Thursday, December 14, 2006

Commission to table the tax increase

I made it to the Public Meeting last night. I was able to arrange for the Scouting activity that night to be the meeting. I spoke, and so did about fifteen others. Most were Seniors and most opposed the tax increase because it would place a burden on them.

The Commission tabled the vote on the budget. They said they wanted to think about it.

That may be half of a victory. The fact still remains that they seemed to be very much in favor of the tax, and they may just vote it in in the next commission meeting when they don't have an audience.

Thanks to the citizens who came! This would have breezed by without the dissent.

More about the meeting can be found in the Deseret News and Standard Examiner.

Update: One more article in the Salt Lake Tribune with more comments of the public.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Special interests Modality

A call to a more vigilant citizenry.
"Special interest, as the history of tariffs reminds us, can think of the most ingenious reasons why they should be the objects of special solicitude. Their spokesmen present a plan in their favor; and it seems at first so absurd that disinterested writers do not trouble to expose it. But the special interests keep on insisting on the scheme. Its enactment would make so much difference to their own immediate welfare that they can afford to hire trained economists and "public relations experts" to propagate it in their behalf. The public hears the argument so often repeated, and accompanied by such a wealth of imposing statistics, charts, curves, and pie-slices, that it is soon taken in. When at last disinterested writers recognize that the danger of the scheme's enactment is real, they are usually too late. They cannot in a few weeks acquaint themselves with the subject as thoroughly as the hired brains who have been devoting their full time to it for years; they are accused of being uninformed, and they have the air of men who presume to dispute axioms."

--Henry Hazlitt, 1946

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Utah Policy: Not all things to all "political junkies"

Anyone that is considered a "political junkie", and that lives in Davis County, should realize that not all local issues figure into the calculus of those that publish Utah Just like any subjective media, they get their pet issues, and run with them.

For example, I almost never get a mention on Utah Policy--Blog Watch. I'm not hurt by it, but I have paid attention to the fact that Davis County has been all over the two largest papers in the State, with two School District controversies going on simultaneously, and yet we haven't heard a peep from Utah Policy.

I should give some background, as much as I know. The Exoro group actually runs Utah They are a group of political consultants whose main objective is to market themselves as "communicators". In fact, they tout their ability to " anyone become an effective communicator."

So, if you're a blogger, and want a mention on Utah Policy, then your objective will be to pickup one of those pet issues that Utah Policy is currently running, and blog it to death.

Blog the issue until it's dead in the ground and then blog about it some more. Utah Policy will love you!

I should mention that writing about dead issues is something for which bloggers always get high marks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Standard Examiner:Davis boundaries, reloaded

The Standard Examiner hopes that the School Board will truly display some transparency in its boundary decisions.
"For that reason, we hope the Bountiful parents who filed suit over the closed meetings do not yet drop their legal action. Obtaining a judge's ruling in favor of the open-meetings requirement will force Davis education officials to debate this and future boundary adjustments in the open."
In other words, don't stop punching until the board says 'Uncle!'

Davis boundaries, reloaded

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving: A week in review

We've had quite a bit going on this week, so I'd like to take a moment and review what has past.

Davis Lawsuit

The Davis County School District floated the idea earlier this week that the continuing lawsuit could lead to even less transparency than before.

Of course, it did.

By paying a consultant to evaluate the situation, it's anyones guess what this single individual will decide. When is the District going to involve parents?

I'm worried this lawsuit won't go away.

Charter Schools -Yea, or Nay

The Deseret News has suggested that lawmakers show restraint in the creation of new Charter Schools. A 200 page report put out by the Utah Education Policy Center suggests that this is the consensus of most parents.

Land Dispute

SL County has backed SL City in the ongoing lawsuit with North Salt Lake.

No Surprise.

Fraud in Davis County-Not a good month for the School District

Two former Davis County Employees (actually, there is another minor player) are indicted for allegedly defrauding the School District out of $4 Million dollars in five years. They likely have been doing this for 21 years, but won't be prosecuted for it. Who knows how much has been stolen in two decades?

A poorly worded post of mine prompted the suggestion that I would support continued felonious activities to be enacted upon the school district, and that I am a public school critic. This may suggest that I am anti-public school.

I, merely, intended to point out that the School District were given shoddy books at grossly inflated prices, not that we should continue to purchase "crummy" books and have someone pocket the money. I would recommend that the District take special care to implement better auditing and that it should be possible to spend much less and get much more.

As to the label, 'public school critic'. I prefer to be called a school critic. If my not being anti-private school equates me with being anti-public school, then I could be labeled as such. However, I think you can appreciate the benefits of both systems.

I do.

Is it too soon for a blogger, such as myself, to talk about reforms that could be enacted to prevent future criminal acts?

Frankly, no, but am I capitalizing on this news to make my point?

Yes. When I make 4 million dollars from 'proving my points', then talk to me about my ethics. I intend to continue drawing lessons out of situations that I encounter--good and bad.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The best policy: School boundary panel should operate in open

The Tribune editorial board has weighed in against the Davis County School District asking for more transparency. My favorite quote is this.

"The district counters that the 39 committee members included parents and that there had been ample opportunity for them to have their say."

My first chortle of the day.

SL County to vote on open space

SL County intends on backing SL Cities decision to zone NSL's 80 acres of land as open space. They make that stance official in a vote today.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Davis School District takes off the gloves.

Davis School District officials now contend that a ruling against them in an up-coming lawsuit could lead to even less transparency. Let me say that again; School district officials are arguing that the District will have to become more secretive if they don't get their way.

Fear, uncertainty, doubt?

Other school districts in Utah, including Jordan, have almost every meeting open to the public.

It looks like the coalition of parents bringing this lawsuit deserve a win.

School official: Ruling against Davis' closed door may stifle; others say no

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