I have been following the commentary between Mr. Wolpert & Mr. Brekken, who is a member of our school board. It’s not clear to me whether this matter is only about insurance, or if it’s also about wage increases.
Regardless, I applaud Mr. Brekken for bringing to the table a comparison (believe it was in regard to health insurance costs) of our district with other districts. Isn’t this one of the reasons we elect who we elect to our school board?
I’m not really following Mr. Wolpert’s point here. A school district is a business as much as any other business is a business. Due to the fact I am a business owner I can relate to constantly evaluating the bottom line. There are only so many ways a dollar can be stretched. There’s the overhead cost of operating a business such as infrastructure, software/hardware improvements etc. Then there’s the cost of employing people to work for your company which for a lot of companies, includes the cost of insurance.
We as taxpayers were just asked for an increase to apply towards infrastructure improvements within our district, at least that’s how I understood it. If our district was already short to take care of building repairs etc. & if what the Union is asking for is an increase of any kind, where do they think that money will come from? I should hope not out of the pot that we just voted on. Our school district for at least the last 10 years has had the constant task of watching the bottom line.
Assuming this matter only relates to insurance, if our school board members are doing the job they were elected to do, then part of their job is to evaluate whether the current insurance policy is affordable. Our school district is not the first business that has had to take a hard look at the benefits offered to their employees. All costs in regard to running a business have increased, one of the biggest cost increases being insurance. Many companies have had to change their employee’s coverage to keep them insured at all. For some companies it’s been a question of whether they need to cut positions to continue to carry the insurance that is offered.
One of the things Mr. Wolpert had mentioned was what a family spends on Christmas. What he is forgetting to factor in are the individuals/families that don’t spend that kind of money at Christmas, or the individuals in our community that are on a fixed income.
Page 2 of 2 - Our district can’t keep coming back to the taxpayer asking for more, more, more when many families aren’t seeing wage increases and expenses continue to rise. This also includes individuals who are on a fixed income. What this in return means is that our school board members need to work with in their means or find creative ways to make that dollar stretch. Clearly the Union is rallying for more. Mr. Brekken was right in producing a chart that shows how the Crookston District is already above average when it comes to insurance costs.
Everyone has their opinion. I was more than a little shocked at the personal undertone that Mr. Wolpert’s commentary took towards Mr. Brekken. Mr. Brekken is doing what he was elected to do. I would like to think that our other school board members are doing the same. I was under the opinion that Mr. Wolpert doesn’t think that a “farmer” is qualified to sit on the school board or any board. I’m not sure when he was last involved in a farm or any where close to a farm but “farming” today possibly more than ever entails decisions on a corporate level. In that I mean any “farmer” is more than qualified to sit on any board.
I for one appreciate having a school board member that takes their position serious enough to ask the crucial questions when they need to be asked & hope others in our community feel the same.