ISD 834 Board must get financial house in order

The Independent School District 834 Board originally told us that the 2013 budget deficit was going to be $10 million. Next we were told that it was going to be $6.3 million (Assistant Superintedent Ray Queener wrote an article in the Gazette trying to justify the difference).

In last week’s Gazette, it was revealed that the deficit is now "only" projected at between $2.2 million to $4.7 million. On top of this, still probably not knowing what the deficit (if any) really is, some board members are still pushing for a levy increase this November, after being rejected last November.

What kind of financial management is this? Based on this track record, I would question if there is even a deficit? My suggestion to the board is to get your financial house in order. Don’t just keep spending with unrealistic budget/deficit projections that assume a levy increase will always be there. Instead, take a sharp pen to determine what your costs really are, prioritize what is absolutely necessary vs. "nice to do," and make the necessary adjustments and cuts. Then, come up with a realistic budget, and show us, the taxpayers, that over the course of time you are able to manage the budget and stay within it.

Until this is done, in my opinion there is no way a levy increase can be justified.

Lynn Wilson

Stillwater

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