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Entries in Mesa County School District 51 (7)


Remembering Mesa Valley D51 Schools 3B Mill Levy Overrride....or Cover for a $109 Million Bond Placement? 

VetTheGov looks back to 2010-2011 when the Mesa Valley D51 was out spending your tax dollars to promote getting more tax dollars from local tax slaves regarding the 3B Mill Levy Override for lack of funding that would close schools immediately. What you weren't told was D51 had $109 Million reasons to beg for more more money. But thanks to a TABOR end around Bond restructure, D51 was bailed out along with the previous Bond holders making bank off of kids so called free educations. The main question needing asked is why didn't D51 save up for the repayment portions due? Simple you can just restructure and kick the can down the road to future generations!

Here we are in 2015 and not one school closed and better yet the movies and coffee we were asked to give up monthly for the mill levy increase, well it simply never applied to D51. Looking over the P-Card purchases during the 2014-2015 school year it appears Starbucks and Regal did just fine. $351.31 spent at local Starbucks and $5,693.45 spent at the local Regal movie theater.  The next question you should start asking the local school board is who controls the P-Card's?

Next up is a new Participation Bond just released this month for another cool $7,355,000! This is where it gets somewhat interesting. On page 54 in this smoke & mirror offering you will notice Total Outstanding DEBT in the form of other recent Bond offerings. These Bonds total $88,200,000.00 or roughly $4,000.00 of Bond Debt per pupil currently enrolled in D51 schools. If you look at the 2011 Bond restructure and payment schedule the local taxpayers will need to hope D51 can structure its finances to take care of the Debt holders first! As of today it appears local taxpayers on the hook to the UNKNOWN investors for $156,462,191.00 until 2024 or $7,111.00 Bond Debt per pupil. Imagine how many Starbucks coffees you could drink or how many Regal movies you could watch each year if you didn't have an $11 Million Bond payment due each year? 

Interesting side note: In 2010 The District 51 Foundation group started in order to attract investment for D51. However in the 2011-2012 CAFR report on page 2 NO funding had been reported through June 30, 2012. Interesting the Foundation had over $74,000 in received funding yet paid $11,268 for marketing only that year. In their 2013 990 filing it shows purchasing Barnes & Nobles Nooks for $49,260 and gifted them to D51.


Mesa Valley District 51 $31+ Million in Cash yet still no Security for our Kids! 

In an earlier story on District 51 Tax Spending, VetTheGov uncovered over $31 Million in Cash reserves as of December 2012!!! The only question now that needs an answer is WHY IS THERE STILL NO SECURITY FOR OUR KIDS???  An 8,000.00 door didn't work in Sandy Hook and they won't work here either!

So the delay can only be to allow time to offer a new PR campaign on how to the District needs more dollars for the provided service instead of letting the Community and teachers decide!  Surely the behind closed door sessions between the District and local law enforcement agencies confirms this PR campaign!

Mesa County citizens We can no longer allow our government agencies to behave in such complete disregard for our Kids Safety because of Smoke & Mirror PR campaigns for more money!  It's time we allow the local Community to step up and protect our kids by Volunteering to protect our Most Treasured Assets!  Make the Time to get involved today and contact District 51 and let your opinion be heard loud and clear!  District 51 Contact information click HERE!

Here is a Colorado study showing 15.5% of kids in school are carrying a weapon at any given time!  Maybe teachers should just borrow one of these in case the need to defend themselves or their students.

"It doesn't make sense that we guard our gold with guns and we guard our kids with hope!"

Here is the School District meeting from January 8, 2013 discussing school security and yes Ann Tisue admits having plenty of funds with her commments starting at 55:52 in the below video!!!



Mesa Valley District 51's Tax Spending Exposed!

VetTheGov recently located an extra $2.124 Million in surplus and after digging in a little deeper we have put together a breakdown of the spending for the Calendar Year 2012. VetTheGov used the Monthly Check Registers located on District 51's almost transparent website and used only checks written for $10,000.00 or more. You can download the VetTheGov Excel Spreadsheet here to follow along!

