Letter: 'Fact Checking' In Senate District 44 Race

Former Wayzata School Board Chair looks at Terri Bonoff's claims with the helping the Wayzata School District.

To the Editor: 

Fact checking has been in the news quite a bit lately. I decided to do some of my own fact checking on the SD 44 Senate race. I served for two terms on the Wayzata School Board, so I do have a bit of an inside view to see through a big hole in one of Terri Bonoff’s claims. 

DFL senator Bonoff boasts that a bill she co-authored “allowed the Wayzata School District to expand without raising taxes.” That sounds really good. Too bad the statement doesn’t quite meet the fact-checking standard. 

This bill provides early eligibility to the Wayzata School District for Alternative Facilities financing (Statute 123B.59).  Wayzata can now issue debt for certain maintenance projects and charge the taxpayer for those debt payments without first getting taxpayer approval.  With multiple buildings that need to be maintained, the bill is a good thing for the school district.  Alt Facilities monies, however, cannot be used to expand.

Wayzata Schools is in fact expanding its elementary space.  But they’re doing it via capital lease levy financing (Statute 126C.4), and would have done it regardless of the outcome of the law to which Terri refers. It’s also true that they are able to build without raising current levels of taxes. That’s because as old debt rolls off, they are replacing it with new capital levy obligations. It is a debt structure carefully designed to minimize taxpayer impact. This is due to years of prudent management on the part of Wayzata Schools’ administration and school boards.

I take pride in the history, success and AAA bond rating of the Wayzata School district. I am disappointed that Terri Bonoff has chosen to use the Wayzata School District’s accomplishments as a tool for her own political gain. I expect more from our elected officials.

Janet Schutz


(Former Wayzata School Board Chair)


Dave Lloyd October 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Boohoo. David, I think we made Charlie cry. Moderate you say? So, if instead of a $1.5 TRILLION federal deficit you moderates feel we should split the difference? $750 BILLION? Is that moderate? Why I'm not changing my mind Charlie is because I have had enough of Terri not leading. She didn't get the governor to do anything she claims to have supported. She's not telling the DFL what to do. I want someone in that seat that will actually get the job done. Not keep telling me she is trying to get it done. Revenues will be up next biennium. I have looked at the 77 page budget. There's no need for a tax increase. If Terri is such a leader, why doesn't she hold a press conference and tell Dayton no way will there be a tax increase under her watch because it is not needed? President Obama is strong in commmunity service too. My hope is to visit both him and Bonoff at a Barnes and Noble near you for their book tour when they are out of office.
Jackie Archbold October 24, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I have been a resident of this district for 30 years-what I have found is that, in general, we are a district of reasonable, thoughtful people who do expect much from our elected officials. I personally have respect for the school board members listed here,as well as Bonoff and Gaither, all willing to serve the public.So how about we stay calm here and approach this as rationally as we can? We can all take a vote/issue and pick it apart to have it fit our agenda.I do not pretend to know the details of this one issue(nor do I believe most posters here do), but know Terri to be a very honest, hard-working public servant. If you look at her record and statements, Dave, you will find that it's silly to say that Terri is trying to sound Republican. She has a great business background, which, Republican politicians do not have a monopoly on. If Gaither is "truly improving the business climate" as you state, why have both the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Twin West endorsed Bonoff? I think Terri's claim of uniting the middle is plain to see when you review the diversity of those organizations endorsing her. I truly believe that Terri is our best hope for reaching across the aisle and getting things done that go beyond ideologies. BTW, being a football coach/volunteer does not mean you understand the complex issue of education. I am hoping you were just complimenting his volunteerism and understand that it has nothing to do with knowing the education needs of this district.
Dave Lloyd October 24, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Thanks, Jackie. My agenda is change. You've been here a long time and may not want change. I understand that. I don't think the high number of unemployed people that I know are feeling really calm. They are worried. They are concerned about jobs. I'm not convinced either chambers of commerce really have the sense of urgency my friends or that I am looking for, and I don't think building trains for projected jobs in 2030 will keep my friends calm. Terri knows 44A is red. 44B is probably purple. I think Terri is a very good politician. Kudos to her. Hardly silly for her to try and appeal to red. And, Susan Gaither, David's wife is on the Wayzata School Board. I'm sure as bright as David is that he also uses his resources well. And, yes, being with kids is really a good way to understand the "complexities" as you say regarding many issues regarding education. It is about kids. What better way than to be around kids. Saying being around kids has nothing to do with knowing the educational needs of the district just strikes me as out of touch.
Stefanie Briggs October 24, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Patch always appreciates comments that are constructive and part of an ongoing conversation, but will not tolerate name calling or inappropriate comments.
Brian Matthews October 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I think Terri is a very good community member and leader. Vote Bonoff!


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