I’m going to campaign

Until our meeting with the State Department of Education I didn’t think I would bother campaigning for my own seat. Now that it is apparent that I have to win to force the Red Plan up for a referendum I’ve decided to campaign, not just for Let Duluth Vote, but for myself. I’ve got a fund raising letter going out Monday. It will be almost the same as the flyer I will begin passing out door to door.

This is it:

Oct. 16, 2007

Dear fellow seeker of the truth,

Raising $437 million in taxes through deception is a lousy way to run a school district. Read the beginning of my testimony to the State Board of Education last week.

“According to the information coming out of JCI and the Duluth School District the average Duluth household will only pay between $9 and $11 per month in property taxes if the Red Plan is adopted for a maximum of $132 annually. Let’s test this.

If you multiply $11 dollars, by 12 months and then multiply that by 20 years you get $2,240 per household. If you assume that there are 2.5 people per household this would result in $896 in taxes for the average resident of the Duluth school district over the course the Red Plan.

But if you multiply this average individual tax burden by the 94,000 residents of the Duluth School District the resultant taxes over twenty years would yield only $84,224,000 a far cry from the $437 million it will take to finance the Red Plan.

If you simply divide the $437,000,000 figure by the District’s 94,000 residents you come up with a considerably higher per person tax over twenty years – $4,649. As some wag once said, “figures never lie, liar’s figure.”

Johnson Controls Inc. has had a long history of working with school districts on issues relating to air quality and construction. It advertises itself to school districts as an expert in helping pass bond referenda. It must be very annoying for JCI to put in lots of work with a District only to see a referendum voted down. In fact, half of the Minnesota school referendums failed in 2005. It must have been tempting for JCI to search for a way around this unprofitable work and since JCI’s attorneys have so much experience with school finance law its not all that surprising that they would discover a way to avoid referenda all together.”

Duluth needs to work on its schools. Once a new school board is elected serious proposals which will not inspire a tax revolt and the collapse of our educational programs can be made. I must be elected to the School Board for this to happen. If you doubt this prediction of calamity read the enclosed flyer from Let Duluth Vote. If it doesn’t curl your hair you must be bald.

I’ve decided to raise money for my campaign. If you would like to contribute there is a return envelope for that purpose. Contributions over $300 can not be accepted.

I’ve also enclosed an envelope for Let Duluth Vote. This group could use your help too.

It’s your City. It’s your schools. It’s your vote. They ought to be worth something to save.

Harry Welty

I think it will pay for itself.