LESD “Tribune” “Look at all the schools we’ve built”

You just got a copy of another “fake” newspaper in your driveway, this time from the Litchfield Elementary School District.  Previously we got one from the county hospital.  Seems they only publish them when they want money.  Some consultant must be telling them to make them look like newspapers to fool people into thinking they actually contain some “news” that you can trust.

There are some easy “tells” in this one to let you know it’s just a bunch of one sided rubbish.

First, trying to trick you into thinking it might actually be a newspaper.

Second, this one does not even say who paid for and published it.

Third, the numbers presented which purport to tell us how great a job Dr. Lein and her crew are doing are all cherry picked.  By that I mean that they are like city of Goodyear’s numbers, when they want them to sound BIG they give you totals, when they want them to sound SMALL they give percentages, per pupil, per gallon, etc etc etc….

So let’s just look at one “tell”.  Page 2, in the top yellow box, ninth bullet down, right below Georgia Lord’s smiling face telling you to pass the bond, it says, “From 1997-2010 our District experienced tremendous growth as we built and opened 10 schools in 13 years.”

What this SHOULD say, if it were honest, is give you EXACTLY WHAT THEIR ENROLLMENT HAS BEEN OVER THAT PERIOD, NOT SOME SQUISHY STATEMENT LIKE, “look at all the schools we’ve built.”

So here is the real data below.  Now you decide.  AND, here is a link to their website with the data from the most recent audited financial report available from the LESD. 



Year        ADM

2012-13 9,841
2011-12 9,646
2010-11 9,724
2009-10 9,401
2008-09 9,344
2007-08 8,924
2006-07 8,255
2005-06 7,372
2004-05 6,733
2003-04 5,942

(Decrease) % Change

195 2.02%
(78) -0.80%
323 3.44%
57 0.61%
420 4.71%
669 8.10%
883 11.98%
639 9.49%
791 13.31%
1,000 20.23%

Close MAG

And close every other taxpayer funded “I know what’s best for you” organization that “Idiots with Initiative” like GEOrgia Lord and Joanne Osborne are part of (*list below, you won’t believe this).
Their latest brainchild? MAG’s new ConnectBien.com site written up in AZ Republic today.

eHarmony for business? More like government steam rolling.
There already ARE business referral networks all around the valley, state, US, you name it. And they are operated by small business people scratching out a living using “the internet”.
Surely MAG has heard of the internet where all the info on their new ConnectBien.com website comes from? MAG is simply acting as a cataloger, and using taxpayer money to do it.
Once more, enter “government” this time in the form of MAG, just one more taxpayer funded “I know what is best for you, I’m here to help” organization made up of local political hacks extending their influence so they have stuff to talk about in their re-election campaigns.
How can private groups like The 101 Referral Network, for example, compete with MAG’s unlimited taxpayer funded site? They can’t. MAG has their own full time IT manager. 101 Referral has Facebook. And obviously, MAG has full time “Public Information Officers” who get local newspapers to publish free advertising articles for them like the one AZ Republic published for them today.
When do we say enough to bigger and bigger government stepping on small enterprise and “picking winners” through economic “mis-development” led by know nothing politicians who have never had to make a profit on their own?

*Here are all the spend your money organizations that GEOrgia, the mayor who does not know her city’s unemployment rate is in:  MAG, WestCAPS, Luke Forward, WESTMARC, WVHospital (that one’s a conflict of interest for sure), AZ Mayors Roundtable, West-MEC Bond Committee, Luke WV Council, W.Valley Partners, GPEC, Friends of GY Library.

And “deer in the headlights” Joanne?  MAG, WV Hospital (another conflict of interest), National League of Cities, Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee (no conflicts there, right?) just to name  a few.

Redskins Debate

In the heart of the current Navaho Nation is the small town of Red Mesa, AZ.
Here is a link to their local high school the Red Mesa Redskins.
Red Mesa Redskins Link

End of story, QED, argument over.

Write-In ME (Not)

Editor’s note: Well sports fans, it’s just NOT that easy to be a write in candidate in these parts. Turns out you have to become an “official” write in candidate at least 76 days (almost 3 months) in advance of an election. And where do you find the list of “eligible” write in candidates? Well you find them on the LESD web site.
So unless you are in the know with the LESD, chances are, only they, the elections board, and the superintendent’s office know who they are.
Convenient, eh?
So don’t waste your time reading the post which follows that I wrote two days ago….


