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Schools grapple with levy defeat

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Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 2:00 am

Kalispell school officials are regrouping now that voters have rejected a $6 million building reserve and technology levy request.

Taxpayers overwhelmingly rejected the levy in Tuesday’s election.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • russ25 posted at 3:30 pm on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

            russ25 Posts: 195

            Avatarrbl ,this is where the school dist, using the good common sense we the public expect them to use , should determine what is best for the school, not what a community commitee wants. They KNEW FHS NEEDED OR WAS GOING TO NEED A FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM SOONER THEN LATER , so they opted to pay for the frills & not the necessities . There are many things I too would like to have but I pay my bills ,buy food ,pay for the things I need now , put money into a savings account in case I might have a unexpected repair bill ,etc, then IF I have money left over I might go and purchase something I want for myself . I like to call it budgeting . You and the school dist .seem to have to have trouble grasping a concept like thisbut it does work . Give it a try before you knock it . Again until I see the district BUDGET AND SPEND wisely they will not get a yes vote on any kind of levy from me . As they say a fool and his money are soon parted . How much you got left ?

          • photoguy posted at 3:29 pm on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            Of course in another thread, I was told I am a world class jerk, but I base that on disagreement...and different points of view..

          • photoguy posted at 3:27 pm on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940


            No I was not at the meeting the other night, my proposals have been presented in writing, they have them I know for a fact because they were sent, via certified mail, return receipt requested, I received the receipt back with a signature on it, so it was delivered. I have not been contacted.

            If you were an officer, please state rank, branch and time in? Just so we can talk on a level playing field. You seem to be the only one that says the information I have presented is false.

          • JMO posted at 12:43 pm on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

            JMO Posts: 133

            I live in the area of Flathead High. I have watched the deterioration of behavior first hand. Behavior of the students. There is no respect for the neighborhoods - trash tossed everywhere. They used to have student groups go around and clean up the neighborhood, but no more. Students drive across the parkways of the parking lots, and park up over the curb on to residents lawns.

            If I call the high school to complain about the trash or lack of supervision, I am told - that's what happens when you live near the high school. It didn't used to be like that. I think the behavior of the adults (Admin) rubs off on the students. We want what we want and you should pay for it.

            The large parking lot on 8th Street West, that city taxpayers paid for (remember when there were public access tennis courts there), was given to the school district. It has not been kept up. Broken cement curbing, trash everywhere.

            I truly feel the school district (with Schottle at the helm) is wasting taxpayer money. Start treating the taxpayers with respect .

          • Avatarrbl posted at 12:34 pm on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

            Avatarrbl Posts: 13

            Photoguy and russ25, I guess you were not at the Board meeting the other night where the topic of what was done at FHS was mentioned by the FHS Principal. Their was a committee formed to explore how the communnity wanted to move forward with monies to be spent on FHS. Several options were presented (the Sprinkler system was not an issue at that time) to the committee including some ifrustructre needs. The community committee came back with their recommedations which was to do all the work that you see now to the entrance of FHS. The Board accepted the reccommendation from the community committee and ask the School administration to follow through with the project.
            Now you keep repeating over and over that this was an Administrative decision on how to spend this money, what are you basing that on? please name your sources.
            photoguy I am very disappoited that you do not seem to check your facts very often, we are both Officers and you know as well as I do that not checking facts undermines your leadership and in combat situations can get people hurt or killed so I am very confused by all of the info you have given in many of these post that has been found to be false. Please explain sir.

          • russ25 posted at 8:23 am on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

            russ25 Posts: 195

            averagejoe ,no you did'nt hit a nerve , just thought I would show you how ignorant your post looks with no facts just insults . Your post showed no facts that were relevent to this case .The school dist HAD the money to fix the needed repairs at FHS but pi** ed it away on flat screen t vs ,landscaping , fancy food courts, extra curricular activities , ect ... You are just upset ,now calm down , you are perfectly free to go DONATE AS MUCH CASH TO THE SCHOOL DIST THAT YOU FEEL THEY NEED . Put your money where your mouth is . If you donate a large enough amount I am sure we will all read about it in the interlake . Agaian ,I will not give them a yes vote on any levy until they take finance101 . Its called living with in your means . Don't spend what you don't have .

