Panel agrees to pursue $2.7 million levy request

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A committee comprised of local business leaders, concerned citizens and educators agreed the Mountain Home School District needs to pursue plans that would essentially extend a supplemental levy passed two years ago.

On a majority vote last Thursday, members of the Blue Ribbon Committee voted in favor of a $2.7 million supplemental levy request, which would go on ballots in time for the May elections.

For the full story, pick up a copy of the Mountain Home News or click on this link to subscribe to the newspaper's online edition.

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    Sure would be nice to see who sat on this committee, how they were selected and better yet who selected them. I know I could go to the meetings but having to work to provide for the family and pay all the taxes keeps getting in the way. Darn work !!!

    -- Posted by B Mullen on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 5:45 AM
  • I vote NO !!!!!

    -- Posted by maybeso on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 10:28 AM
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    VOTE NO....Enrollment is down and the econemy is still in the crapper. Make them use what they have and work within a budget. Let then cut the Administration pay and positions first.

    -- Posted by Trouble2011 on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 1:33 PM
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    I read the article in the paper. I find it ironic that the only names are school officials. Why is it that we, the paying public, are not being provided the names of the committee that voted to support increasing our taxes? And if enrollment is declining should costs be reduced? Combine some of the schools into one full school instead of 3 or 4 almost empty schools. I, for one have not seen anything like this happen. In fact in the past few years we have been told that a new high school was needed to releive overcrowding but now we are being told that enrollment has been declining for years. Which is it?

    -- Posted by B Mullen on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 5:21 PM
  • Number of positions, pay rates, and classes offered are all determined by the state according to state law. Teachers and adminstrators have taken a pay cut in the last 3 years, and have not had a cost of living increase in as many years. Our children deserve to be educated in a way that best prepares them for their future. Not supporting the school is the quickest way to ensure that we do not live up to this task. I realize that many folks are enduring hardships in the current economic climate. However, let's remember that we are all a part of this community. This includes the educators who live and work here. This is not an "us against them" issue. This is purely an education issue. Do we want to provide our children a quality education? I do and I will vote "YES."

    -- Posted by txplnt on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 5:51 PM
  • is NOT a reputable site. Any site that does not provide comprehensive, trusted references for their sources is not to be trusted. The information you are referencing is absolutely public information for anyone to research on their own. I do not need this biased website or any other spin doctor to interpret the data for me.

    -- Posted by txplnt on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 6:25 PM
  • I was at the meetings OG.

    -- Posted by ANelson on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 6:57 PM
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    Any idea how the committe members were selected? Seems strange to me that the MHSD asked people to be part of a committe that they want to recommend the levy. They have not be fully truthful in the past so I doubt anything they have to say unless they can back it up with facts. They stated enrollment has been on the decline but when they wanted money for a new high school, they said they needed it due to overcrowding and an increase in students. Many of us asked what was the truth and we were totaly ignored. If it smells like a fish then it must be a cow is how the MHSD wants us to think.

    -- Posted by B Mullen on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 8:28 PM
  • @ Cantjustwatch, Thank you for making my point. All financial information for the Mountain Home School District is public record and available to anybody. If you want the raw data here is the reference directly from the school district's website: Please submit the Public Request for Records form to MHSD #193, Attn: Clerk, Board of Trustees, 470 North 3rd East, Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647. You can get all financial data directly from the source without relying on a biased, over-simplified, and distorted slant from a third-party website that is not accountable to anyone.

    -- Posted by txplnt on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 7:27 AM
  • This is right off the, sure they are reputable, instructional assistant making 994,840 dollars a year. DO NOT COUNT ON THAT SITE FOR HONESTY!

    2011 MOTHERSHED, PENNY SUE Hansen School District HANSEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Instructional Assistant - Special Education $994,840

    -- Posted by idahogeek52 on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 7:39 AM
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    I took a hugh pay cut 3 years ago like a lot of people, I also have not had a cost of living increase in 3 years. The difference is I don't whine about it. I still feel lucky to have a job as I see my neighbors houses in forclosure.

