Preliminary Returns Indicate that Fiscal Sanity has Reigned In Bartlesville BISD Spending — For Now!

Fiscal sanity reigns in Bartlesville — both bonds failed to achieve 60% margin to ‘pass’; there is still much work to be done to get our house in order so that all levels of government learn to live within their means. The school board needs to make some operational changes and listen to the people or they will need to be replaced in the days ahead.

Detail returns available here: Bartlesville voters say ‘no’ to school bond propositions | Examiner Enterprise, Bartlesville

Bartlesville voters say ‘no’ to school bond propositions

The community rejected both Bartlesville Public School District bond propositions, while Copan’s proposition passed with overwhelming community support.

Voters told the Bartlesville Public School District to go back to the drawing board on its plan to build a new sixth and seventh grade center and reconfigure the grades at the secondary levels.

According to unofficial election results, only 49.54 — 2,531 people — percent voted for the $48 million proposition, while 50.46 percent — 2,578 people — voted against the proposal.

School bond proposals require a 60 percent majority to pass.

The community also voted down a proposition that would have allowed the district to spend $1.5 million on transportation, including new buses. Over half of the voters — 54.36 percent — voted for the proposition, but it still fell shy of the 60 percent approval rate needed to pass it.

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Thank you to an ever vigilant Bartlesville Community and Grassroots Bartlesville for keeping the facts in front of the people.  It will require much work to force all levels of government to make cuts and shrink the size and scope of government so that the private sector can thrive and grow.

I also recommend two specific changes which would dramatically improve the process:

1)  Support and pass the legislation being recommended by Rep Josh Cockroft to force this type of elections be voted on when other matters are already scheduled and on the ballot.  We should follow Rep Josh Cockroft’s recommendation that we combine these types of school bond elections with other more major elections so that they come under more scrutiny from more voters.  We could also avoid the expense of a ‘special’ election attended by low voter awareness and turnout. If everyone is going to end up paying more in taxes, then let’s make sureeveryone gets an opportunity to vote at a time when they normally do so on other matters.  Rep. Josh Cockroft of McCloud says he believes changing the date of the elections would increase voter participation. Cockroft says if schools are to improve, the entire community should be involved in their futures.  Currently, school board elections are held on the second Tuesday in February or on the date of the presidential primary.

More about this legislative recommendation were here >>> (this link is no longer active)

New link with bill numbers here >>>

2)  Enable/require public utilities in the area to provide public service release(s) of ballot wording well in advance of ALL elections.  No taxing entity should be able to even attempt to pass tax increases with only certain segments of the tax base being made aware of the changes impacting everyone in the area.  Openness and transparency in government is needed at all levels.

Related articles:

Vote Reminder: Just say NO on BISD bond election on Tuesday February 14th and save taxpayers a cool $50 Million! « Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Washington County: Let’s Say No to Proposed School Bond on Feb 14th and Send Board Back to the Drawing Boards « Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Cross-posted with OKGrassroots


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Getting Ready for our Precinct Meetings! Here is the Oklahoma Republican Party Platform and Rules for Easy Reference

Washington County Precinct Meeting February 7 at 7 PM

The Washington County Republican Party will hold a precinct meeting Tuesday, February 7, 7 p.m. at Arvest Bank, East Side Branch, 4225 SE Adams Rd. The purpose of this meeting is to elect delegates to the county convention and to develop the county platform.
All registered Republicans are invited to attend and participate with other members of your precinct!
If you live in another county, check with your county leaders for details on your local meetings.
Note: Most precinct meetings occur the week of February 6th around the state in Oklahoma.
 A list of GOP County Chairmen is located here >>

Oklahoma GOP website (you can sign up for email online)

From the About page on Oklahoma GOP website:

History: Since 1906, the Oklahoma Republican Party has been working to make Oklahoma a better place for families and businesses to prosper. The OKGOP represents the values of most Oklahomans. We are the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal empowerment, and individual responsibility.

The Republican Party has grown to become a powerful force in Oklahoma today. During the 2008 election cycle, the McCain-Palin ticket won 65.4% of the vote in OK, the highest percentage in the nation, thereby giving Oklahoma the title of “Reddest State in the Country.” In 2010, the OKGOP had the most successful election cycle for Oklahoma Republicans in state history- sweeping all eight statewide races, including Governor, and expanding majorities in both the state house and senate.

As Ronald Reagan put it, “A political party is a mechanical structure created to further a cause. The cause, not the mechanism, brings and holds the members together. I believe the Republican Party can hold and should provide the political mechanism through which the goals of the majority of Americans can be achieved.”

Statement of Principles:

We believe in limited government, individual liberty, and personal moral responsibility.

We believe Oklahoma should be a place of opportunity where people who work hard and abide by the rules can pursue their own dreams with a reasonable expectation of success.

As Republicans we believe:

  1. Our rights of life, liberty, and property are natural rights granted to us by God and protected by the Constitution.
  2. In the right to worship as we please without government intrusion or interference.
  3. The federal government’s power is constitutionally limited, yet responsible for protecting our sovereignty, establishing justice under law, and securing our liberty through a strong national defense and effective law enforcement.
  4. God is the Author and Creator of life and that all human life, both born and unborn, should be protected.
  5. In traditional marriage consisting of one man and one woman.
  6. It is the private sector and free market principles that best stimulate economic development rather than government subsidies or programs.
  7. Taxes collected at all levels of government should be used only for legitimate government functions, and those functions carried out efficiently so that tax rates may be kept as low as possible.
  8. That government closest to the people governs best and is preferred to centralized control.
  9. It is the right of every parent to act in his or her children’s best interest including choosing the form of education, whether public school, private school, or home school.
  10. We should welcome immigrants who want to legally seek freedom and opportunity, who want to work for a living and who will embrace our values, learn the English language, and respect our national sovereignty.

