Home » From The Readers, Letters to the Editor » Override No Vote Supports Education Not Perks

Override No Vote Supports Education Not Perks

sedona oak creek unified school district logoSedona AZ (October 10, 2013)The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor from Sedona resident, Henry Twombly, former teacher:

I write because I oppose the Budget Override. As a former teacher, I support education, especially when the monies go towards teachers’ salaries and academic supplies. I support it now with 27% of my taxes going to the School District. I don’t support the apparent mismanagement of funds, when none of the $73-million bond was designed and allocated for operating expenses as well. The bond turned out to be a boondoggle for taxpayers and a windfall for the construction industry; it did nothing for the quality of education. 

The mill rate for the School District went up to a $3.58 total from a $2.83 total last year. ($1.30 of this rate is to pay off the bond.) So in effect SOCSD wants to double-tax us. First with the increase in the mill rate; and then again with the 15% increase over the District’s revenue control limit.


Vote No on override writes former teacher

Supporters couch the debate in terms of dire consequences that would adversely affect class size, AP courses, etc. The reduced funds don’t have to impact the fundamentals, if the cuts were applied to administrative salaries and ancillary programs like sports, band, etc. No dire consequences happened when the Budget Override was voted down last year.

The Information Pamphlet about the Override can be seen as media hype, if not downright propaganda. Some people in favor were asked to write letters of support, fear-mongering about dire consequences, guilt-tripping with platitudes about the importance of education. No arguments against the Override were included. Why weren’t such letters requested? Surely there’s opposition to the Override since it was defeated last year. If it’s defeated again, SOCSD will probably try again next year, since they want to make this a permanent tax. Don’t let them.

Henry Twombly
350 Arroyo Pinon Dr.
Sedona, AZ 86336

For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. Leon E. says:

    Yes! nice to hear facts vs fiction

  2. More berries ….. don’t necessarily make the pie taste better and more dollars don’t make the product (students and parents) smarter.

    When more of our students learn to read, write, verbally communicate, and have some basic math skills, then more folks might favor more spending.

    If the “Yes” vote fails, it might be a protest vote to what we’re getting out of the schools system. Parents and teachers need to work it out.

    Sad-but-true ….. I purchased $1.25 worth of candy from a store and gave the 16-17 year old employee $5.00. His cash register failed and he didn’t know how much change to give me. When I forced him to give me my change, he gave me back $4.75.

    I returned the $1.00 and told him he might want to brush up on some basic math skills.

    Gary Chamberlain
    Cornville AZ
    Vietnam veteran

  3. Lesley H. says:

    Applause to You Henry ! You nailed it on the Mismanagement.

    As soon as Our School Board realizes that our children and teachers are more important then the Sedona Appearance of our schools, Gary will be able to get the right change for His $5.

    The parents I hear from are outraged at the “Lack of Funding” for the schools, that they have been told is the problem. However they really should be outraged at the mismanagement of the funds that exist. One very small example is as follows: My neighbor worked for school maintenance. When I asked Him why He exclusively drove the school van to and from work, to the market and stores after work and on the week-ends, His answer was “We’re allowed to. My boss does it, we all do it”. Which must be correct because I’ve noticed school vehicles in driveways after work and on the week ends.

    I’ve been a professor and believe in education not mismanagement. I’m voting ‘No’.

  4. See this link re: state of U.S. education (warning: there is some profanity…if that offends you, then don’t look)


  5. Thank you Mr. Twombly.

    I and many others share you concerns.
    I have developed a web site so folks can get more details.


  6. E. Maddock says:

    Thanks to those who have taken time to produce logical thinking and actual facts to illustrate why this ballot issue isn’t a very good idea. My ballot arrived in today’s mail and I’m ready to cast my vote without further ado.

  7. Twombly appreciated the viewpoint/count 7 votes no at uptown social last night out of 9, we discussed your letter & why its important to hear two sides. Not as simple as supporting education & when research proves $ mismanaged & people keep giving it to them? sounds a lot like why our congress is so screwed up! idiots vote & idiots don’t vote intellectually why they vote. sign me as a Dem who says no (Ed)

  8. Glenn says:

    The problem has always been the administration gets the money and always rewards themselves with it. Even when the voters passed the 1 cent sales tax that was suppose to raise teachers salary it didn’t happen. The proposal as written was to go to the teachers but once it hit the school district they could do with it as they pleased. My neighbor’s daughter got her 4 year degree to teach and her friend just got a job in the front office answering phones. Her friend with no degrees makes more than she does as a teacher. Now that is wrong for a person that just answers the phone to get that kind of money. They keep talking about improving education but the test results show we are going down not up. The highest paid teachers in the U. S. like Detroit, Chicago and Washington D. C. have the highest failure rate so the old song that money is the answer is crap. Some of the lowest paid areas far exceed these cities. Talk about class size years ago I attended a country school where we had all 8 grades in one undivided room. So this one teacher taught 8 grades and no matter which grade you were in of course you would hear classes given to all the grades. We keep giving more money to the system to produce less and less results.

