Barstow's spending problems
In the March 28 edition of the Desert Dispatch, Linda Lytle questions the wisdom of purchasing iPads and WIFI for BUSD administrators and their buddies. Unfortunately, Linda Lytle is basing her questions and opinions on common sense and sound financial policy as opposed to Barstow political logic.
The problem starts in the school district and then works it way up to the city government.
Superintendent Susan Levine and Asst Superintendent Tony Wardell state in the Feb. 24 paper that we must pass the tax extensions or BUSD will have to dip into their $9 million savings account and that would be irresponsible. Didn't we just hear that from the City Council that they believe dipping into the city savings to pay for the sewers would be irresponsible? Why dip into savings when they can just tax the people more?
How many people want to keep paying higher car taxes than anywhere else in the country so the superintendent can keep her savings, her $200K annual salary, and to keep our school district number one in California and the high desert? Oh wait, we aren't number one, we are close to last. BUSD logic apparently is "if we are in danger of not paying our bills, let's run up some more bills — that will fix the problem." Some money is coming from government funding (us) to pay for part of the elementary schools WIFI, but BHS does not qualify because there are not enough low-income students there. I guess the BUSD goal is to produce more low-income people.
Sixth Street Prep school in Victorville is number one. Why? Because they do not rely on technology to do their jobs. Sixth Street Principal Linda Mikels and her teachers have a "no excuses" motto. They do not assign homework, they extended their school day by 45 minutes and do something really strange — they teach their students. And 80 percent of those students don't speak English! Contrast that to BHS where "teachers" cry to the 15-year-olds about how "if the tax payers would just pay more, I wouldn't have to be here so long and I would get paid what I am worth," or the teacher who flies home to Michigan every Friday and complains that he should be paid more! Parents' notes to these "teachers" requesting meetings go unanswered as do most calls to the principal. Then BUSD complains that it is the parents that won't get involved!
Move "up" to the City Council and they double our sewer bill because they don't want to dip into their savings, but, they waive all fees ($1,700) for a chili cook off and donate another $4,000 to the chili cook off. Then they want to keep the enterprise zone and the redevelopment agency to reduce taxes to their favored businesses. Then the mayor goes on a diet and now he feels that he is one of Michelle Obama's diet czars! He takes a Readers Digest $1,000 donation and spends it on his diet program. Hey mayor, it is none of your business if we choose to eat at Del Taco, you worry about your behavior and we'll worry about ours! How many of these reduced fees, waived fees, and donations could have gone to help pay for the sewers? And that Linda Lytle, is Barstow political logic.
Nick Benson, Barstow