It’s Going to Be an Epic [MRA] year.

April 3, 2018 · 0 comments

An Epic year. November 2017 something interesting happened. I received a phone call from a research firm inviting me to an event. It was to test if voters would support a bond (or repackaged as a sinking fund) if placed on the November 2018 ballot.




I scoured the meeting minutes looking for any discussions to hire this firm that should have taken place in an open meeting. Meeting minutes should also have shown discussion about the possibly of a bond / sinking fund being placed the November 2018 ballot. I sent the following questions on this and various other topics to the Superintendent of Schools on March 13, 2018:

RE: New Bond 2018   By: Joshua Gordon | C&G Newspapers | Published January 23, 2018 “This article stated that the district doesn’t have a new [bond or sinking fund] proposal ready to go; rather they are going to take time to collect data and figure out how to move forward with a plan that is supported by the community.”
1.) During which open meeting was the decision made to hire EPIC MRA polling firm?    2.) At which open meeting did discussion take place to possibly have a bond/sinking fund vote for November, 2018?      Please supply the date/meeting minutes showing these discussions/ decisions.  [Consider these OMA requests.]    3.) What was the outcome of the most recent polling?   4.) To the best of your knowledge, will there be a revised bond/sinking fund ballot proposal on the November, 2018 ballot?                                            
Regarding the .99 raise in mills in 2014:    By Nicole Tuttle, Voice Reporter   Jul 24, 2014   “Chippewa Valley increased from 7.65 mills, which taxpayers have paid since 1979, to 8.64 mills starting in the summer of 2014 due to the legislation and the recession. “We anticipate that this increase will be temporary, approximately three years, based on modest property growth,” Blain said.
And   By: Jeremy Selweski | C&G Newspapers | Published July 16, 2014 “ For Chippewa Valley Schools, this means levying an additional 0.99 mill on its debt millage rate beginning this summer, an increase that officials estimate will last for the next three years. “   5.) When will the taxpayers experience the rollback of the .99 mill as promised?
Existing Debt:  6.) Is there a target date for final pay off existing $400+million dollar debt?
Consider the following statement made to the C&G newspaper:   By: Joshua Gordon | C&G Newspapers | Published January 23, 2018
In May 2017, an $89.9 million bond proposal by Chippewa Valley Schools failed, with 58.6 percent of voters voting against the proposal. The funds were to be used for student safety and facility upgrades around the district.   ““We want to understand what is important to our community and we are working to do that,” Roberts said. “I think what people don’t understand is even though our buildings look nice, we are not funded at a level adequate enough to maintain those buildings for a prolonged period of time.” “
Unallowable uses of bond proceeds: • Repairs, maintenance, or maintenance agreements
7.) Why would the district be pursuing another bond/sinking fund for maintaining facilities when MCL 380.1351-1372 states specifically that bond proceeds cannot be used for repairs or maintaining facilities?


School safety:    The last bond proposal specifically mentioned the need for bond money to replace a certain percentage of school room doors that did not lock from the inside (therefore not safe in a lock down situation).   8.) Knowing interior door locks could be of the utmost importance for safety, why didn’t every classroom have them installed with the 2010 bond money? What is the plan to do so if it has not been done yet?
RE: Promise programs:     Paragraph taken from : “ “The policies were called “diversionary programs” and were essentially about stopping High School students from being arrested. Law enforcement was instructed to avoid arrests and defer criminal conduct to school administrators. Students who engaged in violence, drug sales, robberies, burglaries, theft and other various crimes were intentionally kept out of the criminal justice system. County administrators and School Superintendents told local and county law enforcement officers to stop arresting students.” “    9.) Is Chippewa Valley school district participating this or in any similar programs that provide grant money to avoid arresting students to improve statistics regarding crimes committed on school properties?

Ron Roberts has not responded as of yet. He does want you to know this:

” “We want to understand what is important to our community and we are working to do that,” Roberts said. “I think what people don’t understand is even though our buildings look nice, we are not funded at a level adequate enough to maintain those buildings for a prolonged period of time.” ”

For $500+ millions spent our buildings should look nice. His statements are conflicting because  the unallowable uses of bond proceeds are: • Repairs, maintenance, or maintenance agreements. What is important to this community is to find out where $500 million bond dollars went, and when will we have our .99 mill restored as promised. Until then, no one’s listening.

As for the missing polling firm hiring and bond related discussions according to the Open Meetings Act[OMA]:   All decisions must be made at a meeting open to the public – the OMA defines “decision” to mean “a determination, action, vote, or disposition upon a motion, proposal, recommendation, resolution, order, ordinance, bill, or measure on which a vote by members of a public body is required and by which a public body effectuates or formulates public policy.”

Open Meetings Act violations??

Keep your eye on your wallet in case they come back again in November 2018

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