  9. Isaac says:

    I’m a jew and it’s a given if a tax comes along, vote yes and make sure if a democrat is running, vote yes, after all we were persecuted and creating social justice is our lot in life, pen in Book and all that. It’s a false bill of goods. The dorr group here are a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals, plenty of money, lust for power, whites from Chicago, UK, California, New York, you know who you are but not what you are. You are cesspool swimmers for lack of a better term. You sit on the council, you sit on religious boards, you sit on school boards, you sit on business boards, you own, you sell, you manipulate, you desecrate, you defecate and cannot pay for proper waste water treatment because you think it doesn’t stink, am I wrong? Who else but white liberals with too much power and too little intellect build a park around septic water? What is that, I defecate and let them come? I watch the toe tapping around this creek walk and of course build in a flood zone, I build and let them drown? I could go on and on but like somebody else said, you don’t care. Vote yes for that tax because you’re not smart enough to figure out it isn’t about education. Go ahead. You love who you think you are. You’re good lock steppers all. That’s my say.

  10. More money is not the answer. Watch this and you will understand. Wake up School District.


  11. Warren says:

    Nothing changes. Over 20 years ago I had 2 in-laws who were public school teachers. They said the only way to get ahead was to stop being a teacher and become a bureaucrat/”administrator” in the school system. Meanwhile the school district was busy building a Taj Mahall of an office building. In short, the $ seldom goes where it should. This time won’t be different.

  12. Give kids a chance says:

    Two yes votes in my house!!! Hell yea! Listening to you tea party lovers on this site is hilarious!! Nothing but hate as if anyone of you actually knows what thier talking about! What happened, that joke Ted Cruz got you fired up!!? No new taxes at any expense aye? Hey why not do away with the schools altogether in town and turn them into tourist centers!! Budget override has my vote!!

  13. Budget override Hell Yea says:

    Two yes votes in my house!!! Hell yea! Listening to you tea party lovers on this site is hilarious!! Nothing but hate as if anyone of you actually knows what thier talking about! What happened, that joke Ted Cruz got you fired up!!? No new taxes at any expense aye? Hey why not do away with the schools altogether in town and turn them into tourist centers?? That will save you tax money!

  14. Helen says:

    How far off base can the last two posts be? The override has zero to do with the Tea Party and is only about proper financial management of millions of dollars and tons of scare tactic statements that have nothing to substantiate them!

    I have no ill will nor hate directed towards the school district what so ever!!! Just would like to see financial accountability stated in some semblance of easy to read numbers – how hard would that be to produce?


    Why not check out the following website as I did and look at the statistics and then you can continue your irrational ranting about closing schools, if you so chose.

  15. Al says:

    tea party? this house is proudly dem. i’m voting no. my wife yes.

  16. Julie says:

    Knowing first hand, I am voting no.

  17. Dana Varney says:

    Liked this article on Facebook.

  18. Heads Up?? says:

    Residents of Coconino County, the ballot issue for the Coco Community College is on the FRONT of the ballot. The issue for School District Override is on the BACK of the ballot.

    To my recollection ballot issues have appeared cleanly and completely in English form and then very distinctly defined separately in Spanish. Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time a ballot has condensed a single issue in English and then Spanish.

    Point being, I came very close to marking only the Coconino County Community College ballot issue thinking that maybe a second such ballot would be sent on the school issue.

    Did anyone else observe this peculiarity or is this just an oversight on my part?

  19. Dellia Lozon says:

    Shared this article on Facebook.

  20. Bob B. says:

    I protest having any ballot written in a language other than English. I protest having to hit a number when I make a phone call that asks me if I want to be spoken to in English. My wife is from western India and her parents are Pakistani and Ethiopian with a smattering of Portugese, my children are fluent in several languages and every single global nation of any prominence and many of not so prominent standing use English for international business. Our President Obama has made it clear that he expects everyone to become fluent in English. What do all Americans born here and most immigrants except those that circumvent the legal system speak? English. Why does America cater to the few malcontents? Is this a democracy or not? If and when a majority of Americans speak another language, we will adapt, but for business we must be globally oriented, not myopic locally. Thank you for a most enlightening and entertaining informational website. My family reads you and a dozen other news sites. We have enjoyed many a conversation started by someone’s comment!

