Mar 092016

In my previous posting earlier today, concerning the Connect NC Bond, I asked where is the money coming from to promote the bond. Here is the ANSWER.

Posted yesterday to the Daily Hay Maker blog is this story:

Who’s funding the ConnectNC propaganda blitz? Oh, the folks who stand to get PAID.


Paid to Play


If you are interested in all the Connect NC investors, here is their campaign report:

2016 CONNECT NC Report

Check out this article:

Charlotte Observer: University groups and businesses give to NC bond campaign

 Posted by at 3:00 pm
Mar 092016

What’s not to love, folks? The availability of low cost money is burning a hole in our legislators pockets. It is after all an election year, spending your tax dollars is how many of them get re-elected.

Just listen to how many times they promise not to raise taxes.

Legislators love bonds, they get to spend taxpayers money without any downside! Though this bond appears to some people as just a money pit to drop everyone’s wish-list projects into.

But money is so cheap to borrow! (Que the Net Present Value of Money marching band.) “It’s cheaper to build now than 5 years from now!” It matters not whether there is need or justification for the expenditures. The bond skips all the politics. Do note the lack of Democrat opposition.

In fact, for those projects not specifically listed in the bond bill, legislators have left the dirty little details to faceless and nameless bureaucrats to decide and authorize. (Bond Rule 1: Escape the blame for spending.)

It’s all feel good stuff and we don’t have to raise your taxes.

Some folks are annoyed  about bait’n switch on road bond portion of the original proposal, legislators saying the state doesn’t need it. Not when TOLL Roads are the rage. Texas toll road bankruptcy provides warning on Monroe Bypass Besides our more responsible legislators won’t be stealing from the road trust fund anymore. Remember the one about lowering the Gas Tax?

Just look at the chart below that breaks out the bond spending. Almost a billion goes to goes to the UNC system in addition to the approximately $2.5 billion of the annual state budget.

Ask yourself how much will the annual service cost of a $1 billion in UNC new construction add to the operating costs; power, heat and maintenance? Where is the revenue coming from? Hikes in tuition?

If you scroll though the authorization bill, below, you will note funding amounts are not uniform especially for the Community Colleges. So who decides the validity of the project? The fourth arm of government – the bureaucracy.

I posted this link on the VSO Facebook page: What is the university system hiding on Connect N.C. bond? This letter to the editor is by NC House Rep. Mark Brody (R-55). Rep. Brody writes about the UNC system expenditures with a number of concise bullet points concerning the waning student enrollment.

1. Eight of the campuses receiving $679 million total have increased student population over the last six years, but at a paltry rate, most less than 2 percent total for the six-year period, two campuses growing less than 1 percent total over the last six years (2010-15).

2. The other five campuses receiving $246 million total have lost student population over the last six years, the least by 1.05 percent and the highest by 24 percent.

3. The classroom vacancy rate for the eight campuses increasing student population ranges from 26.8 percent to 53.8 percent and the lab vacancy rate ranges from 24.1 percent to 41.9 percent.

4. The classroom vacancy rate for the five campuses decreasing in student population ranges from 31.8 percent to 51.6 percent and the lab vacancy rate ranges from 23.9 percent to 47.3 percent.

“Build it and they will may come.”

NC Choice Bond spending

I have recommended that voters vote against the bond, because the legislators cannot justify or show need in many cases for the expenditures. Nor can the $100 million annual debt service be justified, in addition the outstanding bonds repayments already being paid every year.

Don’t forget, politicians have very short memories when it comes to the money they spend.  The easier the passage the sooner they will be back to the taxpayers trough. And to make matters even worse, once again Union County is a donor county as there is very little likelihood that any money is being spent here.

Finally, have you noted all the advertising, mailers and TV spots supporting the bond passage? WHO IS PAYING FOR THAT?

Do yourself a favor and Vote against the bond, make our legislators responsible.

