Brooklyn Richardson, AISD Place 6

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To: Brooklyn Richardson <brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, June 2, 2023 at 01:31:51 PM CDT
Subject: Five questions
 
Ms. Richardson,
 
Since  there is a very confining two-minute time limit for speakers I am forced to send you an e-mail with my questions.
 
Here is my two major problems with the 4% raise.
1. As Dr. Reich stated at the May 18 meeting, we are already at the top of the chart [setting the standard concerning salaries]. By giving another 4% [for the fourth? year in a row]  you are NOT just staying competitive [as Ms. McMurrough stated], but actually causing ISD inflation. Think about it, you are already on top and setting the price even higher. If the only way you can get people to come and/or stay is to overpay over everyone else's price, there must be something else that is wrong, and I say fix that. If you remember the Young Men  for Arlington candidate forum back in April there was a rather robust conversation on that. I also have to question the "heart" of people that are only going where the top dollar is. For paying the top dollar, are we on top of all the ratings? NO, we are not. There are other districts that are paying less and rated higher [obtaining more from their employees]. [I am NOT trying to imply AISD is doing bad, certainly a whole lot better than say FWISD, but others are doing better with less dollars.]
 
2. ESSER funds are limited and not forever lasting. So you may think $8.6 million deficit for FY23-24 already accounting for ESSER and vacancy funds might be good, but when no more ESSER funds are available, you are talking an already vacancy adjusted $33 million deficit for future years. The raises accumulate. The ESSER funds expire. We are being set up for a disaster.
 
1. Do you see how a 4% raise is causing ISD inflation?
 
2. Do you believe there might be better solutions other than just giving a 4% raise?
 
Another thing discussed at the May 18 meeting, with no fanfare, was the debt service fund having a $10.6 million surplus. The debt service fund should basically have a cushion (for protection of soft tax collections) then basically aim for annual zero balances for debt service expenditures [The district should already have a good idea what the value of those expenses will be tor the year]. In my mind that is another 3-cent reduction that should be coming off the total tax rate.
 
3. Do you think the district should be investigating lowering the taxpayers' tax rate by looking at lowering the debt service piece?
 
The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers make payments to the AISD for taking properties off the tax rolls for stadiums. I believe both pay a six-digit figure. In theory, how school funding works, the M&O total dollars are not affected by whether these properties are on the tax rolls or not, but the debt service piece certainly is. In fairness to the taxpayer these funds should be going to the debt service fund, not the general fund.
 
4. Do you believe that in fairness to the taxpayers, these stadium payoffs for taking properties off the tax rolls should be added to the debt service fund, helping to lower the total tax bill to taxpayers?
 
5. Do you believe two minutes is the correct time limit for AISD speakers?
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
From: Brooklyn Richardson <brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com>
To: THE SPECTATOR <arlspectator@yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, June 5, 2023 at 01:26:56 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Five questions
 
Mr. Weber,
 
I appreciate the detailed questions.  You pay attention to all that the board is dealing with day in and  day out. 
 
As you are aware President Fowler answers these questions on behalf of the board. I look forward to reading the responses as well. 
 
Have a wonderful week and enjoy the rain headed our way.
 
Thank you,
 
Brooklyn Richardson 
AISD Trustee Place 6
 
 
To: Brooklyn Richardson <brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 07:03:10 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Five questions
 
 
The questions were addressed to you and not the board. If I wanted Ms. Fowler's opionions, I would send her an e-mail.
 
 
 
 
 
======================
 
To: brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com <brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2023 at 09:52:32 AM CDT
Subject: Two questions
 
Ms. Richardson,
 
The FY2023-24 Budget discussed at last night's board meeting has the taxpayers spending greater than $6.1 million on recapture/"Robin Hood".
 
Question 1:  Is this efficient use of taxpayers' dollars?
 
Question 2: What options are available to reduce that amount to $0?
 
Sincerely,
 
 
From: Brooklyn Richardson <brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 09:44:37 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Two questions
 
Mr. Weber,
 
First, let me thank you for coming to speak last week. I appreciate the attention to details that you bring up. I do not want you to think I ignored your email or it doesn’t not matter to me. It absolutely does. However, I have been advised that President Fowler responds to all board emails. 
 
I look forward to hearing more from our finance department in our next meeting about what they are doing to reduce the amount. 
 
My phone number is 817 301-7282 if you have any questions.
 
Thank you,
 

 

 

 

 

1. Taxpayers' Dollars – please respond by March 2, 2023

Currently the AISD has the highest M&O rate of any ISD in Tarrant County. In February staff did a budget adjustment of close to $1 million to start planning for the paying recapture (“Robin Hood”). How fiscally responsible should the board be with taxpayers' dollars? How high of a priority should fiscal responsibility be? What are your suggestions to be more fiscally responsible?

Did not respond.

 

2. Transgender – please respond by March 9, 2023

Which locker rooms/restrooms, etc., should transgender students be using? Should there be a District policy? Why or why not?

Did not respond.

 

3. Teachers' Salaries – please respond by March 16, 2023

Is having the highest teachers' salaries in the north Texas area a good thing? Why or why not?

Did not respond.

 

4. Citizen Speakers – please respond by March 23, 2023

Currently citizen speakers are given a two minutes to make their points on a subject. Do you feel that is an appropriate amount of time? Why or why not?

Our country was founded on the principle of free speech. The first amendment clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” We must be careful that this right is not violated when we limit our citizens. Having realistic meeting limits is essential, so we are prudent with participants' and council members' time. I feel that 2 minutes is hard to convey a message with many layers fully. I support our council's decisions but would disagree with this. However, I do not know how they came to this agreed-upon limit without being a part of their closed session. If I had that complete information, I might feel differently. I always reserve the right to change my mind when presented with more information and facts.

 

5. Communications – please respond by March 30, 2023

If you receive an e-mail from a constituent similar to the top of this webpage [ http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_83.html ], but concerning an AISD issue and/or problem, will you respond to the constituent?

Why or why not? What actions will you take?

Did not respond.

 

6. Issues – please respond by April 6, 2023

Other than selecting a new superintendent, what is the most important issue the board is currently facing? Why? What are your suggestions for addressing this issue?

Did not respond.