2012 Top Recipients of your Tax Dollars:

  1. First Student   $5,028,533.33 - Bus Program. Time to make Prius buses!
  2. Home Loan State Bank   $2,106,604.07 - Taxpayer Re-Investment Program.
  3. Xcel Energy    $1,948,501.92 - How about this energy consumption?
  4. Western Colordo FCU    $1,590,151.05 - At least some monies staying local.
  5. Grand Valley-BOCES    $1,518,972.56 - Really more layers of bureaucracy!!!
  6. Delta Dental   $1,337,323.72 - Teeth costing more than Health these days! Smile!
  7. Dell Financial SVP LP   $1,227,034.59 - Why Apple stocks aren't doing well!
  8. LOCO Inc   $976,954.67 - Cost of Fuel for these Global Warming buses!
  9. Andrews Food Service   $970,334.51 - Must be because they have cheap food!
  10. Reliastar Life Ins    $823,855.55 - Another promised benefit!
  11. Evans Newton   $687,814.34 - Consulting? Curriculum? Tough Times call them?
  12. Trane   $645,279.38 - Someone has some new AC/Heat!
  13. Meadow Gold Dairy   $594,670.50 - We all know Milk is pricey these days!
  14. Mesa Valley Edu Assoc  $546,947.32 - The all powerful Union! See where it ends up here!
  15. Colorado Dept of Edu   $470,544.26 - Must have overpaid the District or extra services!

Honorable Mentions:

Hoskin, Farina, & Kampf - $230,632.61  D51 has no staff attorney but you would think with CDE & BOCES they could afford to split a full-time attorney to handle any legal matters. Or better yet CDE & BOCES should just provide one!

Colorado West Regional Mental Health - $140,733.95  One can only wonder how many teachers and administrator's are being treated at the moment???

Gallup Marketing - $31,970.00  This was for the 3B campaign for even more of your taxes!!!

Next the Procurement Credit Card Gone WILD:

  • Jan 2012  $273,827.99
  • Feb 2012  $299,635.91
  • Mar 2012  $301,096.44
  • Apr 2012  $373,072.25
  • May 2012  $425,300.70
  • Jun 2012  $506,707.43
  • Jul 2012  $201,564.76
  • Aug 2012  $301,945.19
  • Sep 2012  $377,856.65
  • Oct 2012  $326,890.01
  • Nov 2012  $258,024.92
  • Dec 2012  $434,469.60

WOW! $4,080,391.85 in Credit Card swipes. From to Walmart to Lowes to plane rides and hotels, these cards get used and hopefully not abused. Now the BIGGEST question is who gets one??? What are the limits? Do they get abused? How do we know? Lot's of nickel-and-diming at these stores! Just a few questions to begin asking the School District Administration and UNISERV folks at the next School Board Meeting!

Current CASH available as of December 2012 - $31,875,277.00

Sorry didn't hear that in the we need more money budget video! Remember after 3B failed last year there was an immediate removal of School Resource Officers from several schools and fears of many schools having to close. Notice how they always flip this nonsense back on the local hard working makers by sparking emotion in the community rather than fact by pulling away funding to programs that are needed "FOR THE KIDS SAFETY!" Hopefully you now understand that District 51, CDE, CEA, The State, and The Feds are all responsible for these out of control budget issues and internal spending nightmares, NOT YOU!!!

Hear it from a recent School Board meeting that they have more funds! Thanks for visiting VetTheGov and stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of local government spending and accountability!


Mesa Valley District 51 had a SURPLUS in 2010-2011 of $2.124 Million!

Contrary to popular news flashes and propaganda released by the Mesa Valley School District 51 and their Union TABOR buster handouts, they actually show a Surplus in the recent 2010-2011 Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Total Expenditures and Revenues.  This is after the hotly contested Mill Levy Override requested last year by the District Administration for 3B in which Mesa County homeowners and businesses rejected!  The businesses and homeowners were asked to give up a Starbucks coffee and a movie in return for an increased property TAX and the District pleaded that if the Levy override wasn't passed schools would close immediately.  To date NO Mesa Valley Schools have been closed and at the January 8th, 2013 school board business round table discussion it was mentioned by a Board member that the District had extra funds available this year as well.

BUT what is interesting as you dig into the PAST you discover A SPENDING Problem during some of our best financial years!!!  Also notice the per pupil funding as it differs often from the low $6,100 you always hear. 

Here are the 2010-2011 Totals based on 21,025.2

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $212,037,042.00 or $10,085 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $209,912,512.00 or $9984 per pupil

Surplus (What's left over after all Cost) $2,124,530.00 or $101 per pupil

Just to completely verify the above numbers as accurate, VetTheGov contacted CDE finance office staff via email. Here is the Exchange:

Hello Theresa,

Questions on Total Revenues vs Expenditures at the District Level.

Do the totals in Table IIB rows J & K for 2010-2011 represent every dime from that District??? Is there any other Expenditures or Revenues not shown here and if not where else would they be???

Do reimbursements for transportation or special needs appear in these calculations???