Got my mail-in ballot today from Maricopa county.
Bottom right, last race before the LESD bond.


Here is my platform:

Seriously, folks, if you don’t write me in, they’ll appoint someone and guess who they’ll pick. Someone who wants to spend more money.

I will get to the bottom of all the spending… I promise you that.

Be sure you spell my name correctly.
Be sure you sign your ballot envelope.
AND, be sure you complete the arrow next to where you wrote in my name. We don’t want any excuses for not counting votes.

Prop 480 Vote No

Nearly a Billion with a ‘B’ dollars, duplicating healthcare efforts already in place, actually REDUCING the number of beds (because they’re not needed) all to be funded by your property taxes.
For more info read AZ Republic column today by Kevin McCarthy of AZ Tax Research Association.

Goodyear’s New General Plan (Over 100 Action Items)

Editor’s note. This is a reprint of a post I wrote January 2014.  I’m reprinting it because I just got the city of Goodyear’s propaganda letter in the mail telling me to vote for their new General Plan.  IF YOU ARE TIRED OF THE PROPERTY TAX INCREASES AND WANT TO SEND A MESSAGE TO GEOrgia et al, VOTE AGAINST GY’S GENERAL PLAN.

Now here is the article, telling you why you should vote against it.

The state of Arizona requires cities to produce a General Plan every 10 years.  For a city the size of Goodyear, there are 17 required “elements” to the plan which I have summarized in an attachment below. If you read the statute you will see, that most of the requirements of each element are to catalog existing uses of land, water, traffic areas, public buildings, open space and then provide “policies and strategies” for how to deal with development impacts on each of these public elements.

That’s IT!

Here is a link that summarizes each of the 17 elements. General Plan Requirements Summary
You can compare my summary to the link at the end of this article which will take you to the actual Arizona statute.

By now you have probably received a postcard from the city of Goodyear (and now in October a propaganda mailing) telling you they want you to come and “learn” about their new 2025 General Plan (GYGP) (and of course now they want you to vote YES for it).

This is the “foundation” (they say) for how the city will grow and develop. They don’t say they want you to comment on it, they just say they want you to “learn” about it, or in other words, this is a done deal, don’t bother us with your comments.

If you go to the meeting I can assure you that after reading through Goodyear’s TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY EIGHT PAGE plan, that the GYGP and going to the meeting to “learn” about it, are both a colossal waste of time.  Cudos to the 15 – 20 good citizens who volunteered to participate on the committee who the city claims wrote and developed the plan. I feel bad for you, as it is obvious that the city had an agenda and all of you were just its pawns to put a good face on producing a Christmas wish list of all the things local politicians might want to spend taxpayer money on over the next 10 years.


Is there anything in the plan that they have NOT wished for?

THERE ARE OVER 100 “ACTION ITEMS” IN THE APPENDIX TO THE GYGP, and I can assure you, each and every action item is designed to spend your money.  Do the state statues require or even ask for  “Action Items”?


Can you find a simple recitation of the 17 required elements and a simple statement or reference to where either in planning or zoning ordinances, or public safety guidelines they have provided for the policies and strategies that the state statute requires?

No, that is because it’s not there.  Politicians in this case have hijacked the intended process to merely list, catalog, and comment on, how important requirements like water, traffic, and public safety will be handled in the years to come, and instead put together a liberal progressive agenda of exactly how they want you to live your life and how they want to spend your money.

Here are some examples of the feel good drivel that defines all 248 pages of the GYGP. According to the GYGP, Goodyear wants to:

  1. Become a unique and exciting destination city
  2. It wants a cohesive identity
  3. Keep or expand services to residents
  4. Become a cultural and arts center and encourage art in the public
  5. Attract high tech, medical, and education jobs
  6. Promote desirable neighborhoods
  7. Improve older neighborhoods
  8. and even this; encourage and promote healthier life styles among its citizens.  Sorry, but when did my life style become the purview of some local city political hack like GEOrgia Lord?