          • photoguy posted at 10:17 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            By the way Joe,

            Three months ago, I offered to put a crew together to put a new fire system in the school, all they had to do is go out and do some soliciting to get the parts, we have a very skilled work force in this valley, that have no jobs, I am sure if they started making phone calls, we could come up with the equipment to put it all together, I know of three guys right now that are certified and well versed in putting in, up to code fire systems in large structures that are more than willing to donate time to put this together so the school will meet current requirements..

            I have not heard one word back from the school district, I also know others that recycle current model computers as well as other electronics, that are more than willing to step up and volunteer to help out, not one word back from the school district..

            They simply do not want to think, they want to spend, and right now, it is not going to happen, there are solutions out there to solve these problems that would not involve 6 million dollars, but they have closed their minds as well as their ears to the solutions being offered by the community, they have no desire to work with us, they simply want it their way or the highway, well guess what, this time it is the highway, blame the administration, don't blame the employers.. The tail can't wag the dog, the dog wags the tail. Right now, the tail thinks they can wag the dog..

          • photoguy posted at 9:42 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            Nice snipe at me in a thread that I had never even posted in Joe, The commons area at FHHS was a waste of money, that cost more than it would have to do the fire system upgrades. The simple fact is they had the money to do what they needed to do, and they didn't do it..

            You can be as mad as you want, it will not change the outcome of this election, those who voted, spoke and your side lost, pick it up by the boot strap and figure out a new way, we have shown the old way is not going to work any longer, sorry if that burst your bubble, but right now that is the way it is.

          • averagejoe posted at 7:36 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            averagejoe Posts: 253

            Hit a nerve did I russ25.
            As for wreckless spending give some examples, none of you have. You have no facts to back any of it up. High School District 5 has passed one levy in 7 years, that is a fact. They have passed building bonds in 1934, 1948, 1967, 1984 and 2005. another fact. The total cost percentage of the budget for administration is about 8%, the national average is 7.5% Montana's average is about 8.5% another fact. The building reserve would have supplied about $1.1 million per year for repairs and improvements, with a total value of property in the high school district of about $100 million, slighly more than 1% of the total value per year, the average amount spent on similar corparate buildings is between 2.5% and 5%, another fact. The student to teacher ratio in District 5 is the second lowest of all AA districts in the state, another fact. Percent of total dollars in District 5 that end up in the classroom is the second highest of all AA and A's schools in the state, another fact. Our reading comprehension and writing scores are the highest of all AA schools in the state, another fact. Teacher pay and benefit scales in district 5 are behind Helena, Billings, Bozeman and Missoula with only Butte in the AA's below. These are all facts that back up good spending practices by District 5 if you need more just ask I can get them. Now what do you have?

          • russ25 posted at 6:41 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            russ25 Posts: 195

            averagejoe , if you had the intellegence to read photoguys post you can not be entirely stupid because unlike you he backs his words with facts , not insults. Its impossible to have a battle of the wits with you because you are unarmed .I did not pi** on the students you moron , I voted no to the dist . reckless spending .

          • averagejoe posted at 5:41 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            averagejoe Posts: 253

            A few points to the previous posts
            1- Does it bother anyone besides me as to how flipant photoguy is towards the safety of the students at FHS.
            I mean are the requirements for a fire sprinkler system really that you have to have a fire with fatalities first before you can install one. Does someone in your family have to get killed in a car wreck before you install seat belts and air bags. photoguy you come across as a world class jerk.
            2-The information given out prior to the levy said the average age of computer labs in the high schools is 5 years. In technology terms this is like 20 year old cars. So daprofessor how is this the newest fanciest stuff.
            3-I don't know which high school you are talking about where teachers are driving BMW"s and Cadillacs but I don't think it is here. Maybe you have been spending to much time in Palm Springs and fried your brain.
            4-And russ25 like they said when we were kids "its better to be p#$ss$d off than P@#ss%d on, just what you did to the kids in our community.

