Even though this is a regional concern for my home school district, it’s strategy and conditions are somewhat universal. The Lakota school system is a public education institution that is one of the wealthiest and largest in all of Ohio and extends into two townships independently managed with an average household income hovering around $100K per year. The tendency like all public schools around America pre–Trump administration–is to use children to justify unghastly labor union wages that always run at a deficit to the income of the district prompting continuous tax increases to manage. But all the kids really learn in these public schools are to be cry baby adults as their liberal instructions fail to prepare them for the realities of a capitalist society—which the United States has been. So this matter is a universal problem so I hope that my national and international readers will find some personal use with this topic. While Lakota operates perpetually with a deficit only helped lately by an aging tax payer base with fewer children entering the district contributing to a declining enrollment as the tax levies are a means of extracting wealth from the surrounding community purely for the benefit of those least able to manage it—public sector workers and liberal government types who manage these monstrosities against capitalism. To get an understanding of the situation, refer to the 1:5 hour mark of the below video.
Lakota benefits greatly by playing the two townships against each other, Liberty Township where I live is projected to be 80% residential. It used to be a farming community, but over the last twenty years the land has been converted to wealthy residential targeting bringing in people who are young and professional who often feel guilty that they don’t raise their children on their own so they seek government services often to bridge their parenting deficiencies. They overwhelmingly support tax increases because they have money to burn due to their duel income household status, and they expect the school to bridge their deficiencies in parenting—which is one of the reasons they moved to the Lakota district in the first place as real estate agents sold them on that premise. Liberty Township at the same time has had some hostile zoning leaders—readers here might recall the story I told of Liberty Township zoning making it difficult to build a Frisch’s restaurant near Lakota East because they didn’t want a “Big Boy” statue out front—which is part of the Frisch’s actual marketing plan. Liberty Township also harassed residents who wanted to build storage sheds and other elements which reflected the original rural nature of the community in an effort to market the vast land of the township to these spoiled brat, over-payed losers who would go on to eventually support school levies and make easy home sales for large assed real estate agents possessing weak sales ability. These real estate agents used the good reputation of the school to sell the homes they were building everywhere and counted on those same young and stupid guilty parents to pay for everything with tax increases. Meanwhile the trustees failed to get control of their zoning board which continued to make Liberty Township an unfriendly place to establish a business which has only been somewhat rectified recently with the Liberty Way developments—which are very lucrative but too little too late as far as community management of resources.
Then to the south is West Chester which pushes right up to the northern part of the I-275 loop that extends around the southern Ohio city of Cincinnati. In it are older elements of the community, diversity in housing, well developed businesses, industry, recreation, really one of the wealthiest areas in the nation per capita. It used to be called Union Township back in a time when it was a much more rural place—during my youth. When I was a kid I often raced other cars down 747 from the railroad tracks of Port Union to the intersection of Tylersville Rd. and the speeds often exceed 100 MPH. Beckett Ridge was the hottest place in the city to live so around that community 747 became a double laned road and a lot of commercial endeavor eventually filled the valley below Beckett Ridge. Going 100 MPH down that particular stretch of road even at night is now impossible, there are traffic lights everywhere and a top speed of 40 would be pushing it. I had a few friends who crashed badly during these races, one had his scalp completely removed in a fiery crash and lost his great athletic ability for the rest of his life—but that’s part of growing up in a rural town. Union Township grew into West Chester and there was a movement to make it into a city—as the population was dense enough. Thankfully, many fought that effort off and West Chester has maintained that small town feel while essentially being a big city with support and offerings. Over the last few years West Chester has adopted a firm conservative government which has forced their zoning to get in line with a much more laissez-faire management style and businesses are booming. They currently run in the black on their books providing a surplus. Of course the public sector unions see this and are tempted to attack that surplus for themselves, but the trustees in West Chester followed by the staff running things do a great job which should be a national model in America. So while West Chester is managed properly, Liberty Township is not and has not for quite a long time—they are residential top heavy. I know the situation well, because as I said I live in Liberty Township which is very nice—yet I make my money in West Chester and my personal footprint in taxes payed is quite large there as opposed to the relatively small amount that I pay in property tax, by comparison.
Lakota plays the chaos between the two townships to their advantage. As it stands now, Lakota has no incentive to manage their finances because during past levy fights West Chester has behaved fiscally conservative and fought the tax increases with older residents and business owners while Liberty Township is full of neurotic soccer moms and beta dads who vote for school levies because the school is the primary reason they invested in a $400k to $750k home in Liberty Township to begin with. They don’t mind paying $7000 to $10,000 in property taxes per year because honestly its cheaper than their other options meaning they impose their mismanagement on West Chester to the south by default, because the two townships are connected through the school. But only one manages things properly—“in the black” while the other is still zoning for residents and doing next to nothing to bring in industry to help their tax base. It’s not like Liberty Township doesn’t have options, they do along Rt. 4, 747 and now at Liberty Center by Lakota East. They just have been slow as trustees to solicit business opportunities as West Chester has simply outworked them. So in the numbers game, both Lakota and Liberty Township have rode the coattails of West Chester—and this continues to this day. The good management of West Chester is exploited by the stupidity of the other government entities who haven’t yet learned how to properly conduct their business.
Given all that, the solution to the problem is to split the Lakota school district into two parts. Lakota East and all their elementary schools would fall under the financial management of Liberty Township while Lakota West would be under the supervision of West Chester. If that were to occur, Lakota would then become essentially two school districts that would be much more manageable, and the budgets would be easier to comprehend for residents. If the Liberty Township residents want to pass school levies for the deficit spending Lakota East, then let them do it every year. I won’t vote for them, but they could try. But the people of West Chester who have managed things properly wouldn’t be penalized for the stupidity of others and they could use their budget surpluses to run a proper community in every aspect. This would force the Liberty Township management to correct their errors and balance out the community in more sustainable ways and prevent the guilty soccer moms from hiding in the shadows during school levy times. They need to feel the pain more than they do now, that’s for sure—and not hide behind the good people of West Chester.
Not to give anything away, but that’s essentially my battle plan for the next levy attempt by Lakota. I’ve been watching that situation for a long time and they have failed to see reason so the most obvious solution is to divide up the school district into something smaller and easier to deal with for the people involved, and to root out those who hide in the shadows until election day to impose their deficiencies on others who have done a good job at the ballot box. And this should be a lesson for everyone in the nation—you have to manage your resources—even in affluent areas, because that’s what make affluent areas—affluent—good management. As Lakota is currently seeking out feedback from the community as they test the waters for another school levy, this is what needs to happen, the two townships need to divide up responsibility for the Lakota school system. West Chester should take over Lakota West and Liberty Township should take over Lakota East and then let’s see through competition who does what and how well. It is likely the only way to stop the deficit spending at Lakota and the only way to wake up the management at Liberty Township. Liberty Center as a development is a powerhouse and if done right could rival anything going on down in West Chester. So for everyone’s own good, the school district needs to be divided up so everything is more manageable and responsibilities fall on the proper sectors of the economy. That’s how things should be going forward into the next decade. This plan is actually something my wife came up with over six years ago, as of this writing. But at the time, Liberty Township just didn’t have an economic anchor like they do now with Liberty Center. However, in 2017 Liberty Township does have something to work with so it’s time to make the break and to declare their independence from West Chester—and to force Lakota to get its act together by working directly with the management of their township instead of the divide and conquer game that has been going on for years. It’s the only way to effectively get everyone to do the right thing, for the right reasons.
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