Scan0028      The Chippewa Valley school district in Clinton Township, Michigan, has a $472 million debt, and has spent $257 million dollars in the last 12 year for “construction” and “tech “updates.

Now Chippewa Valley Schools wants to borrow $89 million more  and stick it to the taxpayers yet again. They want to hold a general- fund wasting (at least $50,000) May 2, 2017 bond election, which if passed will raise our mills by .50, putting us at 9.14 mills, an outrageous rate of taxation.

      Chippewa Valley schools just spent $89 spent million dollars over the last 6 years and NO NEW buildings were erected.    The CV board, Contractors, Architect, Barton Malow Construction manager; who or what is driving the need for bond money for ‘construction’ every 5- 6 years?      Project sheets for every site in Chippewa Valley school district submitted to the MI Treasury for the 2010 bond, with the help of Barton Malow [the No- Bid contract manager], were padded with nebulous phrases pretending to be projects meant to maximize the amount of money they could borrow.

Here’s a random sampling of what our district “needed ” for the 2010 bond:

Almost every site needed to replace concrete sidewalks/drives.  On various sites we needed to replace toilet partitions, tile replacement, tile replacement in the toilets, replace fixtures in toilet rooms, replace sinks and trim, replace doors and frames and hardware for doors, replace door closers, install domestic water tanks, replace parking lots (which would be maintenance), and repave parking lots (which would also be maintenance).    Replace furniture and furnishings, replace stage chair storage doors, renovate existing space around new additions, site restoration related to addition, add an automatic pool cover      ( haven’t seen this on either of 2 district pools),change pool chlorine to solid tablets, shade glass block windows in pool area (Isn’t the idea of glass block to let in light?), remodel math room to physics lab, renovate staff lounge to computer lab, renovate the weight room to a stage, convert 4th science lab to 3rd computer lab,  renovate stage-flip opening to opposite side,  and reconstruct slope of loading dock ramp.

Wait, there’s more:

Install a ladder to the cafeteria roof, replace ladder to gym roof, resurface folding wall, replace front lobby ceiling, replace drywall in library by skylights, replace drywall on main entrance soffit, replace soffit plaster system, install metal soffit around exterior of building, add temperature sensors and mixing valves, add motorized hoists for the gym mats, add motorized screen in media center, add motorized projection screen to cafeteria.   Add dust collector to wood shop, add cafeteria sound system, add acoustical panels to cafeteria, add A/c to pool scoring room, add shower dividers at stadium, add insulation in attic space at main office, add tile to walls behind slop sinks, replace tile in the kitchen, replace tile in classroom toilet rooms 1, 3, 4 and 5 (why not 2?), replace VCT with hard tile in restrooms, and replace tile on stage steps.  Replace flag pole, relocate flag pole, reconstruct brick walls, reconstruct brick walls with metal panels, replace all wooden benches with metal benches, enlarge playground into wooded area, replace drinking fountains by gym and my very favorite,  install timers on the drinking fountains.

To carry this amount of debt , and the willingness to in debt us by another $89 million, is simply misfeasance, which describes some affirmative act that, though legal, causes harm. What happens if this new bond passes ( although these bond issues are now becoming difficult to get past  savvy taxpayers; look at New Haven schools that just turned down a school bond issue last November.) and the district can’t pay this off. The entities holding these bonds will be coming after us for more, way more.

And someone was complaining on FACEBOOK  that old computers with Windows XP are still being used.  What did the last $ 89 million get us? Still waiting for those automatic pool covers…….

 472 million reasons to vote NO.

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Tell RON No BOND

November 29, 2016 · 0 comments

UPDATE :  The Chippewa Valley school board has just voted YES  on the Resolution to Approve Application for Preliminary Qualification of Bonds.

Here are two sets of documents relating to the current bond proposal and previous bonds:

1.) These show that they will  borrow [ scan0026] $31,543,200 from the State, and other various financial documents.

Will they shop for 60 million more in the open bond market?….. Adding to the already millions we already owe.

2.) Here are documents [scan0019 ]  showing project sheets submitted to the Treasury over 15 years / 3 bond issues. They are padded with dreamed up projects for this one site: Dakota High school. No way 31 million dollars was  dumped into this school built in 1994.  Where is all the money going? More chillers and roofs? At this point, one has to ask: Who is really profiting from all of this “construction”? And they are claiming these new millions are for technology. How ironic since they refuse to tape and broadcast their meetings. They don’t want us in their business.

