Today is Election Day. The Indiana and North Carolina primaries are getting all the hype (hopefully Obama has two very narrow wins with Hillary winning the ones after this so they keep beating each other up). That is not the only election.
Closer to home, we have several school board races. Only one in Livingston County though is contested, and that is my alma matter. Brighton. Cheryl Leach and Jonathan Krause have been endorsed by the Concerned Taxpayers Group's PAC and will bring some needed fiscal restraint to the board which is currently spending the district into debt. Good luck to Leach and Krause. There are three candidates running for two positions. At least one candidate friendly to taxpayers is going to win.
Speaking of waste, May elections are a waste of money, and that goes double when the election is uncontested. This Argus reports shows that the uncontested election in Fowlerville is costing $7000. While Fowlerville is the subject of this report, it's not just a Fowlerville issue.
From the Argus
Fowlerville Community Schools will foot the $7,000 bill for today's uncontested school board elections.
On the ballot are two incumbent school trustees and five Fowlerville District Library board trustees up for term renewals, and there are no challengers for any of those seats.
While current Michigan law would allow the school district to host the election in November without incurring any costs, Superintendent Ed Alverson said paying for a May election cycle is worth it in the long run.
"Next year in May, we'll have our nonhomestead election where our 18 mills runs out," Alverson said. "When you have that cycle, that's 18 mills you shouldn't take for granted."
Alverson said having the millage voted on next May instead of waiting until November is a smart move, because the millage, if approved, equates to $2.4 million of the school system's annual budget. Michigan school districts are required to approve their annual budgets by June 30, and knowing whether or not the nonhomestead millage gets renewed will prepare the district if the millage doesn't pass.
Fowlerville is probably the least controversial school district in the county. There is almost never a contested election there. The only time the Concerned Taxpayers Group was active there was during the original countywide enhancement millage that started this organization. That's because the CTGPAC only gets involved in contested races.
However, there's another reason I'm sure he wants the elections in May. Smaller turnout. High turnout is always bad for millage elections. It's oftentimes bad for MEA candidates as well. In 10% turnout wins, it does not take a lot of votes to win. Sometimes turnout is so low, than I would have won a school race with the amount of votes I've received for precinct delegate...and I was uncontested for precinct delegate. That's bad.
$7000 is still $7000. It may be a drop in the bucket compared to $1 million, but it is never good to toss money out of the window. Fowlerville is better than most on fiscal management it and I'll generally give them a pass, but many other districts are fiscally irresponsible.
If you're in the Brighton district, don't forget to vote for Krause and Leach and bring fiscal responsibility back to the schools. No more debt.