GPS Board Member Staci Burk Stands Up for the Taxpayer

On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, the school board learned that GPS was awarded an additional $3.3 million from the state of Arizona, some of which will be used for student-related items like desks, computers, and books. The district is still projecting a $2 million deficit. And then some…

The board is also depending on the continuation of $17.6 million in property tax override money. The override expires unless the voters approve it at the next election. It’s very likely that the board will ask that the property tax override be sent to the ballot for a vote.

Start watching for "Campaign Guilt Trip."

The board also approved a revised budget increase of $9.5 million, due to unspent funds carried over from the 2010-2011 fiscal year. $1.2m of this would go to student-related items, and another $2.2 million to salary increases.

But what about the rest?

In the following video, watch Ms. Staci Burk’s questions and notice how many times she has to ask Clyde Dangerfield about how the funds will be used, and what a NO vote would mean. She finally had to ask him point blank if it would be returned to the local property owners.

“A portion” he stated.


The largest portion–$6.1 million–would be used to maintain buildings.

Burk said she voted against the revised budget because the surplus and carryover funds could have benefited taxpayers.

"Times are hard for everyone, and I see it as my responsibility to exercise fiduciary responsibility to the citizens while balancing the needs of quality education…If the excess (outside of the $2.2 million that went to teacher raises last December) would be directed toward the classroom or paying down debt, I might have voted differently. That was not the case."

She was overruled by Board president EJ Anderson, Lily Tram, Helen Hollands, and Blake Sacha (his first board meeting). It will be interesting to see how Blake Sacha performs as the newest board member, replacing Shane Stapley whose move out of the District meant that he had to resign from the Board. Mr. Sacha asks questions, but so far he votes with the crowd. In all fairness, this was his first meeting. Time will tell.

Read more here

You might recall that Staci Burk was also the lone conservative NO vote to raise the property tax rate last Fall. At that time she was overruled by board president Lily Tram, EJ Anderson, Helen Hollands, and Shane Stapley.

Staci Burk’s focus is on teachers and students. The problem isn’t a lack of money; it is how it is spent. Would you renovate buildings and lay off good teachers? Would you spend $100k on a consultant whose resume didn’t include working with school districts?

Staci Burk also stood up for common sense when she voted NO vote to Der Kommissar Lily Tram’s request for a “report on district cost, staff time, and any other relative data spent on public request for information. The report should list the requested information, date, name of person requesting the information, and if the person requesting information was charged for any costs.”

With the exception of Staci Burk, is this a School Board and an Administration you can trust?

This one’s for Der Kommissar Tram!