No need to paint Mehlville as incompetent; Diehl does that, reader says

Two Christmases ago, I wrote a letter praising the Mehlville Fire Protection District for slashing our property taxes during the season of giving and wondered when the Mehlville School District would stop its season of taking, considering enrollment had declined by 341 students, $1.9 million was blown on artificial “grass” and over $170,000 was beginning to be squandered on a public relations firm.

Readers were then subjected to a rambling response from Mehlville Board of Education President Tom Diehl as he tried to justify the synthetic “grass,” blame anti-tax voters for distorting facts and painting government agencies as incompetent, and then told readers how the loss of 341 students accounts for less than “3/10ths of 1 percent of our total enrollment.”

At the time, I was not going to respond to his condescending remarks or his inability to use a calculator, as evidenced by the fact that 341 students out of 11,088 is actually a 3-percent reduction. However, after recovering from the shock of fund balances disappearing as the result of spending increases, I felt now is a good time to respond.

It’s clear that this board president needs to take a remedial math course and stop playing Santa Claus to the teachers’ union that donated to his campaign and which he agreed to give 6-percent raises, increased benefits and hire 20 additional teachers.

He should learn how to read a budget instead of blathering on in pontificating letters to people who dare question the board’s spending habits.

For all of you anti-tax crowd that Mr. Diehl is referring to, you can put down your brushes since there is no need to paint the Mehlville School District as incompetent. Mr. Diehl takes care of that for us.

Joel Hemme

Oakville