Saturday, May 2, 2015

$227.9 million Edison Board of Mythomania $chool Budget - adding insult to injury!?!

You know, the more I watch the Out-of-Control $pending going on over there on Mythomania Lane - the more I wonder who's watching out for our tax dollars and if Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley has any board oversight at all?

Do we even have a board that looks out for all the stakeholders in town; the Kids, the Staff and last, but not least, the taxpayers? Sure doesn't look like the taxpayers are treated as stakeholders at all - just as a source of funding for their out-of-control $pending. Even worse, we're treated to fairy tales of how well they're doing over there every time they come back to the well for more - fairly tales that are only believable if you actually live in the Land of Mythomania.

Seems to me that a board that increased $pending by $29.3m over the last 5 years, fails to meet 75% of their own stated objectives, has unacceptable test scores, hoards taxpayer relief money, engages in deceptive and misleading budget practices and engages in so much spin and half-truths in their budget presentations that, honestly, they make themselves dizzy - shouldn't be patting themselves on the back.

Take, for example, this latest Pot of Money they call a budget. On the surface, it comes with total $pending of $227.9m, which is up $11.0m or 5.1% over last year. It also lets that $11.0m fall right into the school tax levy - meaning Your paying for their entire $11.0m increase in $pending. It also comes with a school tax rate of $2.820, which is up 8.7-Cents or 3.2%. So, those are the basic numbers and if you want to know how much of an increase this budget will cost you, just take your home's assessed value divided by 100 and multiply it times .087.

So, while they all sit back and pat themselves on the back for holding tax rate flat in past years, particularly in 2012, let's see how they did it. Did they do things better, smarter and more efficiently that resulted in a savings to You and Me with a reduction in the school tax levy? Nah, they passed on giving the tax relief money back to us and instead used it to fund their increased $pending in 2012.

Here, you can see what they did:
 They took that entire $7.2m in hoarded taxpayer relief money and used it to increase $pending and left you with nothing. So much for keeping the school tax rate flat. That's the injury.

Now, let's look at this year's budget where they're raising the school tax levy by $10.4m - a tad bit more than 2%. Take a look at their tax levy change:
Now, here you see the insult. They're adding another $5.9m to the local tax levy from the bank cap. Whenever they swiped your taxpayer relief to fund their increased $pending and stayed under the 2%, it got banked, which simply means that they can use it in later years - and they're using it this year.

Something isn't it - first they swipe your taxpayer relief money to fund their Out-of-Control $pending and when that runs out, they stick it to you again for another $5.9m - for the very thing they're claiming credit for, holding the tax rate flat.

Can you imagine the conversation these two had on caps & bank caps?:

Anyhoo, this budget truly adds insult to injury if you live and pay taxes in Downtown Edison. It's well past time to get $pending under control and to treat the resident/taxpayers as stakeholders and not just a funding source - and this board isn't up to it.

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