Weather Forecast


Open Forum: State spending isn’t free

In the Dispatch “Open Forum” of April 13. I feel I must respond to Rep. John Ward’s ranting on budgets. Somehow he apparently thinks state spending is free and it would be a travesty to increase property taxes. The readers should be aware that we pay taxes for state spending as well for property taxes. The major difference is local control always controls costs better than the state government.

In the past Brainerd school negotiations the school district lost $200,000 in state aid because the contract was not signed before the deadline. I asked Rep. John Ward if he would initiate legislation that if future contracts go beyond the deadline, the unions would get half the loss of state aid paid back to the school district. This would have resulted in $100,000 loss to the Brainerd School District and $100,000 fine to the teacher’s union leaders. I asked several candidates in our legislative district races if they would support equal fines going to the school district and teacher’s union leaders. All the leaders said yes except Rep. Ward who hemmed and hawed and ended up all tangled in his underwear! Of course he wouldn’t vote against teacher’s unions who pay for much of his re-election campaigns. He is representing the teacher’s union not the residents of our district.

If Rep. Ward is really interested in getting better funding for education he should go through the university with a fine tooth comb and will find more dead wood than the Chippewa National Forest. Cleaning out the university deadwood would release enough funds to limit any needs for more university fund increases for many years. But hey, that might be stepping on the toes of some union blood suckers!

Robert Olson

Ideal Township

Crow Wing County