Ray Murray Thinks it will take 38 Years to Spend Lakota’s $100 Million Surplus: Why people like he and Julie Shaffer should never be in charge of a budget

$100 million is a lot of money to liberals who only see future pay increases for subpar work leading to easy labor union contract negotiations. And clearly one school board member, Julie Shaffer displayed at a recent meet the candidate’s night at the VOA Miami University Campus Lecture Hall how little she knows about money. Her partner in such a perspective was Ray Murray, the former school board member coming back for more and local pastor pontificated that we wouldn’t—couldn’t spend that much money of a surplus for 38 years, so to his utterances why not give it all away. Now you can see dear reader why it’s dangerous to elect these kinds of people into a management of our tax money. Instead of respecting that money and understanding that the surplus wasn’t really one at all, but a debt leverage problem that needed attention, they tried to paint the fiscal conservative on the board, Lynda O’Connor as a Chicken Little for pointing out that deficit spending is not a healthy condition. No wonder the teacher’s union is licking its chops to get Ray and Julie back on the board and managing their contracts a few years out. They already have that money spent whereas Lynda and the newcomer James Hahn understand that $100 million is not that much money, especially when you look at the overall budget needs.

I did get to talk to Matt Miller the Lakota superintendent and the very good treasurer Jenni Logan, recognized throughout the state of Ohio as the very best in her field, and they assured me that they were going to tackle the deficit spending problem. Sure, it’s fun to spend money like there’s no tomorrow, but smart people like Jenni, and Lynda understand that $100 million as a surplus isn’t much when the operating budget is around $160 million per year, where the only product is educating students, (or babysitting them) and they aren’t doing a very good job at that either, getting a recent poor report card from the state that shows money does not improve results. The teachers need to work harder and worry less about transgender bathroom policies.

I was encouraged to see many friends from the business community not sitting this election out, they are not impressed with the $100 million surplus either. They are wondering why Lakota can’t lower their tax burden if they are operating at such a surplus and not considering spending pauses so that they could continue to build up elements of our community that really matter, jobs and recreation that make a community what it really is, and not just a cesspool of employment for a liberalized labor union trying to program our children into future Democrats. Had they not been there this election might have a different tone, but even the spending addict Julie Shaffer had to watch her mouth so not to sound “too” Democrat in such a conservative district even with pro spending liberals showing out in full force to support future contract negotiations. The smart people want to see James Hahn elected instead of Ray or Julie because that would put a third conservative on the board and would help manage that surplus responsibly. But if left to Ray and Julie, to Lynda’s point, the money will all be gone in around 5 years. Jenni gets it. But Matt didn’t look so happy to see me, and not so excited about focusing on the deficit spending aspect. Elections have consequences and a lot of people are waiting to see how this one turns out.

The best thing to do with the money would be to lessen the burden on future taxpayers to inspire more investment and continued growth. What is lost on Ray and Julie as to the role of the school board in the community is that they not only have to manage the quality of the school, but the cost and to understand the balance between the two. The way it has been, which has sickened me to my core, is that school districts leverage their power to tax against future investment. If you want to play in their school district then they expect you to pay, which is something I will be covering much more in subsequent articles. I can understand the tension in the room at that candidate’s forum. I understand idealistic people with a bloodthirsty zeal to support their school system without understanding how the cheese is made behind the scenes. It’s much easier to just focus on kids and transgender bathrooms, whether or not busing is available and the quality of the sports program. But the question remains, what makes a school district good, is the businesses that attract jobs and good quality applicants who need housing, places to eat, and shop. Or is it the schools that we pour millions and millions of dollars into that just go to overpriced teachers teaching our children radical leftist political activism only to have those kids grow up and to move away. I would say it’s the businesses that come first then the schools that reflect the quality of a well-managed community. And that is something no school system wants to admit to, because it would destroy their extortion racket that they have politically on a community, and financially.

There is a reason so many real estate people are involved with pro levy endeavors, or government labor union types. It’s because behind the scenes schools leverage themselves into the business community with subtle threats directly attached to their ability to tax. Pay or be destroyed, or don’t do business altogether. Being in pro education anything groups like I was last night the people are not the risk takers who go out and obtain financing for some next new great thing, they are just average people who want to feel what they are doing by investing in Lakota will make their kids like them when they grow up. They want to think that the education system will fix all their deficiencies as people. That is certainly the case of Julie Shaffer and her past protégé Joan Powell who were part of those upside-down deficit spending habits that almost destroyed Lakota and the community it sits in. The reason there is a $100 million surplus now is because so many kids grew up and away and new kids did not replace them, so Lakota has declining enrollment that will continue into the future, and that took the pressure off our budget tremendously, but the deficit spending has continued and will so long as there is a three vote majority against proper budget management.

As Julie said trying to defer blame from herself, school boards don’t pass levies, they don’t demand further tax increases. They leave it up to the voters. But what school boards do however is mismanage the money we give them. They cave into labor union demands for ever increasing rates of pay that is not connected to any performance standards. And when Julie won’t take her part of the blame for the deficit spending and when Ray, who was there all along thinks it is party time at Lakota, that they have 38 years to spend that $100 million surplus, well there is the problem. We have a chance to fix it with this election, but people are going to have to show up to vote. If they don’t then the same deficit spenders will be in place, the labor unions will love it because Julie and Ray would gladly approve a contract negotiation because they don’t have the guts to deal with a strike or bad press for standing up for the taxpayers. And they will lead the charge against the business community to twist their arms into silent approval or else boycotts from the radical union members will come after their brand with a fury. And none of those questions were asked at the candidate forum because as we all know, it’s something that people just don’t talk about. But it is every bit the core of the problem.

Rich Hoffman

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