Howling Wolf

Pressed for time so a few comments:

  • GASD: Not surprised at the least on the budget failing. Let me snarkily note the following:
    • Maybe, just maybe, that $460K from the Buddhists would have a difference in the total tax levy. But hey, we protected our seniors with a higher than otherwise tax levy and we get to wreak havoc on more academic programs. Don’t mess with sports! Kudos 12010
    • Maybe if the budget flier would have heralded the Bacon closure yet again that would have turned things around. Of course, the board has now lost a significant voting bloc ala the 3rd Ward who year-after-year supported the GASD budgets. With most supporters long gone physically and politically, a kudos to the former and current board for that.
    • Maybe if the GASD quit pandering to the radio listeners, who largely will never support any budget until we can get to a one-room school house and turn the clock back to 1853, and opted to engage the demographic with kids who use this technological oddity called ‘the Web’, maybe that would help.
    • I’m glad to see Dr Bush winning as she is first and foremost an educator. I’m glad the other candidates won as well although I’m mindful of the balance that needs to exist between advocating for education and advocating for teachers. Let’s hope this board starts to focus on educational outcomes versus strictly financial.
    • I’m just reminded that during the last budget crisis where Bacon was closed, a board member thought Barkley should be next. Let’s put that back on the table as that was a Serious Idea by so very Serious Board Members.
  • I read this and I feel like a wolf in a hen house (from the Recorder story County Facing Massive Deficit):

Expenditures are exceeding revenues. We’re using fund balance at an alarming rate. At that rate, we’re broke in two years,” Bowerman said. “If this board thinks they’re going to use $6.5 million to balance the budget, our bond rate will be junk, we’ll run into a cash flow shortage, and we’ll have to borrow for the short-term to cover expenses.”

[snip]

You can’t file bankruptcy as a county. The state will say go back to your constituents and raise taxes,” said Amsterdam 3rd Ward Supervisor Ronald J. Barone Sr.

I will definitely revisit the latter story as it deserves its very own post. It’s rare to get such a succulent morsel that so spectacularly illustrates the wonders of our local political and economic discourse.

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2 Responses

  1. Robb says:

    Glad you made a specific point to highlight Mr. Barone’s comment regarding what he thinks is the inability for the county to file for bankruptcy. He is incorrect and it seems he may have misinterpreted some information.
    While there are various stipulations for a government bankruptcy, United States Code does in fact allow for a Chapter 9 filing, which is specific to municipalities and agencies that have the ability to tax, such as a school district, or an authority.
    The process, however, for even attempting to file is quite cumbersome and can really add insult to injury as costs for outside counsel add up. Basically, it’d be easier and probably less costly for the county to fix its own problems than simply declaring bankruptcy, which would carry the long-term impact of a bruised bond rating for the county.
    What I believe he meant in saying the state will raise taxes was along the lines of mandamus, but again that is just an excuse for saying the state will simply take over in doing something he would have already had to do to cover the hole: raise taxes.
    Or perhaps Barone is simply saying this now so he can later say ‘We didn’t want to raise taxes, but the state made us,’ as he’s said before.

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