Mr./Mrs. _______,

It reflects all reported expenditures reported by the districts. If you asking about state categorical funding for transportation and special education? If so, yes the revenue and associated expenditures are reported.

Theresa Christensen | Sr. Consultant Public School Finance | Colorado Department of Education

Since we have been hearing about the dire straight budget constraints over the past few years of recession lets look back a couple of budget cycles.

Here are the 2009-2010 Totals based on 20,996.2 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $202,371,247.00 or $9638 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $201,300,376.00 or $9587 per pupil

Surplus (What's left over after all Cost) $1,070,871.00 or $51 per pupil

Here are the 2008-2009 Totals based on 21,041.8 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $195,144,726.00 or $9274 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $199,263,059.00 or $9470 per pupil

Deficit (Overspent Revenues) $-4,118,333.00 or $-196 per pupil

Here are the 2007-2008 Totals based on 20,241 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $188,562,683.00 or $9316 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $194,187,598.00 or $9594 per pupil

Deficit (Overspent Revenues) $-5,624,915.00 or $-278 per pupil

Here are the 2006-2007 Totals based on 20,206 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $179,871,623.00 or $8902 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $194,976,795.00 or $9649 per pupil

Deficit (Overspent Revenues) $-15,105,142.00 or $-747 per pupil

Interesting to Note that in 2010-2011 the CDE administration's budget was $38.5 Million for 110 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) and has been raised during this recession to just over $80 Million for 150 FTE's!  So CDE how can you justify 40 new administrators during a recession for twice the previous allocations???  Taxpayers these are the questions you need to ask your elected officials, otherwise the Smoke & mirrors campaign pushes forward!

After following the PAST money trail it appears during the Boom cycles Mesa Valley District 51 Overspent by a large amount and after being over $24 Million in the RED  they finally have their hands around how to budget!  Kudos to the current administration especially Melissa Devita for stopping the bleeding but it leaves many questions as to why the HUGE deficits when times were best and now when times are poor you are actually in Surplus. Mesa County residents these are the questions to begin asking the school board and school administration!  Where have the TARP monies been spent???  Why are you not discussing all Revenues when discussing the budget only State and local funds???  Why do you state that Federal funds are directed to be spent in certain areas when you know that is an untrue statement???  Why did you overspend back in the BOOM cycle???  How much monies from Referendum C did you receive???  Why the ATTACK on TABOR???

Here is the Districts Smoke & Mirror campaign of trying to cover up the past OVERSPENDING issues when State Tax Revenue times were at their pinnacle!!!  Enjoy the Video!


2011 Mesa County School District 51 Total Expenditures Released

Mesa County citizens have continued to hear that the Local Mesa County School District 51 needs more money yet they never give accurate information on how much per pupil they actually receive.  The Daily Sentinel will have you believe that the school budget is tight and the State keeps reducing their funding and programs cut and teachers are losing jobs, etc., etc.  Ironic when you look at Total Expenditures to the District they continue to rise each and every year. 

The 2010-2011 Total Expenditures were recently released from the Colorado Department of Education which show for 21,025.2 pupils $209,912,512.00 was allocated to the District or better put $9984.00 per pupil!  Compared to the previous year of $9587.00 per pupil this is the biggest increase per pupil over the past several years! $397.00 per pupil or $8,612,136.00 increase from last year to be exact and the highest ever total expenditures in the District and somehow this wasn't enough! 

The Smoke & Mirrors campaign is still full steam ahead and the continued shame being placed on the local Mesa County citizens will continue because you failed to pass and agree to more taxes and fees without any financial accountability.  See VetTheGov's previous story on why Voting NO on 3B was your only way of holding the Big Government tax and fee robbers at bay! 

VetTheGov will also continue to keep an eye on increased and new fees as they will use 3B as an excuse to continue to find more ways of revenue collection with scare tactics!  Stay Tuned and Thanks for visiting VetTheGov! 


Vote NO on Mesa Valley District 51 3B Mill Levy Increase and Why!

Today in the local Sentinel we finally heard the argument from the private small business owners perspective! VetTheGov has broken down the budget game in an earlier story which really gets to the root of the issue, overspending and underperforming and the CUT budget game! VetTheGov has also followed your tax dollars to DC and the politicians through its PERA story. Here is another Colorado county that has the same mill levy increase and for a similar dollar amount yet the facts don't add up there either.

It is very simple when discussing budgets. When submitting budgets governments typically request a best case scenerio of what they think they need for the year. Budgets are typical in the private sector along with many non-profits that must have a target in place. These school budgets then get approval based on annual funding from the Colorado Department of Education Board, Governor's office, and negotiated contractual mandates from the Colorado Education Association.

