Override means excellence for Marana's future
I am writing in support of the ballot override for the maintenance and operation budget that is being sought by the Marana Unified School District.
As an elected member of the Marana Town Council, it is critically important that the Marana public schools are successful and that their students have every opportunity to succeed.
It is due to the declining economy and current budgetary crisis that exists within the state of Arizona that MUSD is requesting that the voters of Marana school district reauthorize 10 percent of the 2007 budget override and add an additional 5 percent of that budget. The voters of Marana school district voted for the first ballot override in the history of the district in 2007. However, it is important for the voters to understand that there will not be any tax increase in 2010 or 2011 as a result of a successful override vote.
The higher override would minimize the impact of budget cuts that the district is facing because of the current economic climate of our state. A successful override vote would ensure that the district could continue to provide appropriate class sizes, full-day kindergarten and programs that support student success, i.e. fine arts, drama, athletics and music.
This is an opportunity for our entire community to make an investment in our school district and ensure that the Marana Unified School District continues to provide excellence to our most valued asset, the children of our community, who will be the leaders of our country.
Russell L. Clanagan, Marana
Giffords too wed to the radical left
Massachusetts is the deepest blue state in the country, dominated by ultra radical leftwing extremists. In the minds of the radicals, the recent special election was to be a mere formality, since they feel the seat is a Democrat birthright. While the independents carried the election for Scott Brown, 22 percent of registered Democrats voted for him.
The defeat by a conservative Republican of the radical extremist anointed by the Democrat elite to replace the late Sen. Kennedy is unmistakable evidence the radicals have clearly misread the pesky voters as they predictably and arrogantly ignored the folks. One thing is clear from that election: every single Democrat seat in the House and Senate is now in play.
Numerous Democrats are now back peddling from the radical Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda that will destroy the U.S., but they are particularly abandoning ObamaCare. Cap-and-Trade and the rest is next. Unfortunately for the country, the Democrats were lucky. That election gave the smart ones the political cover they need to reverse course and try to save themselves.
Gabrielle Giffords has never represented CD8. She only represents the small but vocal minority of radical leftwing extremists in CD8. She has chosen to push the radical Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda down our throats, irrespective of the reality that the majority of CD8 does not want any part of it.
Giffords is reported by the local Democrat machine to be smart and politically savvy. It will be interesting to see if she wakes up, bucks her political masters, and does a 180-degree turn, or if she persists with the delusion that all is well with the Democrat agenda and tries to jam it further down our throats.
There are only 39 weeks until the midterm election. But savvy or not, Giffords is simply too wedded to the radical agenda to change, and is just too beholden to her boss Pelosi to make a comeback. Her defeat will be magnificent.
Rick Cunnington, Oro Valley
Personally, I am taxed more than enough
Ms. Phyllis Davis wrote last week that we are facing the pending implosion of Arizona's future chattel. She says our young prospective Arizona taxpayers may not gain fashionable employment due to Al Melvin fighting for fiscal responsibility in our state budget.
Davis watched a guy on TV, Dr. Vest, say we could raise taxes by $200 per Arizonan to make all things right. Regardless of Dr. Vest's impeccable credentials, state legislators spend other people's money – ours. Since 2007, IRS data details that more than 47 percent of American wage earners did not pay income tax, we can easily surmise that the unsubstantiated Davis/Vest chimera will cost those of us paying the state debt far more than $200 each.
Davis wants to put her hand in my wallet. I ask, Ms. Davis, what work did you burden yourself with to earn my money? How dare you have the audacity to bellow that your fellow residents spend $200 in a weekend. Apparently, you have a better plan for my money?
U.S. Department of Education states that more than 90 percent of education spending comes from state and local revenue. According to Arizona's Joint Legislative Budget Committee, education spending increased by 20 percent during 2000-2009, yet that same period shows a mere 2 percent increase in high school graduation rates. 2006 U.S. Census Bureau data shows Arizona along with Oklahoma and Utah spend slightly less than $7,000 per public school student annually, and attain a better than 70 percent graduation rate. At the opposite end, New York and District of Columbia spend over $13,000 per student while attaining the underwhelming graduation rates of 64 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Do more dollars to programs, facilities, and administrators (excluding teachers) give value? Apparently not.
Spending cuts are painful. Just ask any of the more than 10 percent unemployed if they've had to make any changes. Arizona already raised the sales tax from 5 to 5.6 percent in 2003, and the Congressional Budget Office reports 27 million Americans will be burdened by the higher Alternative Minimum Tax this year, up from 4 million last year. Personally, I'm taxed more than enough.
Keith Smith, Oro Valley
In 1 HOA, 14 months make big difference for better
In October of 2008 I wrote to decry the lack of control and mismanagement of our Vistoso Community Association. The president was dictatorial, some board members exhibited hostility to others, and the manager controlled everything … not the homeowners.
What a difference 14 months later. The homeowners are asked for their opinions. The new manager and assistant are open and willing to assist in every concern; the members of the board treat each other with respect and dignity.
I recall with great disappointment one meeting where two board members shouted at a third because he had a health issue that he should resign immediately. Now another board member has a health issue and he is being shown support and consideration. This can happen to anyone and support is a main ingredient of improvement.
Two new members of the board in 2009 — Jill Anderson and Bob Becker — have done a great deal to improve homeowner access to information with their beautiful website http://www.ranchovistosohoa.com">www.ranchovistosohoa.com. They have worked diligently in many areas to devise guidelines, improve relations and help the board evolve into a very professional leadership group. The HOA has a wonderful talent in their financial manager, Ray Lang, their many committee members who work diligently and include Linda Shatto and Betty Hornat. (Yes, that's the same Hornat as Joe who is running for town council).
As the wife of a board member I wanted to express appreciation for the very positive changes, and encourage all the members of this association to be proud and become more involved.
Brenda Ryan, Oro Valley
Safier gave no facts, just pointed words
The article on Dec. 9 by Dave Safier shows complete bias to a belief that he holds with ridiculous comments that disregard the many thousands of competent scientists that hold a different opinion.
I always find it amusing if not sad that those who believe, without accepting dissent from others, so often reduce themselves to ad hominem statements and making fun of those that disagree.
As usual, Dave presented no facts, just words he thought were pointed.
John Campbell, Tucson