanks for this blog and the refusal on my part to allow such comments here.

It is an unwavering belief that you make what you will of Life. If you want to live a fulfilling Life you will make a dedicated and determined effort to do so, and that may include such undertakings as formal education: If you want to live in a beautiful place you will create and maintain such a place.

Equally, if you want to live in squalor and ruin you will choose to do so.

Recently the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, infuriated certain politicians and members of the news media by reportedly using language to describe countries around the world. The phrase attributed to him was deemed by these purveyors of language as obscene, profane, vulgar, coarse, and unbecoming someone of his position, an elected official of his stature.

His alleged choice of words in an effort to promote excellence and seek the best humanity has to offer was unfortunate and only served to negate his desire and good intentions.

At the same time his critics failed to affect his standing for many because of their willingness to overlook the profanity, obscenities, expletives, and vulgarities repeatedly used by their preferred leader – Hillary Clinton; their willingness to repeat again and again the offending phrase supposedly spoken by the President of the United States of America behind closed doors; and their condoning of such language on their Social Media platforms – along with language that goes beyond obscene, profane, and vulgar.

Northern Colorado, specifically Larimer County, has much to offer. Many choose to live in this part of the state because of the physical beauty and splendor available. Most who live in the Loveland and Fort Collins areas work to ensure these things remain intact. A growing number of individuals who call themselves “Coloradans” have taken a stand and it is a position they will not back down from: They are standing against the hypocrisy of politicians and professional news media workers alike, and are doing so in how they choose to live their lives, expressed in civility and respect for others and the place they call “Home”. They are winning this battle as demonstrated by the slow death of news organizations in northern Colorado and throughout the State of Colorado.

To each of you I say, sincerely and genuinely: Thank you. To each I say: Welcome.

A Voice of Colorado No. 576 Version 5.0:

The Thompson School District, which serves the Loveland, CO. area, is considering a change to start times for students, saying doing so for secondary classes would follow a national trend which reportedly improves learning and health of students through more sleep each night, especially for teenagers.

The proposed new start time would be forty minutes later than the current start time.

The school district claims support for the change, citing a community survey conducted, which they assert favors the changes.

A decision regarding the change will be made at the school district meeting January 17, 2018.

A Voice of Colorado No. 573 Version 5.0:

The Thompson School District, which includes Loveland, CO., may vote in January 2018 on the closing of schools within the district, saying doing so will save the district money.

Schools which may be closed include Stansberry and Van Buren Elementary Schools. But the closures will not address the five million cut the district intends to apply to the budget for the school year. To achieve the desired amount at least five schools and more than fifty teachers would also need to be cut, representatives of the district assert. Doing so, according to those opposing the proposed cuts, would put an undue burden on the remaining schools and class sizes.

In an effort to address the proposed cuts it has been suggested that changing boundaries for the district would be possible.

Supporters of the budgets cuts have again said the reason for doing so is because voters defeated a proposed mill levy and bond issue in 2016. Critics charge this is partisan politics at their worst.

A Voice of Colorado No. 571 Version 5.0:

The Loveland City Council recently heard an update regarding a proposal to measure public favor an increase in sales tax.

Loveland Public Library Director, Diane Lapierre, and Brent Worthington, City Finance Director, presented to the council information regarding the process city staff and consultants are undertaking to determine if taxpayers would be receptive to a sales tax increase.

If passed the sales tax increase would be used to fund specific community capital projects, including fire stations, a museum expansion, and road improvements with the city limits.

The proposed increase would be 0.5 percent, for a total sales tax rate of 3.5 percent, and, if allowed, over a ten-year period, would generate a projected $8.2 million dollars.

At a future date Loveland City Council members will decide whether or not to refer the sales tax increase to the November 2018 ballot.

Loveland City Council member Steve Olson, who represents Ward IV in the City of Loveland expressed concerns over the proposal because he believes that it lacks fiscal responsibility and accountability.