    This SD does not have the best record of honesty and responsiable spending of the taxpayer money. They need to stop asking for more; I'm would bet that you are one of those that personnaly stands to gain from more taxes on the over taxed citizens. All the while you scream it is for the kids, are you that heartless.....

    1. I never said cut teacher pay. I said cut the administrators pay and number of positions.

    2. The SD has things they can still do to cut back without inpacting teachers.

    3. The SD has land and other options before going after more is all about greed.

    4. You have spun your facts in favor of your side just like you say accountableidaho has. I don't believe either of you are 100% correct.

    -- Posted by Trouble2011 on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 8:16 AM
  • OG,

    I'm not sure how the people were chosen. I do know that over 40 people were asked to go and 10 showed up.

    -- Posted by ANelson on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 10:16 AM
  • I was also at several of these meetings. This group ended up being mostly MHSD employees.

    The MHSD is not willing to make ANY cuts. The information that was handed out to this group was not accurate. It is the same old stuff with the MHSD.

    I too will vote no. The MHSD has a history of being dishonest with the public. This situation was no different. Enrollment numbers on handouts were not accurate, pay cuts for teachers were misrepresented and misstated and othe information in the handouts was misleading.

    A group can't be expected to make a decision if they are not given accurate information.

    Many of us in the voting public are having a hard time but the MHSD does not care about that. It is business as usual. Enrollment is down, again, but by gosh we still need the same number of employees. In this economy, nobody should be exempt from cuts---nobody (including teachers). Not bad pay for working about 8.5 months a year (with summer/holidays/etc.).

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 10:40 AM
  • Accusations of dishonesty without any shred of evidence border on slander, in my opinion. This is the same old run-of-the-mill argument some people have been passing around for years in Mountain Home. The bottom line is you do not want to provide more funding to the MHSD from your pocket. I get that. You can say that without slandering others. I would bet that none of the people arguing here have asked for, received and reviewed any financial data from the district. Also, there were definitely more than 10 people at the committee meetings. I would say it was more like 25.

    -- Posted by txplnt on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 1:31 PM
  • BTW, I do not work for the school district and I was at every meeting. I am just a regular tax-paying, non-business owner citizen. I will vote YES for our children.

    -- Posted by txplnt on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 1:40 PM
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    Saying some part of government or in this case the SD doesn't have the best history of honesty isn't slanderous at all. Maybe you should look up slanderous. I know some people "School District" wants everyone to forget about any previous misunderstanding...see "high school...I mean Jr. High".

    Your assume nobody have check the books but your wrong. There is shall we say some interesting administrative numbers like hiring another Vice Principle when one wasn't needed.

    The school district does own land and can do other things to save money but refuse to use those options.

    I now school enrollment is down and the price keeps going up per student we have to pay.

    I still believe that you're for the levy is not for the students but for your own gain. If you, your spouse, or family member doesn't work for or service the school system in any way I could be wrong.

    Why not just come out and say I want the levy, I want more money instead of hiding behind the mantra....."It's for the kids" that is what upsets me the most from this whole thing. Well that and the fact they won't fire the incompetent administrators they just move them to a different school and hide them.

    -- Posted by Trouble2011 on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 1:50 PM
  • A new Levy will get a "NO" vote from me. You had two years to make it work, NO MORE!!!!!

    -- Posted by townman on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 2:48 PM
  • It's not surprising that many in the community are feeling that it's us against them. Millions of our tax dollars go to the public school system yet the school board asks for more money. It's for the children, we're told, but then we find out about the catered luncheons, paid trips to Vegas to watch football games, paying cell phone bills of administration officials, paying the union dues of the teachers, paying for vehicles and the list goes on. Until the schools stop abusing the taxpayer's hard earned money, I will continue to vote NO on the these levies. Why should I and my fellow members of this great community vote ourselves another tax increase just to pamper a bloated bureaucracy? Stop wasting our money on personal expenses and eliminate all waste. Then if you need money for the children, our community may be inclined to listen.

