Timing Of The One-Year Operating Referendum

Timing is everything. Timing is the reason that I believe a one-year operating referendum has a better chance of passage than a two or three year referendum.
Since being elected to the Madison school board last year, it has been very clear to me that many people in our community are educated in school board politics via local media. Unfortunately, television snippets, radio sound bites and newspaper articles rarely tell the entire story. However, in the March 31st Opinion section of the Wisconsin State Journal gets the story right! The article states, “Tapping property taxpayers for more money is a regrettable option, but the finger of blame does not point to the board. Rather, outdated and unproductive state school financing rules are at fault. They put school districts like Madison’s in a no-win situation. In response, the School Board, with a few exceptions, has been taking the right approach. By cutting, combining and conserving, the board has held down spending while keeping school quality high.” Thank you Wisconsin State Journal for telling readers the truth!
I support the one-year operating referendum because I believe it is the right thing to do and the right time given the other referenda on the ballot (building a new school and maintenance being the other two). I am also sympathetic to community concerns regarding higher property taxes and the uneasiness that leaves in the community’s sense of economic security. For instance, gas prices are increasing, President Bush is advocating privatizing social security and many lawmakers are still promoting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).
The timing for any school board referendum will never be optimal. However, it is important to make any referenda as palatable as possible for as many people as possible. Given our circumstances, the time to do that is for one year. That time will be on Tuesday May 24th.

One thought on “Timing Of The One-Year Operating Referendum”

  1. I agree with Mr. Winston that the odds of the one year referendum passing is much greater than the proposed three year referendum. I never understood how it went from 7, 14, 28 million dollars over a three year period and I am sure others would have a hard to swallowing that amount. I am sad there will be 3 referendums to vote for. While I support 2 of the referenda I will not vote for the Leopold school. I am unique in this manner, as most citizens I discuss these issues with express they will vote for all or vote for none. I think it may be too much for most citizens to analyze and seperate each referenda and they just vote across the board and if the mood is negative it may sink all three. I hope I am wrong, but I am concerned.

Comments are closed.