Two Gilbert Council Members say NO to Gilbert Schools Override

Both Victor Petersen and Eddie Cook, Gilbert Town Council Members, have issued public statements against the Gilbert Schools override.  The override appears on your ballot as follows:

GILBERT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 41
10% MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION BUDGET OVERRIDE ELECTION
ttBUDGET OVERRIDE CONTINUATION

Some time ago, I published Council Member Cook’s statement, which appears again below. 

Most recently, Council Member Victor Petersen has made an official statement, which follows:

I am opposed to the GPS override. It has been argued that good schools are important to economic development and therefore we need to support the override.

First, this assumes that we can’t have good schools without the override, but I see the charter schools setting a great example of excellent performance within very limited means. Schools don’t need a lot of money to do a good job. They just need good teaching and management practices. I believe that if they institute some better practices, like paying teachers based on performance and building schools more frugally, they can make more of the resources they already have without the override.

Second, higher tax levels work against economic recovery, which is what will result from continuing the override. I believe we can have both great schools and lower taxes which will be the best scenario for economic strength.

Victor Petersen
Gilbert Town Council Member

Council Member Eddie Cook speaks out against the override:

Dear Gilbert Families,

I was very fortunate to serve on the Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) Community Budget Committee earlier this year. I was able to observe and understand the complexity of the GPS budget. Many wonderful ideas for cost savings and improving efficiencies were generated during the four meetings. My recommendation would be to implement the best suggestions from the committee.

I would also recommend GPS follow a similar budgeting process that the Town of Gilbert recently implemented for this fiscal year. This was accomplished with a “Zero Base Budgeting” strategy that is commonly used for home, small to large businesses and major corporations. This strategy reverses the traditional incremental budgeting of the past and holds organizations accountable based on need. This budgeting methodology takes a lot of effort and collaboration across the organization. There were no employee layoffs, no tax increases and the quality of excellent services was maintained. I can see the Town of Gilbert sharing its success of this process with GPS. As the Town of Gilbert changed its culture to become more fiscally responsible and sustainable, I can envision GPS following the same journey. Therefore I am not in support of the override.

Sincerely,

Eddie Cook
Gilbert Town Council Member

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