The Education Action Network

Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

On Tuesday July 6, a number of concerned residents attended a “Truth in Taxation” meeting at the GUSD Governing Board room in Gilbert. In attendance to speak out against raising our property taxes were: Anita Christy, Tim Naquin, Eddie Price, Glen Frakes, TJ Fantechi, Shane Stapley, Pam Stevenson, several others and myself. All in all there were about 20 there to protest raising property taxes.
The presentation by the school board was informative and specific giving full descriptions and costs for each project. After all was said and done there was no second to a motion to raise property taxes and the tax increase was DOA and the board did NOT raise our taxes.
The only dissenting voice was the GUSD governing board president, who was the one who made the motion to raise our taxes, who exclaimed “we are not taxed enough!”
This battle was won.
Now on Tuesday July 13 a number of concerned residents attended a “Truth in Taxation” meeting at the MUSD but not in the governing boardroom. The event took place in a crowded conference room in the back of the building where there was not enough room for the 15 or so citizens who arrived in protest a proposed tax increase that was on the table. Those who spoke out against the tax increases were Randy Hatch, TJ Fantechi, Eddie Price, a couple others and myself. About half as many people spoke out at this meeting as did the meeting in Gilbert even though 3 times as much money was at stake here.
The governing board gave a vague presentation with no specifics on what the additional $1.2M would be spent for. Yet they declared that they were really tightening there belts and spending out money wisely yet presented no evidence of this. They were unanimous in their determination to raise our taxes with one dissenting voice. Only school board member Ben Whiting suggested meekly that maybe they should reconsider.
What was different about these two meetings? – a lot!
The GUSD board presented specific facts and twice as many citizens spoke out even thought the GUSD has far fewer students than MUSD. The GUSD was forthcoming with specifics and the MUSD was not. The GUSD meeting was held in a proper public forum in the governing board chambers. The MUSD meeting was held in a cramped conference room and followed a very casual meeting agenda. In Gilbert Shane Stapley is running to replace the Socialist school board president Thad Stump. In Mesa no one has stepped up to run against their school board president.
The bottom line is that the participation by the general public and the level of willingness on the school boards play major roles in the process.
In just a few months your school governing boards will consider raising your taxes again. And, the battle will once again be joined. The question is will you fight or will you be silent?
Thank you.

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