          • DaProfessor posted at 4:43 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            DaProfessor Posts: 169

            When everyone who works for the school district in an administrative, supervisory, or board position is willing to take a stiff cut in pay and benefits (what they get now is outrageous), then I think we the voters will look more kindly on funneling money into the local school system. As it stands now, its a massive money pit that keeps growing larger and larger, and isnt truly benfiting our children at all. They DONT need the most expensive, newest, fanciest electronics toys, PCs, and laptops in order to get good grades and study hard, which is what children in every other country have been doing to stay ahead for centuries.

            Another thing- I see the students coming in and out of the high school here in town with all kinds of fancy toys- brand new Ipods, Ipads, Iphones, smart phones, portable DVD players, portable video game systems, laptops, netbooks, etc- why the heck arent the parents of the students paying for necessary school infrastructure needs? There should be a tax assessed on the family of every student, let those who actually USE the schools pay for them! Its obvious if the parents in this town can afford to buy their kids $5,000 worth of electronics toys every year, they should be able to afford to help take care of their kids school!

            Another thing- go to either high school when school is in session, and look at how many sport and luxury cars are parked in the lots and the streets around the school. Somethings not right here- if the students and faculty can afford Mercedes, Audis, Cadillacs, BMWs, Saabs, and Lexus's then obviously they have enough money to take care of the needs of the school itself and the property included in the district.

            Also, I think its insane the school wants to pay $3,000 EACH for surveillance cameras, when you can get them for less than $40 each at Walmart! I have 4 that I bought SIX years ago and that run 24/7 and they still have crystal clear pictures and audio! If the school district is shelling out 3 grand per camera and they only last 2 years then obviously they need to go to a different supplier! Ive seen them online at places like Ebay and overstock.com for as cheap as $5 brand new! And they have full color, microphones, IR and low light capabilities too! This is a prime example of why we the voters refuse to dump any more funds into the greedy, WAY over-payed hands of officials of the local school system.

          • Partyer posted at 1:00 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            Partyer Posts: 685

            Yup. Okay, let's get on with what has to happen. The taxpayers are NOT going to pay more for anything. Knowing this, put your energy into cheerfully solving the problem of not having enough money.
            I do this every day. Somehow we get by with just four old computers and zero surveillance cameras. For example.
            Darlene, for every big ticket item on your wish list, opposite that please write down what current expense you would trade for it. Do some balancing between what we need and what we want. What we have that we don't need and what we want worse than what we really don't need. For instance a few seasons of no football budget compared to new sprinklers. The kids can still play football, just have to find a way to fund it. Not our biggest concern now, is it?
            Hey, I never heard it said before that failing to upgrade the sprinklers would result in having to shut down the school, or abandon "unsafe" areas. In fact one article said even the insurance company didn't care if the sprinklers weren't adequate, or egress wasn't up to modern code.
            Please tell us how many times that place has burned down, how many fire-related fatalities we've suffered in the history of that school. Now, how many fatalities do we fear there could be, and given a choice, would we rather go to their funerals or to the football games of the survivors? New perspective, huh?
            Just like at my house, there isn't gonna be any more money. No raises this year and the rent and electricity are going up. We can't fix the roof, install new outdoor lights or go to the basketball games. Welcome to the real world, friends. Join us in finding a way to make do.

          • russ25 posted at 8:53 am on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

            russ25 Posts: 195

            Its been less then 48 hrs since the levy did not pass and they are already talking about asking the public to pass a operational levy .A levy is a levy ,what do'nt these people understand ? Until the school dist learns to budget and use my tax dollars wisely I will vote no . Call it anything you want to , the answer is still no ! This just pi**es me off !


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