I want to thank you for your "Dear School Trustees" editorial (Dec. 13, 2012), which I read and saved. Good thing, too, for once again Jon Isom is beating the parcel tax drum here in Southern Humboldt.
Really, Jon, since when do new buildings guarantee an education? Reduce dropout rates? Guarantee my child will be admitted into a university, let alone graduate? Help my child find meaningful employment and a purpose-filled life?
Think hard, Jon. It isn't new buildings which inspire young minds. It is and always has been the staff -- those with frozen wages, added duties, and overcrowded classrooms, facing layoff notices during every school budget review.
Of course, Jon, you have thousands pillaged for consulting fees, for orchestrating community sell-the-bond campaigns and for transaction fees with every bond series sold. Isom Advisors of Walnut Creek, whose parent company is Urban Futures of Tustin, Calif., must be making killing. In June 2010, Northern Humboldt High School District alone vowed to pay Isom Advisors $70,000 for each bond series sold. More than teachers earn in a year.
But what about those on fixed incomes -- the seniors, the disabled, the minimum-wage earners, the single parents? Can most of us really afford higher property taxes, which instantly translate to raised rents? What does one sacrifice to pay tax increases -- groceries, heat, medicine?
Last October, J.N. Sbranti wrote in the Modesto Bee that before assuming a debt, taxpayers should know "how much for how long?" But getting these financial details isn't always easy, because "Bond promoters typically skip the financial specifics when pitching the benefits of fixing up and building schools. Here's why: sticker shock." The cost can be staggering, and "the debt can linger for generations."
Enough is enough. Time to just say, "No!" No to more taxes. No to more debt.
Cheri Porter-Keisner, Piercy