Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Are You?...And What Have You Done With Caren Diedrich?

At the Finance Committee's budget discussion this past Monday, Caren Diedrich, or someone who looked a lot like Caren Diedrich, suddenly roused the audience.

At issue was the idea, of which Jim McCourt clearly supported, was adjusting the board's budget parameter regarding the tax levy increase ceiling from 3.5% to 3.95%.  [can we just say 4%, people?] The additional increase would allow the district to spend $220,000 on new initiatives favored by the district [currently diversity and response to intervention (tutoring).

Tom Weber cautioned that while these initiatives are worthwhile, we should be able to find money within the existing budget to support them.

Diedrich sat very quietly, listening to several teachers pleading for more initiatives.  Finance chair, Jim McCourt, started out in favor of increasing the tax levy and funding the initiatives.  He even pointed that "there was a fair amount of support at public hearings to do this".Yeah, Jim...but how much of that support was from teachers...or their spouses?  Eventually McCourt came around and discussed finding money within the existing budget.

Diedrich saved up for one of her infamous diatribes:
"So far, I'm hearing a lot about the kids. 
There's never been a time when there were enough resources available to meet all the needs.
The number of parents [and individuals, Caren] without children exceeds the number with children and these people aren't facing the same problems as others.
Some of these people cannot come up with another dime.
I'm not saying that teachers are not strained, but we can't keep going to the well when it's dry.  And it's dry!
If we can find the money within the budget to fund these initiatives...fine.  But 3.5% [levy increase] is my line in the sand."

---Caren Diedrich
And it's not even an election year for her!
Could it be that the seniors that got her re-elected have kept her phone ringing off the hook?

These are uncharted waters for Ms. Diedrich.  Historically, she's never seen an initiative she wasn't willing to toss tax dollars at.  Especially one that Tim Culver is pushing.