Saturday, April 20, 2013

The IFTK Exemption

One loophole that needs to be immediately excised is the IFTK (It's For the Kids!) exemption.
District Staffer: "You want to reserve ball field? That will be $25/hour.  For 3 hours use, that would be $75."
Prospective Field User: "$25/hr?'s for the kids..." 
District Staffer: "Oh...why didn't you say so!  There'll be no charge."
IFTK is deceptively beautiful.  All one has to do is cry, "IFTK!", and the guy on the other side of the issue immediately has to defend himself against the ultimate allegation:  (s)he is anti-kids.  Who wants to wear that crown of thorns?

Do field /facility fees really break the bank?
$25 per hour is all it takes to reserve the top fields in the Sun Prairie school district.  That is if the Little League program lets you use them.  They already have locked out use of the two softball fields from June through August.  That's right...whether or not they'll actually use them doesn't matter.  They've reserved them.  Check that...they are squatting on them (figuratively, of course).  And they won't pay one red cent, despite the fact that some of those dates fall outside of the "Little League agreement".  Despite the fact that the "Little League agreement doesn't even mention the word "softball".

Poor Poor Pitiful Coaches
We can't honestly expect the coaches who run athletic camps to pay for the use of these fields, can we?  It'll take money out of their pocket.  It would make the cost of the camps unaffordable to "the kids".  Really?  You guys charge anywhere from $50 to $175 for these "camps" and the cost of the field rental might add $1 to that?

The Rental Fee doesn't even cover maintenance cost!
The athletic community is raging about having to pay for the use of fields (which by the way, they should have been paying for all long, but the district through a series of nods and winks and handshake deals has never charged them).  But we hear too many reports about the disgusting shape the fields/facilities are left in.  Sunflower seed packages and hulls, trash, and even tobacco slugs.  (Wait....why is tobacco even being used n a district field?).  The cost of a district maintenance worker to clean this crap up, including benefits and vehicle usage, comes to far ore than $25 per hour.  So the district and taxpayers are only deeper in the hole. is for the kids...right?

Rampant Abuse
The abuse of IFTK is running rampant in Sun Prairie, and Tim Culver, despite being the ultimate authority for all things school district, is clearly not going to do anything about it.  And why should he?  He doesn't want to be "the bad guy".  After all, he's the SuperNintendo!

Joe Powelka, the new Buildings&Grounds Manager (at least according to policy...oh wait...we don't follow policy unless it serves our needs) is the district goalie who ensures that field and facility renters pay the fees established by policy KG.  But he's more like Swiss cheese.  And...for now...we won't hang him for that.  He's probably still on probation, likes his job (pretty decent pay and benefits), and doesn't want to blow it all by standing too firmly.

But that's not doing anybody any good.  This needs to stop, dammit!  Sadly, it's going to take four school board members who have the kahungas to stand tall and knock IFTK from the bully pulpit.

It's for the kids!