Skip to comments.'Taxpayer Burnout' Likely At Play In Rejection Of Grand Rapids Community College Millage Request
Posted on 05/18/2012 6:40:46 AM PDT by MichCapCon
Grand Rapids After a stunning defeat at the polls Tuesday, the president of Grand Rapids Community College said it will be a long time, if at all, before the school goes back to the voters for more money.
Despite a $150,000 promotional campaign, a traditionally favorable time for millage approvals, and more than 100,000 faculty, students, administrators and alumni in the community, voters rejected the $98.6 million bond issue request by a 14 percent margin.
GRCC President Steven C. Ender said he thought the request would have been approved. The community colleges polls showed voters would approve the millage by a 24 percent margin after they were told how the money would be spent. The community college planned to use the money to remodel and maintain aging buildings.
I cant explain it, he said. We cannot engage with people emotionally to the value added proposition that the college has brought to the community."
Ender said taxpayer burnout could have played a role. The college has asked for more money three times in the past five years. Voters turned down each request, but Tuesdays defeat was the largest. Ender said he thinks voters are still angry over an unrelated transit millage increase that was narrowly approved last year
People said were done. Were not going to do it, he said.
Eric Larson and Jeff Steinport of the Kent County Taxpayers Alliance said they think there is more to the defeat than taxpayer burnout.
The attitude amongst the board has been to ignore funding capital improvements because taxpayers would bail out GRCC with one giant tax request to fix the things the trustees have been neglecting for years, Steinport said.
Larson said he thinks there is growing taxpayer reluctance to support public education beyond K-12, especially when given the choice at the polls. Community colleges are funded through tuition, state and property tax revenue.
The millage had the support of some of the communitys wealthier citizens. They contributed $150,000 in support of the millage and posted their names in a full-page newspaper ad the day before the election. The local paper endorsed the millage.
Also, May is a favorable month for millage approvals. GRCC paid an extra $250,000 dollars to get the proposal on the Tuesday ballot, but denied it was for that reason. The college said it wanted to take advantage of lower interest rates they could have benefited from if the millage increase request had passed.
GRCC had come under fire in past years for lofty pay and benefit packages. This year, the union representing the teaching staff agreed to a five-year pay freeze and an end to raises based on seniority. The contract still needs to be ratified.
Ender says what the public fails to understand is the huge burden the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System has been putting on districts and community colleges. This year, the community college will have to pay another $2 million out of its $98 million budget toward the retirement system.
Ender says the college has had no choice but to increase tuition. And while the voters have lost their appetite for more support, Ender is not deterred from taking on more debt.
These needs are very real," he said. "The bond market is incredibly favorable to borrow money, so well look at other revenue strategies.
>> I cant explain it, he said. We cannot engage with people emotionally to the value added proposition that the college has brought to the community.”
What do you know? He’s RIGHT! He really can’t explain it.
And he’s the president of the college!
Maybe he should take one of his own writing classes, and learn to write simply and clearly instead of stringing together new-age business fad gobbledygook.
I would rather have publicly elected official risk their careers raising taxes, and I hate the fact they try to make the electorate out as the bad guys if we don't support the increase.
II don’t understand. Why wouldn’t the taxpayers approve a blank check for GRCC...isn’t that one of the premier colleges in the country? No? Nevermind.
Well, let me explain it to you, Mr. College President: When a thief robs us, having him explain how it is a benefit to us, and that he should rob us again is not a convincing argument.
Good. Pile it on, ***hole. The deeper you dig the sooner the entire rotten thing comes crashing down.
Not to go all Sam Kennison on this guy but Really?, Ogghhh Ogghhh, isn't that what Greece did Oggh Ogghh !!!!!!
How about closing down your Defined Benefit Retirement plan and suplanting it with...
* A 401k with all no-loads or a completely open platform, all stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds are available.
* A Roll-over of all existing Defined Benefit Plan dollar(s) of an individual to said platform.
* Provide a Fee-Only Financial planner to help with your goals and objectives, and make wise investment choices.
The problem is we don't want to pay for promises you couldn't keep.
It is time to man up and tell your teachers you blew it, and a new way needs to be found.
One of my pet peeves in the way Governments, at all levels, spend big money on capitol improvements, and then let the buildings and bridges rot.
The system is busted - you can ask the taxpayers for billions for new builings, while ignoring the broken window in the old one, causing all sorts of water damage?
