We commend Gray and Giltner for reminding the rest of the board that the BOE must look out for the fiscal health of the entire district, and not just focus on building one school. Gray reminded the board that there are many possible liabilities that the district may have to assume in the future. In our opinion, it was fiscally irresponsible of the rest of the BOE and Dr. White in not having a substantive discussion on the possibility of the district incurring these additional liabilities. Giltner further pointed out that he could not support a design that in his opinion included "wants" -- such as an auditorium -- and not needs, especially when there are so many other district needs that must be funded.
After the BOE voted to recommend Option G, the next item discussed was how to fund the $65 million in bonds in the event the referendum is successful. Again, we encourage our readers to listen to the meeting, since the opinions given by certain board members, in our opinion, initially showed their willingness to kick the can down the road versus having taxpayers pay for the new building as soon as it is built. To keep it simple, the decision was whether taxpayers would have to start paying in 2018 (once the building was completed) versus waiting until 2024, the year after all other bonds taxpayers are currently paying down for the past construction projects are paid off. By waiting until 2024, the taxpayer costs would essentially be flat until 2024 and would allow people to say "hey, HMS won't cost anything" for parents who will be sending kids to HMS in the next 8 years.
According to Dr. White's Report/Recommendation, he was asking that"the Board tentatively approve a solution that begins the payoff of debt just after a new school is built and includes debt payment decreases when current debt expires (similar to PMA Option 3C-1). It is further recommended that the Board of Education establish a targeted tax increase for a home valued at $500,000 and $1,000,000 so that the administration can ask PMA to update reports that can be shared with the community as soon as possible."