Friday, April 24, 2015
Misuse of taxpayer money why voters said no
Rock Island County Republican Chairman BILL BLOOM had this column in the April 24 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "Recently the Dispatch/Argus wrote a column about the sales tax referendum and the reasons for its failure. While I would like to credit the Rock Island Republican Party with stopping yet another tax increase, I believe the reason the referendum did not pass lies elsewhere. ..... It is true that a majority of Republicans opposed the tax. However, there was a minority who supported it, for altruistic reasons. I believe the school boards look no further than there own arrogant mismanagement of the people's money to come up with the reasons they were defeated. ...... The Moline School Board recently voted to close two schools, Ericson and Garfield, without a vote from the citizens and without input from the affected families. Even worse, members proceeded to spend/borrow $16 million to improve another school. Finally, they sold Ericson (mind you, Ericson occupied an entire city block)for $50,000. What part of this is good stewardship of the people's money? .....Unfortunately, the Moline district was not alone in its abuse of the people. Neighboring counties passed the tax increase the last time around on the promise the sales tax would "take the pressure off property taxes". The referendum passed, and then property taxes went up. ..... Perhaps the most egregious abuse of the public can be found in the Sherrard School Board where we see the board litigating against a family whose little girl was barred from attendance with her service dog. Using ... bottomless reservoir of the taxpayer money, the Sherrard board has spent more than $100,000 in legal proceedings against this family. A proper motivation is impossible to fathom. ...... Was there another reason to vote against the tax increase? Yes, many people in Rock Island County and the high sales tax are strangling our economy. Raising taxes in this environment is like drilling holes in a leaky boat to let the water out. ..... After the last election many new school board members were elected. Let's hope the new infusion of leadership yields a more responsible and responsive school board."