Lindbergh’s public relations machine in full swing, Smoot says

To the editor:

The Lindbergh School District’s public relations machine is in full swing — Gold Star, Blue Ribbon school, “Responsible Renovation,” a school board that “only takes what is needed,” blah, blah, blah.

Let’s look at some interesting facts:

The school board claims to pay competitive salaries to “retain the best and brightest.”

Why should they approve a $200,000 pay package — 8.7 percent increase — “to retain” Superintendent James Sandfort plus the promise of a similar pay increase next year even though Sand-fort has already announced his retirement?

Does this increase have anything to do with the superintendent’s — soon-to-be-collected — pension being based on his last four years’ salary?

The board claims to be a watchdog of taxpayer money “taking only what is needed,” then it spends $21,000 on a “no-tax-increase” phone survey. This same board approved $817,000 for “predesign work” for renovations “just in case” the “no-tax-increase” bond issue is approved.

If the bond issue fails, they say they’ll put the predesign work in a drawer for future use.

Roofing has been named as a major concern, so here’s some free roofing predesign work advice: A 20-year roof will need to be replaced in — you guessed it — 20 years. Now, get three free estimates from commercial roofers.

Perhaps that $817,000 would be better spent on actually repairing a roof.

And who is defining “Responsible Renovation?” Since 1995, voters have approved $48 million in building and parking-lot improvements, a new pool and other renovations. Now we’re being told they need another $25 million.

That’s a staggering $73 million of “Responsible Renovations.”

Yes, the Lindbergh School District PR machine is in full swing for the “no-tax-increase” bond issue. But if a previously approved tax increase was supposed to end, then shouldn’t this new proposal be called the “continuation of a tax-increase bond issue?”

Jim Smoot

chairman

Citizens’ Association for Responsible Education