Click here to read the OKGOP platform

GOP Platform as adopted 050711

Click here for the OKGOP Rules

GOP Rules (as amended August 27, 2011)

Scribd documents uploaded and shared in several collections online for easy access; always verify with OKGOP website for the most updated information!

link to downloadable document for the rules if Scribd fails to embed properly in your browser: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/80346891?access_key=key-1115ivhg9i6rtqc357sy

link to downloadable document for the platform on Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/80348792?access_key=key-25gowhfya9ws73connff

Additional links added for reference (02/06/12):

OKGrassroots Resolutions Recommendations for 2012 (one is specific for Washington County)

link to downloadable document for the rules if Scribd fails to embed properly in your browser: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/80466080?access_key=key-1rjxu66qstr89x2r0rtc

OKGrassroots Collection of Documents on Scribd (more great information and prior year resolutions recommendations also)

Posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Cross-posted with OKGrassroots

Washington County: Let’s Say No to Proposed School Bond on Feb 14th and Send Board Back to the Drawing Boards

A resolution authorizing an election for Bartlesville Independent School District was passed on December 8, 2011. It set an election date for said propositions for February 14, 2012. Here is a copy of that resolution:

In case the embed code above doesn’t work in your browser here is a link >>>Link to Resolution on Scribd

I am of the opinion that we need to just say no to this entire bonded indebtedness authorizing lots more money to be spent in a time where we should be trimming fat and living within our means. It is not the time to be spending more of the taxpayers hard earned money rather than simply using existing resources. I agree with Angel Box in her comments below that we need to send the board ‘back to the drawing boards.’ Please read her comments, write a letter of your own, and be ready to just say no at the polls on Feb 14th.

I also recommend that we follow Rep Josh Cockroft’s recommendation that we combine these types of school bond elections with other more major elections so that they come under more scrutiny from more voters.  We could also avoid the expense of a ‘special’ election attended by low voter awareness and turnout. If everyone is going to end up paying more in taxes, then let’s make sure everyone gets an opportunity to vote at a time when they normally do so on other matters.

Rep. Josh Cockroft of McCloud says he believes changing the date of the elections would increase voter participation. Cockroft says if schools are to improve, the entire community should be involved in their futures.

Currently, school board elections are held on the second Tuesday in February or on the date of the presidential primary.

Quote source and more about this legislative recommendation here >>>

We need to tell the school board over and over again to get budgets in order and quit asking for more money in a time where most of us are reducing expenditures and cutting back!  It doesn’t take more money to educate children.  It requires better management of existing resources.

Please consider writing your own letter and visiting with friends and neighbors about this important issue.  We just spent a bunch of money on an unnecessary roundabout.  Let’s make sure all options to reduce costs in a declining economy are being considered and our families are not being saddled with debt levels that are unsustainable.  It just makes good common sense.  That is the way my household functions and I am sure yours does to.  I am reducing costs at present, not increasing them!

__________________________

Send them back to the drawing boards on Feb 14th

Every fifteen or twenty years our school board comes up with a bond that needs to be voted down. This is one of those years! There are a few good ideas in the bond, like replacing the portables at Kane, but many more bad ones.

Why we should vote ‘no’ on February 14th

*  the grade configuration. Two of the massive changes in configuration are not in the best interests of the students

* the future. Building a new larger school at the Madison location will lock us in to this problematic configuration (see below).

Bad ideas in the bond

*  closing Central to students – and spending $2.5 million to retrofit Central for administration.

*  consolidating  all the 6th and 7th graders in a new larger building at the Madison location

*  consolidating  all  8th and 9th graders at the Mid High building

Why these are bad ideas:

The Mid High (the current 9th and 10th grade center) has never worked well because there are too many students – nearly a thousand – of similar ages in one place. This bond gets rid of that arrangement but replaces it with two more! A 6th and 7th grade center and a 8th and 9th grade center. We’ll be doubling the “Mid High effect”.

We lament that our children grow up too fast and yet we keep pushing them.  First they took the 6th graders out of their small neighborhood schools and sent them to the larger middle schools. Now they want to send the 6th graders to an even larger school which, for half of them, is much farther from their homes (increasing busing distances and costs).  Studies show that the younger the child, the better he or she does in smaller schools closer to home. This is especially true of the disadvantaged. A parent from the west side said once “our kids do fine through Central but we lose them when they are sent over to the mid high.”  …and these were 9th graders.

Less expensive options that get rid of the problematic Mid High configuration:

*  use Madison as a 9th grade center for the time being. We would have a more manageable number of students (half) coming together for the first time from both sides of town. We could tear down Madison and build a new smaller 9th grade center there in the future unless we decide to build the 9th grade center at the High School campus. There is room there.

*  move the Madison students into the Mid High building

*  move  the 10th  grade into a new wing at high school location. (this is a plan conceived by Marta Manning twenty years ago)

*  move administration to the Mid High building – plenty of room there

The Board can come back with a better bond within months.

For now……send them back to the drawing boards!

Special thanks to Angela Box for her thoughts above on the upcoming ‘Annual School Election’ set for February 14th.

__________________________

For more information on School Bond and Tax Elections in Oklahoma.

Information on Annual School Election from State Election Board:

Annual School Election February 14, 2012
Annual School Runoff Election April 3, 2012

Board of Education Filing Packet
Contains the required Declaration of Candidacy form, filing instructions and more
Proof of Identity for Voting
Facts about the law, acceptable forms of identification

Posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Cross-posted with OKGrassroots

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