Another Board member (emeritis) challenges Member Sandstad

George Balach sent an email to Nora Sandstad today regarding her Op Ed Piece in today’s Tribune. He then copied it to the rest of the School Board. I sent my colleagues an email in its wake explaining to them just who George is:

Board members,

You should know that Dr. Balach served on the Board for 12 years helping it get out of statutory debt and serving a couple stints as Chair. He is one of the quickest studies we ever had and had an excelent grasp of school finance.

This is George’s email:

Member Sandstad

1. the longterm change in the districts financial position is going to occur, as Edison will have a highschool.
Again, rather than projecting the terrible results of that change, plans need to be made to deal with it.
Administration will have to be tasked with development a strategy to continue offering high quality education under a different reality.

2. the sale of the buildings was meant to offset the debt from the red plan. the hypothetical is misplaced.
with the reality of the districts budget why even talk about adding back what is not affordable under the present circumstances and, according to your projections will be less so in the future.

3 selling the property relieves the district of at least 170k a year for the building and applying the 14 million to paying down the debt would relieve the district of (at 3 percent), 400k in interest payments.
both these numbers will go on and on and are definitely longterm benefits.

4. i believe the central property of tax forfeit when the district picked it up. so its been off the rolls for more than 50 years. i can certainly agree that placing any property of the rolls is a benefit, but the longer the property sits the less a developer will bid and any astute developer would try to get the piece along central entrance as that would appear to be the most valuable. this 30 million figure that comes up is irrelevant,
the only figures that matter are the appraisal number and what a willing buyer offers. what a sad reality for the board to accept an offer millions less than DPSA’s based upon faulty logic.

5. denfeld. again, rather than handringing over how much denfeld will be hurt administration will have the job of providing the best with what it has.

6. are you seriously indicating that the graduation gap as well as the graduation rate has not already being focused upon community wide? i hope that the focus direction already exists, what a sad state of affairs if it is just now going to become a priority.
In the 20 years of its existance Edison/DPSA has not demeaned ISD709, questioned its motives, or intimated anything about its motives it has simply served its students. the natural development was the eventuality of a high school. yet the red plan went on its merry way without vote of the duluth taxpayers.
now, rather than standing up, admitting responbility for the red plans debacle DPSA now becomes the focus of ISD709 problems when its only sin has been its success.

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