  21. S.Amon says:

    Thank you to Henry Twombly and Michael Schroeder for speaking in opposition. — I wonder how much this “special election” has cost tax payers? — Five sophisticated pieces of non-recycled paper for the ballot then there was the “Informational Pamphlet” of 15 pages, non-recycled paper. — Also, where did the money come from to pay for all the signs saying “Vote Yes for the Override”. Evidence they don’t know what the concept of “efficiency” means in business.

  22. Warren says:

    @ S.Amon – I heard the $ for the YES signs came from the Sedona 30. I have not verified that; it’s just what I heard. Perhaps if the YES people are proud of their signs then they will verify.

  23. Lin Ennis says:

    “I say vote yes. Of ALL the things Arizona should fund, education is the most important. I’m not against reforms, but I am against cancelling music and art, and making kids pay extra for team sports.” posting on Facebook to Vote No on Education Override

  24. Carol Rizzi says:

    It’s important to note education is a privilege not a right. It starts at home with the obligation of parents to instill their children with the value, benefit and joy of learning, partnered by teachers to inspire students. A lifetime lesson is self-reliance, personal responsibility and self -motivation. Have parents, teachers and those favoring the budget override stressed these values in their children?

    We know education is costly today, due to Federal regulations in place, yet the school district has its hand out to the government in the form of mandated taxes on all of us. Parents and teachers are teaching our youth to be reliant on government and victims of budget reductions. Are these the lessons you want your children to learn?

    Think of the heights achieved by self-taught, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Their achievements are examples of what could be accomplished under immense disadvantage, without a formal education and without continually digging into the pockets of citizens. These great men achieved their education without other people’s money. With technology available at their fingertips children today have unlimited avenues to education in any media, any format. I believe Mr. Douglass and President Lincoln would be extremely disappointed and outraged to see our educational system as it is today and not pursued by self-motivation, hard work and a desire to succeed. Parents and teachers need to create that desire for an education; no amount of money can accomplish this.

    Our school district to-date has not proven it’s money management skills so that it still depends on overrides to function. They should have worked long ago to be fiscally independent and not think they are “owed” this override just because they have had it for the past 17 years. Vote NO on the Budget Override.

    Carol Rizzi

  25. Paying for team sports? Mz Ennis where are you from? Of course you should have to pay for team sports, school isn’t a recreation department, it’s a school and team sports should be handled by parents and communities to get them involved in their children’s lives. I’m a teacher and believe me, you must be a hundred years old to use that less than intellectual argument for increasing taxes. The fields are there and a baseball and bat or a football or a soccer ball costs a hell of a lot less than you pay collecting thousands of tax dollars that don’t trickle down, that get caught in the fat cats building themselves a new office or traveling to Texas for “training” that can be done in-house by collaborating if the teachers you’ve hired are worth a nickel. Every city and town has dozens of organizations that cater to children’s sports whether non-profit or for profit. Look at Sedona – that city offers dozens of kids programs & a pool & athletic programs!! Same in VOC. If you weren’t so old you’d know that clubs abound like the YMCA, Boys and Girls clubs, soccer clubs, riding clubs, and that’s the way it should be – then parents don’t drop the kids off at school and disappear shopping. If you feel that strongly, get thee to a school and volunteer & learn facts instead of lip-synching to the bureaucrats hip hop. (don’t use my real name I like my job) Sign me as Stanley

  26. Karen says:

    Found flyer today & what a difference from the school pack info. Sorry but I cannot condone the administrations horrendous track record that came to light and has been suppressed by pro tax residents. Shame at Big Park. Shame at SRRHS. You need to examine your records and stop telling the community you are the best. It’s not true! I am disappointed. I will vote no and send my ballot back today.

  27. Tracy says:

    Dear Stanley,
    Will you adopt me? AWESOME SICK.
    Sign me,

  28. S.Amon says:

    Thank you Warren!

  29. Examining the facts there is little cause for American taxpayers to approve of this special tax. We will see what American taxpayers do when offered facts and then they cast ballots. Thank you for this educational opportunity. We are interested if it is intellect or emotion that guides the American voter. We will look at the balloting results when the recorder of ballots has a press release.

    Payal Patel, Houston TX

  30. An earthquake preparedness drill is scheduled Thursday in classrooms and other places across Arizona. The Arizona Geological Survey says nearly 81,000 school children are expected to participate in the drill billed as the “Great Arizona Shakeout.”