    -- Posted by GetRealNow on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 5:27 PM
  • Trouble2011

    "I know some people "School District" wants everyone to forget about any previous misunderstanding...see "high school...I mean Jr. High"."

    My schedule is free tomorrow morning. I would like to meet with you and see what document you have that caused the misunderstanding almost 20 years ago.

    I will bring the copy of the newspaper that I was able to get a couple years ago dated 1995 and maybe we can figure out what caused the confusion

    Here is my cell phone number 590-3915

    I look forward to meeting with you

    William Murray

    -- Posted by WilliamMurray on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 8:09 PM
  • JYD; be careful what you ask for because you just may get it. The sources for my comments are varied and many. The Idaho Statesman, The Idaho Freedom Foundation, The Idaho Reporter, Accountable Idaho; just to name a few. For your purposes though, I would refer you to the Mountain Home School District #193 website at this link: to find the particulars. I won't do your homework for you, but while you're researching, you might explain the cell phone charges (736.09 In Sep 2011, $1134.72 in Aug 2011, etc.), credit card charges reimbursed ($4463.43 in Jul 2011 alone, etc.), travel reimbursements (various), etc., etc., etc. There are many other payments of note such as NAFIS Membership on 8/11/11 to the tune of $4,998.00; Commissioner's Advisory Board service fee in the amount of $825.00; Southern Idaho Conference Annual Freshman Dues for $200.00, IASA Annual Dues for $420.00, IEA Associate deposit in the amount of $475.00 on 10/26 and many more charges the public has the right to know about. Including, payment to the Mountain Home Education Association in the amounts of $8051.37 on 10/26, $7,864.27 on 12/27. I googled this entity but could not find a sight that explained its purpose, charter, goal, etc. Incidentally, for the record, my comments were not necessarily regarding the Mountain Home School district; though they did seem to ruffle your tail feathers. I wonder why?

    -- Posted by GetRealNow on Sat, Mar 3, 2012, at 3:21 PM
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    txplnt.. I still vote NO and its for the children also. I don't think we need to take any more money from their parents pockets to put in their teachers pockets.

    -- Posted by workingbee on Sat, Mar 3, 2012, at 7:08 PM
  • Mr. Murray:

    On the list of school expenditures on the MHSD web, there is a check for $700.24 to Carmelas Winery/Vineyards for a staff social something or other (indicates staff funded). If this was a staff funded event, where and when was that money paid back to the MHSD (the taxpayers) by the staff? Why are such expenditures paid by a MHSD check at all as opposed to just being paid by the staff directly? Also, what is the MH Educational Association and who runs that? What is the function of this "Association." Thank you.

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Mar 3, 2012, at 8:07 PM
  • OpinionMissy,

    If you have specific questions about expenditures that are listed on the on the MHSD web site, please call Mr. Ogborn. He is the Director of Fiscal Operations for the district and can easily answer those questions for you. He can be reached at 587-2580 if he is unavailable please ask for Mr. Gilbert, he can also provide answers to your questions.

    If you don't feel the answer's you received were adequate please feel free to call me.

    William Murray

    -- Posted by WilliamMurray on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 7:46 AM
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    Mr. Murray,

    Sounds to me like you are passing the buck instead of owning the question that was asked of you. How about providing an answer rather than refer the public to another person? Explain to the public what your duties are again and why you cannot answer a simple question? Also why should we vote yes on this bond again?

    -- Posted by B Mullen on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 6:17 PM
  • Idaho schools getting $56M more and increasing teachers salaries. Who wants to bet Mtn Home school Dist.still wants a new Levy.

    -- Posted by townman on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 1:01 PM
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