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SPOTLIGHT
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Needs or wants?

Published on -3/27/2013, 1:32 PM

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Here we are at a time when we have the chance to fix some of our problems that pertain to our property taxes. If you like for our school district to belong to an organization (paid for by our taxes) that hires a bunch of lawyers (paid for by our taxes) to sue our legislators (who are paid for by our taxes) who in turn hire some more lawyers (paid for by our taxes) and then everything ends up in court (paid for by our taxes) who have their own lawyers (paid for by our taxes) who tell us that the state is not paying their fair share.

Hell, we all know that. But, then again, why should they? As long as we let our school board spend money on "wants" and not on what they "need," not much is going to change. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on turf for the high school baseball infield so the ball bounces better and hundreds of thousands of dollars to finish the new gym that was supposed to be paid for with private money, again, nothing will change. However, it will not raise any taxes because the money came out of some capital fund.

I will say it again. Sports comes before education. If that isn't the case, then why wasn't that money used to keep some of the school programs funded? I don't care where or what special fund the money comes from, it is still property tax money.

Here's my take on all this: Start on top. Don't spend any more money than what the state gives you. It's not the state's responsibility to fund all these goodies. If the taxpayers are not satisfied, let them vote out the ones who are there and send somebody to Topeka that wants to work for the taxpayers and not the special interests.

If we would all do that. then we would have an education system the taxpayers want and not what the administrators can think of just to create jobs.

One more thing. Hays USD 489 spends more than $1 million dollars each year on principals, assistant principals and some administrators alone. If they can't figure out what the school needs, then God help us all. We need a school board that has the intestinal fortitude to say "no" to some of these "wants."

What I'm saying here about our school system holds true for all of our elected officials -- locally, that would be the city of Hays and the county of Ellis. Remember, how we vote is how they govern.

Agree or disagree. Let's just have a big turnout.

Vernon S. Befort

Hays

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