Readers Speak: Ennis superintendent explains ballot issue
By Superintendent John M. Overstreet
The annual school election will be held on Tuesday, May 6. Since we only have one candidate running for the one open position, there will not be an election for trustee. Incumbent Lisa Frye decided not to seek reelection this year. Jaret Laurence is the lone applicant to fill the three-year trustee position.
There will be one ballot issue at the school election. The Ennis School Board will ask the voters to consider a transfer of $900,000 from the adult education fund to a flexibility fund. During the last two years, the Ennis School Board has been working to get school finances in order and to get our budgets back to more normal ranges.
When the school did the big audit in the fall of 2012, the auditor stated we needed to have a cost allocation plan to determine the amount of salaries that should be paid out of adult education and transportation budgets. Our allocation plan approved by the school board indicated we were paying too many salaries out of these budgets. We should be paying more out of the general fund. Since the maximum general fund budget is limited by the state, we are unable to fix our allocation problem without making major cuts in programs for students or by cutting staff. This transfer of funds will allow us more flexibility and give us some time to correct our general fund budget shortfall.
The ballot language on the transfer to the flex fund states four uses for the money. They are 1) technological equipment, 2) supplies and materials, 3) benefits and other incentives for the recruitment and retention of teachers and 4) increases in energy costs. According to the ballot language, the use of the transferred funds has to be spread over a seven-year period. That way no one administration or board can decide to spend all of the money in one year. With our approved allocation plan, we will be paying less out of the adult education and transportation budgets. This flex fund will help us pay the bills until we can get our general fund budget in order. This ballot issue is simply a transfer of funds from one budget to another. You will not see any tax increase if the transfer passes.
Your school board has reduced or eliminated mills in other school budgets to get budget surpluses back to normal. In 2009, the school district was assessing over 90 mills to support Ennis Schools. This year, the district assessed 19.45 mills. As a point of reference, if you own a $200,000 home, you paid around $255 in local school taxes in 2009. This year you paid about $54 in local school taxes on the same home. Our goal is to balance a quality education for students with what is affordable to the taxpayers.
If you would like additional information on this transfer, please feel free to call me at 682-4258 or stop by my office at 223 Charles Avenue. We will have a public meeting to explain the transfer in more detail on Monday, April 28 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held in Room No. 3 of Ennis High School.
MVMC a tremendous asset
As CEO of Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, I want to commend the Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) Board, its leadership, physicians, providers and staff for 60-plus years of excellence in service to patients, families and area communities. It is our privilege to be a long-term clinical partner with Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) through our Ennis-based specialty clinics.
In early May, area voters will have an opportunity to support the permanent renewal of the MVMC funding levy. MVMC’s success in clinical quality, patient safety and financial performance is a reality because of the long-term collective support of area residents. This is evident through your seeking medical care at the MVMC hospital and clinics, your personal philanthropy and your long-term support of the hospital levy. Therefore, we encourage you to vote for the levy referendum as this funding is essential for MVMC to continue, and expand on, its current level of service and for it to invest in needed equipment and information systems to deliver on its mission.
Again, we commend you on the tremendous community asset you have in the Madison Valley Medical Center and encourage your support of the upcoming hospital levy referendum.
President and CEO
Bozeman Deaconess Health Services
Show support, make hospital mills permanent
Dear community, friends and family,
Next month John and I will have the opportunity to show support for our community by voting in favor of the initiative to have the existing mill levy for our local hospital become permanent. This means the hospital will be able to continue offering excellent healthcare and convenient services that have been invaluable to us over the years. When we needed professional quality care for our aging parents, the hospital and staff were there to help. John and I are in good health and have not needed to use the hospital’s services much. However, we have peace of mind knowing that the hospital will be there should we need it. We support our local hospital and will show that support by voting yes to make the existing mills permanent. Please join us on May 6 by adding your vote of support.
Donna and John Crumley
Pass the hospital mill levy
On the sixth of May, voters will be asked to renew on a continuing basis the current mill levy. While approving this levy would not increase taxes, the Medical Center would not have to go through this process as the mill expires.
Historically, the Madison Valley Hospital has always received financial assistance from the community. Whether by being patients, donators, taxpayers or all of these, the need for support has been there since the hospital opened. Our new medical facility was built not only to provide excellent care today but also look to the future needs of the community. Also, the old facility would no longer meet state standards through repairs and upgrades. The hospital board has utilized the existing mill levy to establish the necessary financial foundation, for continued service and growth. By voting in favor of this proposal, we will have a medical facility that will always be there when we need and it will not have the added expense of placing the issue on the ballot each time it needed to be renewed. The usage of these funds is limited to operations and if hospital revenue increases the board can always decide to not collect the monies if they are no longer needed to sustain operations.
