Letter to Editor

Open Letter

 

In the November 1, 2018 edition of the Lake Murray News, Paul DuPre wrote the following; “They (critics of the former District 5 Board) shriek about financial mismanagement after scrutinizing D5 finances, they have never found a penny out of place, not even a penny.” The first 3/4ths of his article attempted to point out “facts” regarding the leadership of the Board leadership. As an example, Mr. DuPre states, “Fact; through their leadership D5 is staffed by fiscally conservative and accountable leaders who always make sure our taxpayer money is spent properly, effectively and openly.”

However, before you succumb to Mr. DuPre’s protestations, let’s examine the true financial mismanagement the D5 Board. Student enrollment grew from 16,662 to 16,894 for a 10-year increase of 228 students or 1.37percent. Over the same time period, total D5 funds available went from $16,404,637 to $50,174,413, an increase of 228 percent.

The real question is: How did the D5 Board make this happen. Simple, they “Cook the Books” every budget year there is not a board election. Each year, during budget preparation for the coming year, they understate projected revenue and overstate costs. Thus, per state law, the board requires a tax increase to balance the budget. Then, at the close of this school year revenues are up and expenses are down. The surplus goes to the fund balance account. However, Act 388 allows each District to recapture taxes not requested in the previous year as our District always does

So why does the D5 Board Leadership do this? So they can build new, unjustified schools without having to ask D5 taxpayers to approve a tax increase.

This allows them to hide their gross mistakes like the $593,000 they spent buying a school site on a one-lane gravel road just off Mount Vernon Church Road. Note, after their purchase, they found out that schools can’t be built on dead end roads. Anyone want to buy a $593,000 garden?

How do these things happen? Because we have some D5 school supporters like Paul DuPre who suffers from Cranial Constipation in his quest for D5 “facts.”

 

Don Carlson

Chapin

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