Strategic-plan process a ‘tax grab,’ former board member asserts

To the editor:

So our new part-time school superintendent in the Mehlville School District, Dr. Norm Ridder, wants to bring in his buddies from a consulting firm in Springfield to find out what the taxpayers of Mehlville really want?

Let’s look at what’s really going on here:

• The current Mehlville school board, the majority of which is owned by the teachers’ union and its bureaucracy-based allies, have already decided we taxpayers need to pay more. The only question is how much they think they can get away with. This is after they provided a comfortable pay raise to those same teachers and bureaucrats.

• Ridder’s “successful” tenure in Springfield included a significant tax increase for that community.

• Ridder has convinced this school board to use the same company and process — read: the same results — as he used in Springfield.

• The process claims to be community based. Translation: They will talk to parents and grandparents of current students and employees and claim it is a genuine cross-section of the Mehlville community.

• Ridder is a lifelong public education bureaucrat whose concern for the regular hardworking taxpayers of Mehlville is probably minimal at best.

Residents of the Mehlville School District, please see this tax grab for what it is — a payoff to the public education bureaucrats and teachers for their support of this school board.

When the board finally gets around to putting the tax-rate increase or bond issue on the ballot — and rest assured they’ll do it when they think you’re least likely to be paying attention — send a clear message that excellence in education is not always achieved on the backs of the overtaxed residents.