Elimination of donation cap upsets democrats
Many Americans don’t know who the Koch brothers are. Their companies employ 60,000 Americans (in the USA—not overseas) and the brothers are conservative.
Democrats hate them because they give a majority of their campaign donations to the Republican Party. What Judith Wiancko of Ennis is really ticked off about is that the George Scoros, Hollywood liberals, the unions, leftist college professors and the left American press now have a rival working against their political agenda.
That is why they dislike the decision of the Supreme Court in eliminating the cap of what an individual can donate to a campaign fund. These people should go back and listen to the president when he said he was going “to level the playing field.” At that time he was speaking of the income of Americans, playing Robin Hood riding out of Chicago and saving the poor.
Now there are Americans who want to “balance the playing field” on campaign donations. Now the republicans have an answer to the 100 percent that Hollywood donates to the democrats. Or the 98 percent that union VPs donate in the name of their members—whether they want to or not. Or the billions that old George forks over so he can press his political desires on a bunch of clones of George.
If Judith really wants to educate Madison County voters, why doesn’t she tell us of Scoro’s history? How he made his billions by manipulating the currency of European countries and then taking advantage when his tactics put that currency in danger. One country was England and he’d love to do the same thing to American currency.
Americans are getting tired of the democrats screaming “wolf” everytime the other party catches them in the act and then counters their tactics.
Can she explain why Obama went to Fort Hood for a memorial for the murdered Army troops and then flies off for two campaign fundraisers? Did the White House scheduler want to save aviation gas? “As long as he has to got to Texas for a memorial, let’s have him bring home a couple million dollars for the campaigns?”
Wagner votes according to the Constitution
A friend of mine said it best. “America is the greatest country the world has ever known. It’s not because our people are better or we haven’t made mistakes; it’s because our founding documents say our rights and freedoms come from God.” Because our country was founded on Christian principles is exactly the reason people from other countries can come here and practice their religion (or secularism) in freedom as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. (That is the definition of true tolerance.) As much as we welcome then they also need to know that Christians do not have to compromise our beliefs to accommodate theirs. Ironically, tolerance is being perverted to mean freedom of religion to everyone except Christians.
That said, the very integrity of the Constitution is now in peril. It has been manipulated to fit the “changing times.” Some liberal judges have “discovered” new freedoms that simply aren’t there. There is no “separation of church and state” as such in the Constitution; many people seem to forget the last part of the 1st amendment—“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Times change, principles don’t. The Constitution is the rock from which other laws have emerged and any candidate for office needs to be very mindful of how it has been abused. Laws can be adjusted to the times without changing fundamental truths.
Bob Wagner is a candidate who has tremendous respect for the U.S. and Montana Constitutions—he votes accordingly. He’s honest; he won’t be intimidated; he believes integrity trumps political correctness. Please seriously consider Bob Wagner’s qualifications as you decide who to send to Helena from district 71.
Freedom and right to trap needs to stay
I am nearly 77 years old and if you sold everything I own I doubt I am worth $1,000. When I was born I had the freedom and right to trap, which I have done since I was 6 years old. Initiative 169 would ban trapping in Montana. To think that in my 77 years on earth we would deny the freedom and the rights to future generations to trap in the state of Montana is unthinkable.
Two things that must be done to stop this nonsense is not to sign I-169 and amend the state constitution that no one should be denied their God given rights. I have one request of the good people of Montana—pass a constitutional amendment to keep trapping legal for as long as this country lasts.
Thank you for caring
I would like to thank friends and neighbors for all the calls, cards, flowers, food, good wishes and prayers.
I had very good care from Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center and Madison Valley Hospital.
I am very grateful to live in a community that cares.
Wishing for a great spring,
Thank you for grant
Twin Bridges Senior & Community Center Inc. recently received a generous grant of $10,000 from the Ruby Valley Foundation. These funds are restricted towards the purchase of a state-of-the-art commercial gas stove equipped with six open burners, a 24-inch griddle, one standard oven and one convection oven. The stove will be an incredible asset to the center for phase two of our capital campaign to equip and furnish the center once it is built.
A big thank you to the Ruby Valley Foundation.