Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rich Ellis’ hissy fit didn’t work….this time

First, let’s say a big thank you to our readers for setting an all time record for visits to our journal.  The posts made on 14 and 15 May resulted in a visit count more than 30% higher than our previous record.  The subject posts had to do with School Department “salary justice,” and a new school “Kool-Aid Kegger.”

The previous record was set when we caught Jim McCarthy, at the time Managing Editor of The Ostrich, telling us bald-faced lies about having “vetted” two op-eds they published.  Turns out we had personal knowledge of the subject areas, and found the columns incredulous.  Nosey as we are, we contacted Jim and asked if he had verified the veracity of the published items.  He told us he had spoken to each of the authors personally to do so.

Call us a doubting Poppy, but we decided to contact each of the authors to see if Jim had told us the truth.  Each told us that they had not been contacted by him, and so we told the story here:


Let’s get back on point. Even though it can be so constraining.


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You know what Poppy says:  never mess with the schoolies, and never mess with the bookies.  It’s like trying to teach a pig to sing: all it does is waste your time, and it irritates the pig.


Rich Ellis is a schoolie, and once a schoolie, always a schoolie.  Rich fancies himself a financial savant, and believes he can come up with any answer desired from any underlying set of numbers.  If he can’t dazzle you with facts and logic, he’ll baffle you with spread sheets unending.  He can always find some metric that supports his belief that it’s impossible to spend too much on schools.


Poor Rich.  He hasn’t learned some important facts.  Including these:


* When spending increases, tax revenues must increase, one way or another.

* Government cannot spend anything it doesn’t first take from taxpayers.

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* There is no such thing as a free lunch….even in our schools.

None-the-less, Rich “it’s never enough” Ellis decided he wanted to send the BSD Budget referendum down to defeat, not because it was too high, but because it was too low.         


He announced his plan to advocate for defeating the proposed budget, and went so far as to create a Facebook page to publicize his position.


Which reminds us, where would we be without Facebook in our lives?  But why digress into reveries of futility?

So what Rich brought to us was right out of Bizarro World.  He wanted a “no” vote on the school budget referendum this year, even though his reputation is as a defender of prior budgets,  no matter how unreasonably and unjustifiably they might increase.  He always managed to twist EPS formulas and related abstractions in school funding to prove that Brunswick Schools, at least in his telling, were obscenely underfunded.  In so many words, he suggested that we should all be ashamed for not sending in a check for $1,000 more than our property tax obligation because “it was the right thing to do.”

Which raises the question of just how much he’s paid above and beyond his property tax levy.  Each and every year since first joining the School Board some years ago.  As such scolds like to say, we need to “model” the behavior we expect and seek from others, so Rich can send us his record for overpayment, and we we’ll publish it here.

Funny thing is, in a higher than average turnout, the budget got approved, rather than rejected, as Rich had hoped and argued for. 

So while from the usual perspective, the School Department “won,” Rich Ellis, the heart and soul and voice of the schoolies, “lost.”

We’re not really sure how to interpret that outcome.  Other than to say that Rich, in order to put his money where his mouth is, needs to increase his ‘above and beyond’ voluntary property tax payment well beyond the $0 figure it’s been all these years.


Or live with being called “Big Hat, No Cattle.”  In the budgetary sense, that is.

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