Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Week In Opt Outs

Tom Holmstrom wrote a letter to the editor supporting the opt-out.  Using Department of Corrections data, Holmstrom noted that that South Dakota correction facilities need from $5,777.95 to $29,189.05 to house an inmate whereas schools got by on $4,804.60 last year.  Holstrom does not remind his readers that schools will have $4,389.95 next year.  Given that over $90 of that is one-time money, schools will probably have less than $4,300 in the 2012-2013 school year.

The Yankton Press & Dakoton's River City section contained an advertisement questioning, among other things, the construction of the new administrative building and bus barn and YSD's retire and rehire practices.  It also alleges that YSD has a history misleading the public.  I can't find the ad online, but will try to scan a PDF and post it later.

The Yankton County Observer gives front page coverage to the Charlii Gilson's efforts to bring the opt out to a public vote.  The online Observer requires a subscription, but the print edition reports that Gilson, a Yankton realtor, will return to Yankton from and undisclosed Arizona location to turn in a "pile" of petitions before the April 4 deadline.  Gilson hopes to have over 1,000 signatures.  Fewer than 600 would be needed to put the opt out to a vote.  The Observer quotes a senior citizen who signed the petition as saying that she "doesn't want anyone to lose a job"; she favors "across the board cuts" including "giving all school district personnel less pay than they have been receiving."

Inside, Wayne Pibal, one of the Observer's publishers, opines that YSD officials should carefully answer the questions posed by the P&D ad.  Pibal concludes with the following advice, 
Should there be an opt-out vote, and we think there just might be, people that want it passed might have to hold our hands a little more than should be necessary.
If they do your job well, though, they will lead us to the place we ought to be.
The pronoun references in the last sentence confuse me a bit, but I believe that last sentence means that Pibal concludes YSD might get the opt out if they play the political game shrewdly.

Finally, in my continued effort to introduce mythological digressions, Rumor, the swiftest of all evils, dashed through one of the district's buildings and caused whiplash and welts as employees tried to determine which aging debutante working in the building had signed the petition to bring the opt out to a vote.

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