They needed a committee to spend nearly two years to come up with this? How can you say no to any of this (except number 8)?

As I said, there are 248 pages of this kind of LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE hope and change, mom and apple pie grandiose statement nonsense.  It sounds exactly like how politicians and flip chart addicted facilitation counselors speak.  Of course, that is exactly who was running the show for our fine citizen volunteers wasn’t it?

In short, the GYGP gives GY elected officials something to point at for the next 10 years that will justify nearly any and every spending proposal they might possibly dream up and they can say with a straight face, “this is consistent with the GYGP, that’s why I’m proposing it”.  AND THAT IS WHY THEY WANT YOU TO VOTE YES FOR IT.

More Examples
Not that I am a big fan of VISION STATEMENTS, but GYGP can’t even get that right. If I were to guess, it appears that the citizen volunteers were handed a vision statement from the start and they didn’t like it. They apparently wrote a shortened one which maybe did not survive in tact throughout the editing process. In chapter 1, the old original vision statement is shown, with reference to another one in chapter 3.  Turn to chapter 3, and there appears to be a partial statement (which refers back to chapter 1) that says, and I quote:

“Create a highly desirable and sustainable place for all to live, work, and visit and”

AND?  And what?  Are you kidding me?  Yes, this vision statement appears to end with the word AND. Maybe that’s the latest in facilitation counseling?  End vision statements with AND.

I defy anyone to explain to me exactly what the vision statement is for the GYGP based upon reading what is posted online in the version available yesterday.

And on page 7 of chapter 3, a bunch of “statistics” are listed.  One of them shows employment data.  And in a column next to the number of unemployed Goodyear residents (2,115) is a percentage.  4%.  Now, you would think that 4% must be the unemployment rate in Goodyear since it is listed in a column next to a row labeled “unemployment” on a table titled statistics. At least anyone who is a casual reader of this document would probably arrive at that conclusion if they did not check further.

But it is not.

Or at least it is not calculated correctly if that is what the designers of the table thought they were showing.  In fact, based upon the “statistics” in this same table, the unemployment rate in Goodyear is not 4% but actually it is 6.9%.  Could it be that GEOrgia does not know the unemployment rate in her own city because some of her many city assistants don’t know how to calculate it?

Next you will find a list of “strategies” in the GYGP. These strategies include the following action words; create, develop, expand, cultivate, advance, maximize, and foster.

You won’t find the words, reduce, save, conserve, or measure here.
Just do, do, do, more, more, more.

Watch Out, Here It Comes
Besides 47 pages of “introduction” and full color photos throughout the GYGP, and pages and pages of explanations (from their consultant of course) explaining to all of us simpletons out there in taxpayer land the proper way that one gets from “vision” to “strategy”, to “goals” to “actions items” as if this was some kind of management gospel, you finally arrive at the crux of this entire GYGP fiasco;

ACTION ITEMS!!!  (appendix F or pages 172-185)

There are over one hundred ACTION ITEMS in the GYGP.  Over one hundred new make work, busy body, lists of “stuff” to “do”.  And who do you suppose is listed as the “doer” of most of this crap?  Why of course, the City of Goodyear, AZ.  So besides the GYGP being a rock of Gibraltar for politicians to use to spend your money, it is also a FULL EMPLOYMENT roadmap for all the extremely busy over 500 Goodyear employees current and future until the next GYGP is produced sometime in the future so that they can guarantee their employment for even longer.

What You Won’t Find
Here is what you will not find in the GYGP.

  1. There is nothing there saying GY should aim to be the most efficiently run city in the valley,
  2. with the lowest property and sales taxes
  3. in order to attract more businesses and residents.
  4. There is nothing in there saying GY should NOT borrow money it does not have.
  5. There is nothing in there saying GY should reduce its debt by X% over some period.
  6. There is nothing in there saying that the ball park should be operating at a profit by 2025 and here is what should be done to plan that.
  7. There is nothing much in there at all describing stuff that the citizens DO NOT WANT the politicians to do.  Just stuff for them to DO.

Whatever happened to democracy that “limits” the government in order to expand citizens’ freedoms?

When you try to be all things to all people you usually end up not doing anything well, or going broke, or both.

