State of Education

Much has been made this past week regarding the state of education in our state. Senator Aaron Osmond’s suggestion that making school attendance voluntary would somehow improve the system was swiftly and appropriately shot down by all sides of the political pie. Though I have written extensively on it, at this point, I think it best to let it die in peace. Of more interest is the recent Eagle-Forum sponsored and homeschooler-supported war being waged on the non-partisan, non-governmental Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that 45 states have signed on to and which will be implemented this year across all our state’s public schools. After reading the Eagle Forum’s mission statement and their arguments against the Common Core, I identify two honest complaints: 1)     I wasn’t consulted in the development of the CCSS. As the Common Core website states, nobody was. Instead, a select group of experts put the standards together. As stated, this was a non-partisan undertaking by people only tangentially related to government, with no relation at all to the federal government. The only real connection to government was that the task force was put together by the conservative-leaning and Republican-led National Governors Association, of which our governor is on the executive board. Thus far, no calls for Governor Herbert to resign for authorizing this “unconstitutional” product, nor calls to disband the Governor’s Association, because, in the end, this argument falls flat. 2)     President Obama supports it, so I don’t. This is, at least, ideologically coherent. Clearly, if the opposition party supports something, we ought not to. Thus far, this Republican practice has given us the Affordable...

Busted! Tooele County Democrats Care!

“Joaquin” writes: Here’s my biggest problem with the Democrat logic. You want to make it sound as if it’s such a dire emergency if some government workers lose their job due to the economy which let me remind you has not improved thanks to our federal government which has been ran in the past 4 years by Democrats in the white house and the senate. Raising taxes it’s usually the only solution democrats offer to any problem instead of running a tight budget and not one where we spend money we don’t have on the projection that the economy will improve and bring more revenue… Fiscal restraint and frugality should always be foundation of any government and it never is, governments almost alway spend beyond their means. Once property tax increases are approved they will not be rescinded if the economy improves and they will later be squandered and wasted. The laying off of government workers does not give a sense of petty, many friends, family and coworkers in the private sector have lost their jobs as well and it’s just a consequence of government intervention into the private market. Recently we received a comment from “Joaquin,” who seemed to criticize Tooele County Democrats for being concerned about Tooele County employees losing their jobs and for recommending a tax increase to solve the county’s budget woes. He went on to state that a government should focus on being responsible and frugal with taxpayer funds. Well, Joaquin, it’s true that Tooele County Democrats are concerned for county employees who lost their jobs. In fact, we are concerned when anyone loses...

2013/14 Tooele School District Budget

Here is a copy of the proposed 2013-14 budget for your review.  The take away is that the district is showing a $2.9 million deficit for the next school year.  At this time, it’s not known what solution district administration will offer to remedy the shortfall. The school board is scheduled to approve the district annual budget at its 18 June meeting.  Any citizen action/input much take place before this date!  The 4 June 2013 School Board Meeting is very important! Tooele County School Board Meeting June 4, 2013 @ 6:30pm District Offices, 92 Lodestone Way, Tooele Preliminary Budget Presentation-June...

Message from our New Chair

I am a naturalized citizen, perhaps that gives me a different prospective of the American political scene. I remember when I was in Chile as a child, listening to the BBC World Service on my dad’s shortwave radio to a man that I knew to be the President of the US as he spoke to his country with startling clarity: “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” I was struck with the man … the myth and the legend; Jackie O’s husband! It was JFK’s birthday yesterday. I was so enthralled. When Pinochet quelled the miner’s revolt in our local town, by the soldiers shooting in air, I knew that was not what Jackie O’s husband meant. When the “carabineros” chased a man from the Chilean side to the Expats side to beat him to a pulp; I knew that was not what Jackie O’s husband meant. I questioned why we had two sides of the company camp; I knew that was wrong. We were in Chile not a country called “Expat.” The shortwave radio gave me another insight into America; the landing on the moon, what Neil told the President “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”. In my 13 year old mind, Jackie O’s husband was still the president. In college I was the champion of the underdog....

2013 Tooele County Delegates to the UDC

As promised, our list of delegates to the 2013 Utah State Democratic Convention, June 20-22, 2013.   Anderson, Nate Andrus, Douglas Bigelow, Marci Bigelow, Vonda Brown, Keith Ciervo, Patrick Clark, Brandon Clark, Jennifer Clark, Patrick Dearing, Cheryl Denman, Vernon Dexheimer Sr, Mark Dillon, Carina Dillon, Toby Driscoll, Peter Elton, Kathryn Gowans, James Gowans, Robert Graham, Denice Hunter, James Elton, James Jessie, Pat Johns-Young, Gillian Kase, Mike Kiser, Benjamin Lancaster, Bradley Lee, Valerie LeSueur, Paula McCarty, Matt Mikesell, Taylor O’Donnell, John Park, Frank Park, Randi Pendleton, Bud Pitt, William Pollock, Rick Reed, Hazel Rutishauser, Marianne Spiers, John Steelman, Jerry Steelman, Pat Swan, David Swan, Jennifer Thomas, Kendall Whitaker, Richard White, Beverly White, David Williamson, Kirt Young,...

Budget Woes

The TC Democrats have been quite concerned, not just about the county budget, but also the many people who rely on that budget for their livelihoods and who now find themselves unemployed and too experienced to get just any job in this economy. These are our family, friends, and neighbors and the community is a better place to live having them here than seeing them go. To understand the severity and complexity of the issues currently being faced by our county, we recently had Mike Jensen, the county auditor, come to our central committee meeting and answer a roomful of questions on this topic. We have spent some time looking at the budget ourselves, trying to see if there is anything at this point that we would do differently. The fact is this is a problem that has been building for several years, and there is little at this juncture that we can propose to solve these issues. Tooele Democrats appreciate that responsible fiscal policy sometimes means that we must implement programs at odds with our own ideals. While many of us would propose different budget cuts to meet the same objectives, a careful examination of the situation reveals that the correct course of action should have begun years ago when the real estate bubble was still building: taxes should have been raised to create a fund that would have buffered some of the impact of the predictable recession that has plagued us for several years. With the drop in property values, responsible fiscal policy should have raised the tax rate to provide equal funding for services–then drop the...