NCGA Bond Bill

 Posted by at 11:20 am
Apr 102012

By Craig Horn

Representative McGuirt has again chosen politics over policy. His answers to the budget crisis in North Carolina are “Blame it on the Republicans” and “Raise Taxes.” Sound familiar? Frankly Frank, you and your Democrat cronies still don’t get it. This Republican legislature inherited a financial mess created by the corrupt and inept Democrats in North Carolina. You ignored reality, took money from education, transportation and the Lottery to fund your Big Government schemes for decades and now you scream for more money. You are the builder of the house that now wants the owner thrown in jail because the house is falling down! It’s time for problem-solving, not problem-pointing, Frank.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has grown to more than 2,300 employees under a Democrat-run administration. This bloated and expensive bureaucracy has over 100 people in Raleigh alone with the title Director, most of whom are paid more than $90,000 a year to waste more tax money on unnecessary make-work for our teachers and school administrators.

The papers are full of an increasing number of scandals about government waste and ineptitude in the Governor’s office and the growing number of Democratic officials that miss-manage and often steal the public money. And you think we should give them even more money. Representative McGuirt, you live in a glass house!

It was just a year ago that one of the state’s largest school systems sent out lay-off notices to hundreds of teachers and teacher assistants because of their budget crisis. Within months they not only rescinded the notices but put out “Help Wanted” signs for more teachers. Just a couple weeks ago, this same school system announced that they will fund a multi-million dollar test to give IPads to students. And, if all goes as expected, they will spend up to $2 Billion on this project. In Union County, almost every classroom has Smart Board technology. Why do we put Smart Boards before smart teachers in the classroom. Where are the priorities?

Increasing taxes, especially sales taxes, make the poor poorer. The Democrats in this state have been raising taxes sufficiently to make us one of the highest taxed people in the Southeast and our roads are now worse, our jails overflowing and our schools begging for more money. And now, the interest on our debt is the fourth largest drain on our state tax money!

Our teachers and teaching assistants need support, security and appreciation, not political rhetoric. We need a fundamental overhaul of how education is delivered and we need to focus on the basics – putting and keeping smart teachers in the classroom. We need to carefully review school transportation, school foodservice and school construction & renovation to insure that we are doing what we HAVE to do and not what we would like to do. Advanced technology is fine, but it doesn’t teach our kids, smart effective teachers do. We need to be asking harder questions of the administration and not just going along with recommendations.

Stop with the nonsense, Representative McGuirt, and come with answers, policies and action. Our teachers and teacher aides deserve better.

 Posted by at 1:08 pm
Mar 212012

s the battle for the hearts and wallets of Union County residents continues, the ‘other’ side of the budget perspective will be presented next month. Mark your calendar for April 19, 2012 at 7pm and take a short ride to the UCPS Professional Development Center in Monroe.

Listed in the E-Newsletter published by the Union County Education Foundation was the following blurb

UCPS Budget Outlook 2012-13
You are invited.

The League of Women Voters of Union County in partnership with the NC
Association of Educators, Union County Chapter and the Union County Chamber
of Commerce will present an information session regarding the UCPS 2012-13

UCPS Superintendent, Dr. Ed Davis will speak on the proposed budget and its
potential impact. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:00 PM
UCPS Professional Development Center
721 Brewer Drive
Monroe, NC

At first blush, I find the language of the announcement very curious. Typically, an event like this would not require “The League of Woman Voters” involvement as they often referee candidate forums or other events where a political neutrality is needed. But they are listed as being “in partnership” with NC Association of Educators (NCAE) and the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

I am sure I’m being just too suspicious of the odd grouping. Frankly, I am surprised at the resurgence of the Chamber into political issues – if thats what this is. In the last few years they have thankfully had much less political involvement, a stark departure from the Chicago-like syndicate years of Frank Carpenter and his developer mob muscling the County Commissioners over water and sewer permits.

Dr. Ed Davis appears to be the central figure of this event. I am sure that we’d all like to hear his viewpoints on the budget impact. Not that Dr. Davis has been shy in the past, he on occasion, blasted the GOP legislature in the 2011 budget battle, lobbying vigorously to keep the 1 cent sales tax that expired last year.

So considering the “partnership” characterization of this event, is it to be only one-sided?

After reading the notice posting, I emailed the School Board members asking about the meeting – one responded – saying that this was news to him.

I checked the UCPS website – not a word about the event.

Stay tuned…

 Posted by at 6:36 pm