Yeah, that’s Goodyear.


AZ Statute

SHAME on AZ Education

Can we all agree on something?

Does everyone want better schools?  Answer, YES.

Does anyone want worse schools?  Answer, NO.

Forget the political name calling.  Ducey wants better schools same as DuVal. Grandma Jones living in PebbleCreek on a fixed income and seeing her property taxes going up by double digits year after year also wants better schools same as Juan and Maria Hernandez and their four kids under the age of 7.

Everyone wants better schools.

Can we all agree on one other small item?
What is the MOST IMPORTANT factor that determines better schools?

But here are two interesting issues that have confronted me in the past few days.

Issue ONE
There is an interesting article in the AZ Republic today.  Front page.

Arizona school systems are hiring people from overseas  (example, the Philipines) to come teach our children because teachers’ salaries in Arizona are so LOW that Arizona schools can’t find qualified candidates to fill the open positions.

The average starting salary of an AZ school teacher is only $31,000. That’s about $2,600 per month, only $85 per day.  HHS defines the poverty level for an individual at about $30 per day.  We’re paying teachers $50 per day over the defined poverty level for God’s sake.

The average starting salary of an AZ school teacher in the HIGHEST PAID school system in Arizona (Phoenix) is only $38,000.

There are nearly 100,000 certified school teachers living in AZ, and only 52,000 positions. So nearly half the teachers living here are doing something else.  Is it any wonder?

SHAME ON YOU, Arizona.

Want to know something else disgusting?

Issue TWO
The Litchfield Elementary School District (LESD) wants you to pass a bond for more more than $50,000,000 this November.  According to the pamphlet they sent to my house, do you know how much of that $50 million is going to go towards teacher salaries?


Litchfield Elementary School District wants Grandma Jones in PebbleCreek to pony up an additional $100 per year in property taxes to pay for school buses, furniture, “technology”, and renovations.  Nothing for school teachers.

And keep in mind, NONE of this includes the cost of West-Mec, the valley industrial arts school for area kids.  West-Mec spends an additional $20 million per year basically providing an apprentice program for “chosen” businesses at tax payer expense turning out cosmetologists, welders, auto repairmen, and medical technicians.

But I digress.  Here is a link to LESD’s most recent budget documents.  LESD Budget

LESD 2014 budget is about $70 million dollars.
How much of that goes to regular teachers? (Classroom Instruction)
Only $27.5 million dollars of the $70 million.

That’s less than 40%.

Admin and staff are $7 million.
Special education is $4 million
Support services are $2 million
“Federal” Classroom Site expenditures are $6.4 million.  What the heck is that?
Food service is $6 million.  Is that what Michelle Obama is causing them to spend?
Debt service on existing loans is $4 million.

That’s $30 million dollars right there in only those six items.

We elect school boards and pay school superintendents big salaries to make trade off decisions on WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF FUNDS.  It appears to me that we’re getting some pretty poor management decisions from them.

So when Grandma Jones says she does not want to pay any more for “other peoples” kids education, and the Hernandez family says, “others paid for your kids”, they are not really arguing about the real issue, are they?

When Grandma Jones’ kids went to school, they learned reading writing and arithmetic, teachers were relatively well paid, admired individuals from the local community, every kid who did not want to study was not given a “special needs” card, and if you wanted to be a hair stylist, you dropped out of school and started your own business.

It’s not that we disagree about what we all want, what we disagree about is how the work is being administered and executed by those in charge.  Where does that start?

It starts with the almost completely incompetent politicians that you have been electing all these years over and over.  The ones who bend over backward for political correctness, the ones who will not implement Tort Reform, the ones who won’t secure our borders, the ones who refuse to put public employees into 401k type retirement plans, and on a local level, the ones who buy $36,000 motorcycles, pay $12 million for $8 million dollar buildings, “pick winners” by giving money to favored businesses and call it “economic development”, build and operate stadiums at a huge loss for billionaire owned sports franchises, spend millions developing property for billion dollar mall operators like Macerich, and get re-elected by a consortium of public employees, developers, the chamber of commerce, and special interest groups.

And oh yeah, the median pay for a corrections officer (not a cop) in the US is about $39,000.

Good luck, Grandma.


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