How about we send these jerks to jail for “malfeasance.”
Memo to College President:
Have you consider the “value added” received by your students ?
Maybe they could measure the value and pay accordingly.
“One of my pet peeves in the way Governments, at all levels, spend big money on capitol improvements, and then let the buildings and bridges rot.”
Funny you should mention that. Way back, we had an early laser printer - so old it used LIQUID TONER. It was busted and was going to cost a bundle to repair. We could have bought a new dry-toner laser printer for $500.00 less than the repairs cost, but there was no money in the equipment budget.
So we paid for the repairs.
These are the people who will be running the health care...(*shudder*)
CC is affectionately known as the 13th grade.
Um, the despotic trick of selective polling to get the result you want to herd the sheeple towards voting against their better judgement just doesn't work as effectively as it did when the LSM was the only game in town...
“The only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets.” Lysander Spooner
As the citizens of a community have seen their real net worth's decline, many have lost jobs or taken lower paid jobs, many are collecting unemployment, most have taken the definite steps to correct their personal spending, because few, if any have the opportunity to simply demand their bosses pay them more.
Now, being offered the ability to tell the government to "shove it" when it comes again for more funds ... who could turn that down?
Bond issues are an even bigger scam than raising taxes. They are just a regressive tax. A true regressive tax actually.
If you had an MBA, it makes perfect sense.
To the rest of the world, it’s beknighted idiocy.
“The only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets. Lysander Spooner”
That’s great. It should be on billboards all over the world. It’s a shame that it’s to long for a tagline.
“We could have bought a new dry-toner laser printer for $500.00 less than the repairs cost, but there was no money in the equipment budget.
So we paid for the repairs.”
So where did they get the money for the repairs ?
From the repair budget, silly.
I spend a lot of my time with my newsblog covering local government, local taxes, and local politicians.
The money they take is the same money that Washington, DC takes. Money is fungible.
Bingo. You win.
Or an MBA.
“So where did they get the money for the repairs ?”
Whoops! Thanks for asking. I forgot to note that the “repair budget” had lots of money avaliable.
At no time can repair money be used to buy equipment.
(Don’t ask me why $2,000 on repairs to obsolete equipment is OK but $1,500 for up-to-date equipment is bad.)
All these public funded pension agreements need to be converted with whatever money has been contributed so far. Then prosecute both the government cronies and the unions leaders who negotiated the agreements for attempted embezzlement of taxpayer monies and running a Ponzi scheme. That’s what underfunded pension plans are: Ponzi schemes.
They clawed back money from those who benefited from Maddoff’s Ponzi scheme before it all collapsed, and they should do that here as well. How many retired public employees are collecting “pensions” of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year that their own contributions could never justify ?
How to claw it back without a court challenge on the pension contract ? Simple. Put a new 90% tax on public funded pensions that exceed $50K/yr and withhold it as it is disbursed. These people love taxes, right ?
Governments need to do what businesses have done for decades. Let the people down at the trench level earn their bonuses based on how much money they save the organization compared to the previous year’s spending level.
If some mid manager thinks he can still do the job with ten fewer $40K/yr people, let him attrit or fire them and keep a percentage of the money saved as a bonus. Same for capital expenditure and maintenance budgets.
This would be exactly the opposite of today where they try to build their empires and justify larger and larger staffs and budgets so it looks like they deserve more money to manage their empire.
Oh, cry me a freaking river.
If only the taxpayers understood, they would gladly flop open their wallets and flush more of their money down the government employee retirement toilet. Is this guy Ender the president of a clown college?
The lesson this college president should take away from this is that people do not consider his community college to be a good value. They consider it frivolous spending and would reduce it given the choice.
His comments reveal that he won’t do that at all. He’ll create student protests against large tuition increases and hope that pressures the taxpayers to cough up more money to make the protests go away. This is the government cretin’s official playbook — spend the money you’ve already got on the crap nobody would vote for, and then scream for more money to pay for what the taxpayer actually wants.
As an IT manager, I ran into this sometimes. I simply bought the new equipment out of the repair budget and submitted the invoice for the brand new laser printer or whatever as “replacement parts” an used the GL Account code for it. It was truly a replacement, after all.
Oh you are deviously delicious ! Great Ideas, clawback I have a friend who says UAW workers should be subject to them in down years ! LOL! what a concept, what they heck, they get the uptick in good years !
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