A Response to Kevin Buckley's "Spillage" Remarks about (and from) Concerned WFB Voters 2009 Message and Flyer on October 27, 2009.
Mr. Buckley's comments require clarification. The following will be in the sequence in which Mr. Buckley addressed them in his piece.
The point Concerned Voters...is making to all WFB voters is that there is a huge difference in the amount of borrowing/spending associated with both Questions 1 and 2, when stated in total, including interest. Asking voters if they approve spending $22+ Million is vastly different from asking for $41+ Million. Which amount appears to be more affordable? Which one represents the real question?
The word "misleading" was in reference to the piece written by the Yes-Yes group in the October 23 edition of WFB NOW On-Line. They (nor the Board) did not phrase the issue as Mr. Buckley did in his October 27 piece.
Sure, no one expects money to be borrowed at zero interest (Neither Mr. Buckley nor the Board should suggest that there is a good possibility of getting "free money" at zero interest. That would be bad judgment.). So, using a "worst" (?) case scenario of 5.5% interest is appropriate. It is appropriate for someone to make sure the total cost is well communicated, given how many WFB residents (that were spoken to in person) had no idea about the Referendum itself, the amount to be borrowed, the total cost, with interest, for what purpose, etc. So, the flyer was produced to inform, not scare.
Yes, Mr. Buckley is correct that interest rates are at historic lows. WFB borrowing that much $ now, in this uncertain economy, seems pretty similar to someone that has an older car, makes $25,000 annually and is trying to decide if it makes sense to buy a new car for $20,000. Interest rates are low, rebates are good. Why not? Maybe because it is not financially prudent to take on that much debt in an uncertain environment.
Many WFB residents have been seriously affected by the current economy. Paying $250-350 more in annual School District taxes, on top of WFB Village, County, State and Federal tax increases, is just not affordable.
The use of the word "unforeseen" relative to the $5 Million in lost State aid, was indeed, unfortunate, and Mr. Buckley is correct for calling attention to it. The more appropriate phrase would likely have been "little known". The number is correct.
The point about the impact on WFB homeowner taxes is that, all the statements in the October 23 piece in WFB NOW On-Line and in the listening sessions failed to mention that, if the new debt is not approved, taxes can be cut. It is misleading to not point that out.
Why has no one else challenged why the spending on needed facilities and maintenance was cut so drastically over the past 10 years? Now, we need to borrow a lot of money to recover from that. On what else was that money spent? Why cannot the annual budget ($35+ Million) be set up to accomodate essential improvements and replacements, without borrowing, over the next X years? What is Mr. Buckley's take on that? What do others say?
Mr. Buckley is right; voters need to check all the facts, all the sources and become as informed as possible for this vote that will affect all WFB property owners for the next 20 years! Vote on November 3.
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