Archive for Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mail Call: Board careful with funds

October 12, 2006

I am honored to be a member of the De Soto Unified School District 232 Board of Education. As president of the board, I take seriously my responsibility as an elected leader to represent the patrons and children of this school district. The job of a board member is not an easy task. It takes time, dedication and determination to ensure the best possible education for our children and best value for our taxpayers. Board members take on this awesome responsibility without compensation.

The board of education in February 2006 voted unanimously to present a community school bond issue to the patrons of USD 232. The decision to ask our patrons to vote on the bond issue was not taken lightly. Your elected leaders, seven of us, spent weeks agonizing over the needs of the growing school district and the ultimate cost to taxpayers. Prior to the board's unanimous decision, a facilities focus group made up of parents, grandparents, businessmen and women, and district staff, researched for months the needs of our growing school district. The school bond issue that will be presented to voters on Nov. 7 is a list of needs for our children, not a wish list.

I, too, am a taxpayer. And just like you, I am very concerned about my property taxes and how the school district spends our money. The district submits itself to independent audits on a regular basis and has always been found to be in 100 percent compliance with its spending and its accountability. Our administrators are very careful with our tax dollars. They are accountable for every penny.

The budget and finance department reconciles all district accounts monthly. They know where every penny goes because the school district uses strict financial safeguards to carefully watch over our tax dollars. Your board of education holds a public budget hearing every year to solicit input from you, our patrons. The school district receives high marks for its financial responsibility. USD 232 currently holds a bond rating of "A3," which means high quality. Some of the factors used to give the district the high quality rating involve the economy, the district's financial health, and the management practices of the administration.

USD 232 covers 100 square miles. The board represents taxpayers in De Soto, Shawnee, Lenexa, Olathe, Clearview City, a portion of Bonner Springs and the Lenexa and Olathe townships. As an at-large member of the board of education, I represent all of you within the district. It is an awesome responsibility I take seriously.

I encourage every taxpayer, parent, and grandparent to attend two upcoming community meetings with the board of education. The meetings are scheduled for Oct. 25 at Lexington Trails Middle School and Oct. 26 at Monticello Trails Middle School. Both meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the community school bond issue.

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