School board elections–The truth about civility, settling the lawsuit and attorneys fees

School board elections–The truth about civility, settling the lawsuit and attorneys fees

By Barb Dent

School board elections—

The truth about civility, settling the lawsuit and attorneys’ fees

Unfortunately, “civility,” settling the lawsuit and attorneys’ fees have been the focus of “the slate” led by Jack Packard and Frank Moyer during this school board campaign. The main reason is that Packard’s and Moyer’s slate can’t or won’t discuss the crucial educational and financial issues. In three short years, Ted Biondo (D) and Patti Delugas (F), through their participation in the Finance and Curriculum committees, have implemented new educational programs, lowered the tax rate for three straight years, lowered attorneys’ fees by 50 percent and lowered the deficit. Scott Carter (E) has been involved in the Facilities Committee and has been a substitute teacher and understands what is needed in the classroom and in our buildings.

I resent “the slate” trying to cut off public discussion with their call for “civility.” Three years ago, the rubber stamps were put away when Biondo (D) and Delugas (F) were elected. We can NEVER forget the damage to our community, especially the children and the taxpayers, because of rubber-stamping (civil) board members, like Judy Picus, Ed Sharp, Linda Griffin and Jean Frana. Remember that’s how we got CONTROLLED CHOICE, a rising deficit, overspending and the tort tax. The children and the taxpayers can’t afford board members who don’t question the administration.

Certainly, board members shouldn’t call each other names or insult the administration. Biondo (D) and Delugas (F) have behaved professionally since they’ve been on the board. In fact, the leaders and members of “the slate” can’t name a single incident where Biondo (D) and/or Delugas (F) haven’t behaved professionally. Then why is this an issue? It’s simply a distraction because “the slate” doesn’t have any educational or financial plan.

Is it better to end the lawsuit or “settle” it? It’s better to END THE LAWSUIT because court control ends and the payments to Bob Howard also end. A settlement means you AGREE to do certain remedies, the dual administration stays, court control remains, and Bob Howard keeps reaping our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. While Biondo (D), Carter (E) and Delugas (F) want to end the lawsuit, “the slate” wants to settle it. However, “the slate” won’t say what remedies they will keep. Kalchbrenner and Nellis have been huge supporters of forced busing, although Kalchbrenner won’t put her children on a bus to help the effort.

The truth about attorneys’ fees is that the district will always have attorneys. It’s a $254 million enterprise, and even without a major lawsuit, it needs attorneys to issue annual bonds, contract issues, etc. The non-CRO legal bills represent less than .2 percent (two-tenths of one percent) of its budget. The CRO legal fees paid to date have had no effect on the district’s Education Fund. We don’t pay any attorney $500 an hour as “the slate” has indicated. Biondo (D) and Delugas (F) have reduced attorneys’ fees by 50 percent and passed the savings on to the taxpayer. They have only appealed twice since 1997, and that cost is about $500,000. Those appeals reduced the length of the CRO by a decade and SAVED approximately $250,000,000, which benefited the children and the taxpayers.

Voters must choose wisely this election. Do you want to continue on the path to local control with new educational programs and lower taxes, which has happened since Biondo (D) and Delugas (F) were elected, or return to the rubber-stamping days of when there were higher taxes, overspending and no educational plan?

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