  31. Quality Jobs –Quality Education – Quality of Life – Support Our Schools

    Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO) believes a vibrant and economically strong region begins with quality education for all children who live in the Verde Valley. We believe we have high quality schools in all of the communities of the Verde Valley. So it is important to insure our schools have the resources necessary to maintain the quality education they provide for our children and grandchildren. Besides excellent teachers and staff, adequate facilities, and a broad based curriculum – it is essential to have sufficient financial resources to maintain the excellent schools we have in the Verde Valley.

    This is the main reason VVREO is supporting the school overrides for the Sedona-Oak Creek School District, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Mingus Union High School District.

    Quality schools are also important to attracting or expanding businesses that offer high wage jobs into our communities. These businesses look closely at our schools to see if they have the educational programs to prepare a workforce for their business’ future. Businesses also look closely at our schools to see if they have a quality education program for their employee’s families! VVREO supports investing in our schools.

    What does this investment cost? For the Cottonwood-Oak School District the average homeowner’s home valued at approximately $100,000, it is about $3.58 a month. For Mingus Union High School District, it is $1.92 a month. And the overrides will not increase your tax rate because the percentages are already reflected in your current tax rate.

    For those who live in the Sedona-Oak Creek School District, it is the restoration of 17 years of override funding. The average Sedona homeowner will pay $61.00 a year on an assessed home value of $297,940.

    VVREO believes this is a modest investment that will insure smaller class sizes, intervention and enrichment programs, music and the arts, technology to prepare the digital learner for college and career, physical education, fitness, health support and counseling, athletics and electives.

    VVREO says YES to quality schools, YES to quality jobs and YES to quality of life in the Verde Valley. When your mail-in ballot arrives at your home VOTE YES – SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS– Support the School Overrides for Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, Mingus Union High School District and Sedona-Oak Creek School District.

    Mary Chicoine, VVREO Chairman

    Robyn Prud’homme-Bauer, Past VVREO Chairman

  32. Sharlett says:

    OK Folks – let’s get Real! (and, Please, @Great Arizona Shakeout Today – find another venue for you thoughts that are totally unrelated to this topic!!!)

    I did read the Big (and very expensive) ad in the Friday RRN (10/18/13), Paid for by the “Vote Yes” group regarding the Override of school district current spending limit where the YES folks say: “2013-2014 enrollment dropped after Override failed to pass in November 2012″ …………………… HUH?

    Call me crazy but how did a failed Override cause enrollment to DROP????

    Then the current big ad goes on to say:” The Budget Increase Override pays teacher and staff salaries to “teach “enhanced subjects such as art, music, SOCIAL STUDIES, U.S. HISTORY, foreign languages, advanced courses, P.E and more, as well as keeping our schools healthy and safe.”

    Call me crazy but I am not dead and do remember my curriculum and that of my children and all those (now called “enhanced subjects”) were regular parts of our education’s.

    Have you seen the little kids marching to play to our hearts on sidewalks in Sedona and in the Village? Have you seen the Superintendent of the School district out on the streets with the sign carriers? I have and find it despicable as well as disfunctional!

    Sorry but My heart strings are not twanged by the sweet children standing on a street corner as they have no real understanding as to why they are there – they are just being USED.

    My heart strings are twanged by a school district who is supposed to be dedicated to a level of higher accountable education levels and financial responsibility that STANDS on its own merits and doesn’t parade little kids on the highway….and doesn’t drop money down the Rabbit Hole for a Performing Arts Center..or what ever they call that losing drain of a bad, very bad, decision.

    A NO VOTE will cause this group, who just feel entitled, to actually get their business plan to finally become a real forward Plan….and not on the backs of us taxpayers.

    Wasn’t there a school teacher who hid there name and disclosed something about a trip – a very costly conference trip – outside of Sedona??? Guess the money is just a want and not actually designated to any specific line item within the District?

    Who is entitled? I, for one, feel my taxes pay my due dollars to the youth and all the school systems within my tax base…just wish those who can’t figure out how to spend within their budgets would stop begging and tagging the rest of us for their entitled, mentality, drain on our check books !!!.

  33. Banner Guy says:

    didn’t cottonwood have a teacher arrested recently for sex offenses? cottonwood school district i voted no & feel great about it!!!!

  34. Marv says:

    Can it be a voice in the desert?

  35. Joanne R. says:

    Cottonwood schools suck the life out of kids by second grade but home school is better. Children learn more and they aren’t bullied like school.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2008-2017 · Sedona Eye · All Rights Reserved · Posts · Comments · Facebook · Twitter ·