District 51 on page 18 shows 2011-2012 projected overall revenue of $208,737,201 from requested monies of $231,410,683. Taking numbers from the Sentinel of 21,123 pupils for the year which is $9882 per pupil funding. District 51 has never received this level of funding as you follow the years below of actual expenditures to the district from CDE.

2010-2011 still unavailable.

2010 All funds expenditures for District 51 were $201,300,376 for 20,996.2 pupil count or $9,587.00 per pupil funding PLUS $6,986,584 in TARP funding.

2009 All funds expenditures for District 51 were $199,263,059 for 21,041.8 pupil count or $9,470.00 per pupil funding.

2008 All funds expenditures for District 51 were $194,187,598 for 20,241 pupil count or $9,594.00 per pupil funding.

Source for funding

You can see based on wanted budget dollars and actual dollars received annually the information is used to promote drastic CUTS of over $23 Million yet they continue to receive more dollars every year. 

VetTheGov has been unable to find any decreases in revenue, only increases. Governments and School Districts have learned the budget CUT game to promote more taxes on the you the taxpayer with little or no resistance from the confused public. VetTheGov knows this is intentional and deceiving to the taxpayers. Therefore based on our budget research, VetTheGov promotes a NO vote on 3B and ask you to do your own research into government budget games! VetTheGov also would like the District to give the true reality of why they are always having budget issues! 

The tragedy of education is played in two scenes - incompetent pupils facing competent teachers and incompetent teachers facing competent pupils.  ~Martin H. Fischer


Where does Union money come from and where does it go?

Unions and political parties will often focus on social issues related to so called left or right extremes during election campaigns. Why? Because it takes voters away from the real issues at hand and the BIG government promises and entitlements established years ago. Then we hear the term lock boxes and reform Medicare and we expect these issues to get resolved, right? Maybe? Wrong? Why do you think we have career politicians in place? To make sure no new blood can arrive and make real change!

So who is the force behind status quo in Washington DC? Unions? Big corporations? Retirees? If you guessed all of the above you are correct! VetTheGov has focused on the Big business Big government connection and now will place the cherry on top called Unions.

Simply follow how Union dues influence political campaigns and it sums up why they get so heavily involved. If you look at the top campaign contributions by Union's over $96 Million and 94% going to Democrat candidates. If you are working for a unionized company and pay your dues what do you get in return? Here are 5 top reasons to join a Union from SEIU's website. Are you really receiving these benfits or are they fiction?

So the war becomes the Unions versus Big Business versus the government and what becomes so intriguing is all their money comes from the same place, you the taxpayer. In a previous story by VetTheGov it dug deeper into where your tax dollars fund both the public and private sectors, and yes now you must know they fund Unions. Here is the viscous circle once again: You pay taxes that support government, the government pays public employees, the public employees give to retirement accounts, the retirement accounts invest in big corporations, the public employees give to unions, the big corporations employees give to unions, and lot's of money (dues) head right back to politicians, legislation, and State ballot measures. The real challenge is how each sector tries to out manoeuvre the other when the unsustainable models they introduce and fund run out of money. Creates many headline news stories for sure!

Let's take a recent Sentinel story here in Grand Junction regarding School District 51 budget cuts. VetTheGov was unable to find any responses to the local cuts in District 51 from the Colorado Education Association Union. Where is the protection promised to the little guy and to our educators from CEA? Here is CEA's 2009 990 showing over $10 Million in received dues and how they were spent. $6.6 Million on payroll, $1.5 million on Uniserv, and almost $1 Million on travel. CEA shows no lobbying expenditures and $87,000.00 in their Educators for Public Education Fund. Note the fund received $20,000.00 in May 2010 but no contributions towards candidates that have demonstrated support for Colorado's children. So educators, did you know your dues weren't helping State elections? It states right on the benefits to belonging that you receive full time lobbyist and grassroots support for politicians that support the causes of public education. Might be time to start asking what you actually get for your Union dues! Tony Salazar holds the title of Executive Director and Lobbyist for the organization but shows only $500.00 monthly in compensation for his lobbyist duties which appear to be monitoring versus actual influence and only part-time. However his main function of spending over $10 Million in annual dues is well compensated!

Rest assured that until Union and Big corporation monies are removed from the political convincing media buys, true reform and change will just be another campaign promise by those looking for personal gain and the Unions are at the forefront! Stay tuned as VetTheGov begins looking into Retirees and the need to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Pensions and the money Retirees give to politicians to protect their Entitlements!