Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Lakeside's millage election doesn't directly affect me, but I've followed the debate. Lakeside is an excellent district, made academically so not by buildings, but personnel. I'm proud to say my nephew, who graduated last year, attained a 3.8 GPA his freshmen year at the U of A Honors College.
Yet there's a way to run a transparent campaign in which you are effectively asking every property owner in the district to voluntarily raise their own taxes, and there's a way not to.
Lakeside has been using a recorded message, via their taxpayer-funded "robo-dial" system, to encourage districts residents to vote for this tax increase. This system, bought, paid for and maintained from the tax dollars of those same residents, was put in place for individual emergencies or problems with children, school closure, of district emergency. It was not meant for campaigning.
The district has also been holding rallies and distributing flyers during school hours to encourage parents to vote for the millage. They've even gone so far as to obtain voter registration rolls from the county clerk's office to call residents asking if they've voted. Perfectly legal, but distasteful, and it's being done using school time and resources.
I would ask but one question of the district: If classrooms are truly overflowing, teachers and staff are burdened and stretched thin, why does the district continually advertise (again using taxpayer funds) for new students? I'm no Joseph Heller, but it certainly sounds like a "Catch-22."
Editorial on 05/16/2018
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