Cross Currents

Let it override: Local school districts busy with ballot issues

Column by Bill Christopher
Posted 9/6/18

It’s September which means football is in full swing at all levels, schools are back in session, the evening and morning temperatures are crisper and ballot issues are being unveiled for the …

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Cross Currents

Let it override: Local school districts busy with ballot issues

Posted

It’s September which means football is in full swing at all levels, schools are back in session, the evening and morning temperatures are crisper and ballot issues are being unveiled for the November elections.

There are a number of statewide ballot issues, which include funding for transportation improvements, K-12 funding, fracking restrictions and more, but we will address those in a future column.

It is the “off-election” cycle for school board members and that means Taxpayer Bill of Rights issues are likely to be pursued — such as bond issues and/or mill levy overrides.

This time around we have all three of the school districts which provide K-12 education to Westminster students seeking voter approval. Let’s take a quick look at these with more details to come later as we get closer to when ballots will be mailed in October.

Westminster Public Schools seek mill levy override

Westminster Public School District is seeking approval on a mill levy override. The district wants to raise property tax revenues by $9.9 million each year starting with collection in 2019.

The funds would be used for school safety, expanding vocational/career programs and create partnerships with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to enhance learning opportunities and attract and retain highly effective teachers, mental health professionals and counselors in a competitive manner. The ballot language does not limit the use of funds to the above uses.

Adams 12 Five Star School District propose mill levy override

Adams 12 Five Star School District is seeking approval of a mill levy override as well. It is in the amount of $27 million in property tax revenues.

Jeffco School District has bond issue & mill levy override

Jefferson County R-1 School District is asking approval on a $567 Million bond issue and a $33 million mill levy override.

The district has identified substantial capital improvements that are needed to address aging facilities and to purchase new classroom technology.

The passing of a great American

The passing of U.S. Senator and war hero John McCain touched the hearts of many Americans as they showed their respect for him and what he stood for. We knew him to be forthright, “service above self”, honorable, honest and a true All-American.

Seldom do we see such characteristics in politicians these days. It was appalling how President Trump responded initially with his lack of respect in McCain’s passing and his 60 years of service to America. Thankfully, someone put some pressure on the president to reconsider. Such personal pettiness is despicable

A bad week for trump

You know you had a bad week when three of the key people who worked closely and confidentially with you either with your business empire, your presidential campaign or your personal legal matters all turn on you.

Of course, I am referring to President Trump’s bad week involving former campaign manager Paul Manafort, personal attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg, who handled the books for Trump’s dad, Fred Trump, as well as his own business dealings.

Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial fraud and has another lawsuit facing him. Cohen decided to cut a deal with the Mueller investigation and tell all to reduce his sentencing exposure.

Weisselberg has decided to do the same thing. He quite possibly will have the most insight on Trump’s financial deals and his wheeling and dealing. While Trump complains about those who are flipping to the feds, he should remember the old cliché of rats leaving a sinking ship.

Impeaching Supreme Court judges

Just when you thought everything under the sun had been tried or experienced in government, we come across yet another new one. A short article on four West Virginia Supreme Court judges being impeached caught my eye.

The state’s House of Delegates voted to impeach the four justices on charges of extravagant spending and other misconduct, setting the stage for a trial in the state senate. The trial could lead to their removal.

Expenses such as a $42,000 antique desk, a $32,000 blue suede sectional sofa and a $7,500 inlaid wooden floor map of the West Virginia’s 55 counties were cited as examples of the extravagant spending.

It should be noted that West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the Union. It is a good example of governmental officials thinking they are entitled as well as losing touch with reality.

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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