Considering the Macomb Sewer Interceptor will be costing us taxpayers a cool fortune, this is not the time for another 1/2 mill.

He doesn’t care if you pay more. 

Ronald Roberts is our Superintendent. He is pushing for this Tax Increase [Let’s call it what it is] and does not live in the Chippewa Valley school district;

not even in Macomb County. He lives in a $600,000 french villa style condo in Oakland County. Mr Roberts and the Chippewa Valley School Board must think the voters have a short memory.Remember! In 2014 the State Treasury mandated the district to raise our mills by .99 Mills  from 7.65 to 8.64  because they are not paying down our current debt fast enough.  Incredibly, they are in the  consideration phase of proposing a  90 million dollar New bond . On the schedule is meeting  with the Michigan Department of Treasury in Lansing in January, 2017.

May 2nd, 2017 is the target date for a vote on an  half a mill  increase to 9.14  mills.

Here is a clip from the November 21, 2016 meeting with discussion (actually, no real discussion). I taped and broadcast this myself. This board refuses to tape and broadcast their meetings.

Some highlights:

-Mr Roberts is clearly driving this push for more borrowing. Is he feeling pressured to keep Barton Malow and their select contractors rolling in the dough? The board sits fairly quiet.

He also asks for a motion from the board. He is not an elected board trustee.

-The bond idea was run by a district wide PTO  focus group. Trustee Pyden admits there were a ” few dissenters”. The newly Elected Ms. Pyden hides behind some papers.

-They will work up some “themes” to make this  palatable to the taxpayers and give special thought on how to package it for the non- child households.

The most recent Chronicle article is here/Macomb Daily version here  outlines the plan(s). It’s another nebulous money grab to “update technology”, in other words, give every kid a handheld device.  They may have “infrastructure” and roofs that may or may not need fixing…..Didn’t we just update technology with the last 90 million and did that get paid down?

You can calculate your 1/2 mill  increase in dollars by multiplying your home’s value by .0005. A $200,000 valued home will pay $100.00. 

Let’s consider this August 24, 2015  article in Debtwire. It’s a publication which does something unique by reporting on debt situations before credit ratings are downgraded.

This article was written in response to what Chippewa Valley was doing in the bond market.  Basically, they have a practice of borrowing to pay back their loan debt from the state of Michigan.

Chippewa Valley Board went to the outside market to borrow: We have $233 Million in bond debt obligation.

To compare mills with surrounding districts:

New Haven- 3.68    Utica Schools 1.927       L’Anse Creuse 7         Mr Ron Roberts pays 2.95 for his schools.

Top 6 reasons to Tell RON NO BOND™ :

1.) We are in dangerously high debt. Where is it all going? Someone needs to investigate.

2.) Every update possible has been done to these schools. Student population has dropped from 16,539 to 16,470 .

None of this “new” technology or  top of the line furniture makes students any smarter.

3.) Millions of dollars in changes, mistakes and add-ons have gone out after contracts. This works out  great for Barton Malow and their selected contractors. Not so much for Taxpayers.

4.) High mills on our homes decreases our resale potential.

5.) The economy has still not recovered and many households are still struggling financially.

6.) This upcoming special election will cost at least $47,000.

Checks paid out from CV schools for the 2010 bond vote. This could have paid for a lot of sidewalks or crossing signage.scan0027

The board is looking for feedback- Call –Tell Ron No Bond ™

 (586) 723-2000.

 

 

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Tell Ron No Bond- Part II- It’s a Matter of Trust.

November 29, 2016

It’s a matter of trust. These  Q&A  statements are taken from the District’s own website: Q. Will the proposed 2010 Bond Issue increase my taxes? A. No. If approved on February 23, there will be no increase in property taxes for the residents of our community. By approving the bond, residents are simply allowing the district […]

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Open Government is Behaved Government RECAP

November 11, 2014

*Transparency and Fiscal Responsibility   **OPEN GOVERNMENT IS BEHAVED GOVERNMENT** -With a 19 million dollar (according to newest audit) rainy day fund, parents should not have to send  basic school supplies . We were snowed for years with the “We are out of money ” mantra. Request Band books, English novels and weekly readers of […]

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Fresh Faces and New Topics

November 7, 2014

It was a great election!   Thanks  to all who helped  and got out the vote for me in  Campaign 2014. I met many new people , had a lot of new viewers on this site, and learned a lot!! Always a win for me!         2 fresh faces on the board is a really good […]

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