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|Sedona School Project
District #9 School Budget Override Passed
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|The people who voted NO on the override did not lose, it is the kids that lost.
Mr. Richardson made a disingenuous statement post election that the Sedona Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has nothing to do with
the Override. Taxpayers are still paying for the new high school bond issue of $73 million which included SPAC and a solar field
which has nothing to do with educating students. SPAC was the icing that got the voters to approve the bond issue.
It is TAX money – misspent and now mismanaged. When you (Mr. Richardson) made the statement in writing that SPAC would be
CLOSED if the override did not pass, that certainly conflicts to your statement made on November 8 that the override has nothing to
do with SPAC.
The override was pushed through at its maximum amount. Because maximum amounts of money extracted from the taxpayer is
what politicians, schools and other government run entities do. Would it have been necessary to ask for the maximum amount if
SPAC was not losing $50,000 a year due to mismanagement by the school board?
Would the taxpayers have a better attitude if a net $7 million solar field that saves the school $10,000 a month (your own numbers)
result in a lifetime savings before replacement is required of $2.7 million, only costing the taxpayer a net loss of $4.3 million due to
someone’s fantasy? That could have paid the salaries of teachers and M&O for a YEAR!
Mr. Richardson, you and your operation are now under the microscope. You had a good political organization and fooled a lot of
people. You have a five year reprieve before the voters will have the opportunity to review your performance.
Your AIMS scores are not good, the letters we received from ex teachers and parents about the dissatisfaction of how the system is
run were quite revealing and the rating of the three schools as compared to Camp Verde (no override) are not that impressive no
matter how you want to spin it. The student population is dropping and the Charter Schools seem to be doing better.
You have five years to show us what you can do. If you continue business as usual, a well organized PAC will be ready to fight any
new override vote. And it WILL be funded properly.
On the other hand, it is up to you, your staff and the administration to show the 40+% of the people that voted against the override
that you DID get the message that much improvement is needed and it is not business as usual. If we, the people who are funding
the operation see that improvement, then you will have an ally instead of a foe.
It was not our intention to kill the override forever; it was our intention as stated in our ads to postpone the override for a year as
unlimited dollars flowing into any government entity only leads to waste and inefficiency. We as taxpayers want BETTER value for
our dollars, and so do the parents of the kids whose futures lie in the hands of an education system that is not doing what it needs to
do to keep our kids competitive in the 21st century.