Happy Springtime! It’s time for our monthly update!
When I ran I promised to help keep Orem a great place to live, work, and raise a family. There are many parts to that promise but let me mention two.
First, to keep YOUR taxes low. I believe that you can make better decisions with your money than any government organization can. Second, provide the best education possible to our children and young people.
Those guiding principles led us to where we currently are. Over the years, different groups, including Alpine School District have asked the question, “When is a school district too big?” and “Should it be split?” In the past, It has been an interesting conversation but no one has ever actually done anything about it other than talk about it.
As a City Council, on February 8th, we voted UNANIMOUSLY to hire a firm to conduct an INDEPENDENT study to determine whether or not Orem should consider forming its own school district. I’ve heard concerns from citizens about the $30,000 cost to fund the study. I am a fiscal conservative and understand those concerns. However, sometimes you have to spend money to save money.
To put the $30,000 cost in context, consider that, according to public records, the top three administrators at Alpine School District were paid a total of $907,000 in tax year 2020. Also, consider that we are talking about school budgets involving tens of millions of dollars. We are very concerned that Alpine School District said they would like to put a bond on the November Ballot for somewhere near 500 million or half a billion dollars. Before our taxpayers sign up for this bond we believe it is our responsibility to do a study to clarify how this bond will impact them.
Let me be clear. I believe that Alpine School District is a good organization. All of my kids went to school in Orem. I personally am not pushing FOR or AGAINST Orem creating its own school district. We are simply asking the question and looking to the data for an objective answer. Depending on what the data says, then the Council will decide whether or not to put this question on the November ballot. If it goes that far, and is put on the ballot, then you, the voters, will make the final decision to stay with Alpine or create your own school district.
Please reach out to us and let us know your thoughts. Have a great day!