What could be more fun than an extended exegesis of a single sentence? Let’s choose this one, from the Cap Times article: “With just $2.67 million in the 2010-2011 budget for maintenance projects, the district may see few prospects outside of going to referendum to fix roofs that leak or drafty windows and doors that waste energy, to say nothing of electrical upgrades to keep up with technology needs.”
I have a couple of problems with this sentence. First, I don’t know where the $2.67 million figure came from, though, Lord knows, our budget documents are hard to fathom. My understanding is that our maintenance budget for 2010-2011 is a little more than $4 million.
Second, so long as we are under the state spending cap by more than $10 million, as we are for next year, we certainly do have a prospect other than referendum to fix roofs that leak, etc. A Board member can propose a budget amendment to increase spending for the identified maintenance project, another Board member can second the motion, and at least five Board members can vote in favor of the motion. That should take care of it. If we want to, at our next Board meeting we could authorize a deluxe tuck-pointing job at East, starting as soon as possible. We just have to be willing to authorize the increase in property taxes that would be necessary to pay for it. (This is just an observation and not a recommendation, by the way.)