Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Learning Community Looks Ominous

Have you looked at the field of candidates running for the Learning Community Coordinating Council? It could be a tax-and-spend free-for-all.

I live on the southern edge of a North Omaha council district. So far three candidates have filed in my district: State Senator Ernie Chambers; a black man named Melvin Muhammad who has been endorsed by Chambers; and Metro Community College board member Dave Newell, a white liberal Democrat. Two of them will be elected to the council. None of them would be shy about pressing the "tax" button.

In the rest of the field for the other districts I see a few names that might exercise fiscal discipline, but I see more who are likely to bring a whole new level of pain to the property-tax payer.

Remember, this body will have property-taxing authority. It's a super-board governing the 11 public school districts of Douglas Sarpy Counties. It will levy a property tax on the 2-county, 11-district tax base and put the revenue into one common pile. The council then decides how to distribute it.

To avoid fights, members will simply make the revenue pie big enough to satisfy everyone's appetite. Starting with Chambers, there will be some big appetites on that council.

Anyone who challenges the taxfest will be denounced as anti-child and anti-education.

This is depressing to think about.

Candidates have until August 1 to file.


OmaSteak said...

Not to mention some members of this unnecessary board will be paid, they will require some level of paid staff and they will require some office & meeting space along with all sorts of office equipment/supplies. This whole learning community idea is nothing but a scam meant to mollify Ernie Chambers and enlarge OPS' already bloated budget. The only way to escape the grasp of this board and the absolute bozos in the legislature who created it is leave NE...and quickly.

Jim J. Enright said...

As of Nov 3, 2009, the Learning Community Council has raised taxes by $5.00 on a $100,000 house. This is in addition to the $15.00 on a $100,000 house property tax hike of OPS.

The LC has hired as counsel Kermit Brashear, who normally charges $350.00 an hour and charged Papillion-LaVista over $600,000 for his services, so far. Yet Brashear, as well as OPS Superintendent John Mackiel,have both stated no improvements in the education of disadvantaged students can be expected for "a decade."

The LC has authority to raise taxes up to $70.00 on a $100,00 house. Taxpayers are not going to stand for more property tax hikes from OPS or the LC, especially with no improvement in education for a decade, if then. The LC was set up primarily as an appeasement of Ernie Chambers and OPS, not as a way to improve education. And, it won't.