Entries Tagged 'Brian Maher' ↓

Sioux Falls School District Super Maher admits (capital) budget could be amended

When Lalley was asking Brian today about moving the school bond issue to the General Election to save taxpayers money on a stand alone special election, Brian went with the old standby argument that their budget must be turned into the state by September 30. Than Lalley asks, “But you could amend it after September?” and Brian says, “Yes.” Lalley also talks about how stand alone elections are expensive, he guesses $100K. Actually, if you do an entire city election, using ALL the precincts, it would be around $60-$80k. If they were to do it with the general, it probably wouldn’t barely cost them $20K.

When Lalley asked Maher about what kind of election would it be, whether it would be super precincts or NOT, Brian dodged the question and said that was up to the school board.

Make no mistake, they want a super precinct stand alone election to control the electorate, even though I still don’t understand how that will work. I still think it has a better chance of passage during the general.

Maher also said that the $190 million bond will be for 25 years. But when asked what the final cost of the bond would be, he said that he “Didn’t have that number.”

WOW! You are trying to sell the community on this bond and you don’t have the payoff amount? Poppycock! You know exactly what it is, and that is why you won’t give the public or the media that number.

Brian did say they were hoping for a 4% rate. If that was the case, that would put interest and principal at around $95 million, which would put the bond at about $285 Million payoff.

Maher also kept trying to sell us on the $2 a month tax increase without talking about the taxes compounding each year.

WHY CAN’T LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WORK TOGETHER?

I asked Commissioner Barth this today when he told me about the possible County opt-out. I said, “Why is it that the county has to build a jail the same time the school district has to build schools at the same time the city wants to upgrade the water treatment plant? Can’t we spread this out over 4-5 years?”

SPEAKING OF THE WATER TREATMENT PLANT

I guess city officials have been throwing the 5,000 a year growth number out a lot when talking about the the new treatment plant. What they are NOT doing is saying where that number came from (the former mayor’s butt) and it’s breakdown. In other words, how many NEW workers are we seeing in Sioux Falls each year compared to new births and retirees? Also, I would like to know what percentage of our treatment plant is used for outlying towns that are paying us to treat their water? Why not double their rates instead? This would encourage them to either help pay for our expansion, or force them to build their own, which would increase our ability to treat more SF sewage.

Whatever happened to Personal Integrity and Ethics?

When you see stuff like this, you really wonder where we went wrong with our local elected officials;

Doug Morrison, who served on the school board for the last nine years, decided not to run for re-election earlier this year, and now he’s gearing up to take on an administrative role with the school district.

About three weeks after his last board meeting at the end of June, Superintendent Brian Maher offered him an administrative position in research and development.

Before making that offer, Maher checked with legal counsel to ensure he wasn’t violating district policies. He said he expected scrutiny for hiring a former board member, but he said Morrison was the best candidate for the job.

Hey Brian, does it really matter if he is ‘breaking policy’ or not? What about the appearance of putting on a gigantic golden parachute and jumping off the roof of the IPC roof? If Morrison, or for that matter, yourself had any ethics or integrity in this matter, you can see why there SHOULD BE SCRUTINY.

What makes this even more troubling is that there were 29 other applicants;

It would have been easy to pick another of the 29 applicants for the job to avoid scrutiny, Maher said, but he saw Morrison as the best candidate.

Are you telling me that there wasn’t even ONE candidate in that pool that couldn’t do the same job as Morrison? NOT A SINGLE ONE? C’MON!

“Doug’s interest in the position did not influence the creation of the position, the job description or the selection,” Maher said.

Keep telling yourself that Brian, if that’s what helps you sleep better at night. The rest of us are very restless about this selection.

*Cory points out that they are already listing Morrison as a school district employee BEFORE the school board has approved that employment.

Sioux Falls School Board done good, but still not happy with how they did it

I attended Democratic Forum today and was pleasantly surprised of the performance of the new Super, Brian Maher. He was the guest speaker today. He is articulate, honest, humble, intelligent, and really quit witted and funny. He shot the crowd straight and answered questions fairly and when he didn’t have an answer told them why. A whole other ball of wax of our past Super, oh, and he came to the snake pit without an entourage.

I have been watching Brian in the media, and so far he has been storming straight ahead, and as he told the crowd today, he cares most about the education of the children above everything else. In other words, we can keep secrets all we want, we can cry about calendar dates or teacher pay, but at the end of the day it is about the kids. I am impressed. The school board picked a great leader (or should I say their consultant did 🙂

While the choice of Super Maher is commendable, I still take issue with how his hiring was handled, in total secrecy. Do I have any doubts that Brian was the best choice, not really, but when we don’t know who else was angling for the job, we may never know. But for now, he fits the bill and I think he will do great things.