Does Your School’s Board of Education realize the effect that new levies or bonds have on you and your community?

This may not be your school’s bond issue but the number will be the same.

Thursday, February 29, 2024
Joseph V. Mestnik | Liberty News and Views

Money is fungible. “Fungible” refers to an asset that can be exchanged for another asset of the same value. We all turn our money into food, clothing, rent, taxes, etc. From years of experience in banking and finance, the contraction of money with a project such as the school board has put in motion is a negative factor of 5. For example, the $161,000,000 bond issue will have a direct negative impact on the Bedford communities and businesses over the next 36 years of $805,000,000! Our money will not be available to us to spend it will go to paying taxes to pay off the debt. This money will be gone forever out of the purchasing power of home and business owners living or operating here and is no longer fungible. This amount of money will be taken out of the system and make everyone poorer; jobs will be lost, new businesses will not come to the Bedford communities and existing business will move, because of higher taxation. My best estimates are 3,500 to 5,000 jobs will be lost in the next 5 years. What Bedford will look like in 15 years can be seen by looking today at East Cleveland.

Single-income home owners will not be able to afford to live here. This is already taking place as an example on one local short road in Bedford, such as Ledgewood Drive with only 14 homes. Many houses are now owned by the following corporations: SOLE HOUSES LLC, CAPSTONE 72 PROPERTIES LLC, SHLOSS, LLC., BAY STREET HOMES, LLC, and another home by SOLE HOUSES LLC. There are only 14 homes on Ledgewood Drive and six are now owned and rented by corporations. As the city decays, the Bedford Auto Mile will become a fraction of what it is today’s annual real estate tax income of $2,184,667.65.

This project must be placed on hold by a simple vote of the school board until a real majority in the community is in agreement that this is the best course of action.

Most important and must be remembered by everyone. Nothing, but nothing passed by a school board is etched in stone and can always be reversed or put on hold with a simple vote stopping any project or event. However, the Bedford Board very cleverly limits discussion at school board meetings to 30 minutes once per month and rarely answers questions at the meeting! They choose to very limit what they hear from you and their “30-minute rule” discourages many from participating!

There are 20,540 registered voters in the Bedford School District. On November 6, 2023, the Bedford Board of Education placed a very long complicated piece of legislation on the ballot that required someone with a PhD in reading to understand. They very cleverly disguised the campaign with a flood of community signs that showed “Issue 4 ‘Support our Schools’” without further clarification in addition to mailings that were less than descriptive. Most people always want to support our kids. 56% of registered voters did not vote. Many who were nonvoters were elderly homeowners who had no one to take them to the polls. The issue passed with a very slim margin of only 338 votes.

You better take the time and effort to study and learn from this article, because I am the only one with the proper training and experience and cares enough about you and our community to deliver the message.

Every project starts with someone who has an idea. Before the Bedford City School District Board of Education decides the focus, timelines and money spent, there are a series of preliminary events that must take place. None of these preliminary events took place. The defined sequence begins with a number of dependent factors.

That sequence starts with:

1. feasibility study with expected beneficial results
2. economic impact study
3. If decided upon after the feasibility and economic impact studies: conceptual drawings, budgets, timelines, and thorough public understanding,
4. bond issue placed on the ballot to finance the defined project and approval by the voters. (Bedford Bearcat stadium, which I started, is a perfect example.)

Rarely do individuals on the school board have expertise in any one of the above elements. This is particularly true with the current board of education, as the sequence is way out of order. The bond issue was placed on the ballot and passed without the Economic Impact Study.

Joseph V. Mestnik, MBA Finance Stonier Graduate School of Banking, BA in Political Science and Economics from Purdue University, and experienced city planner with direct experience you can see while chairman of the Oakwood Village Planning Commission and years on the Oakwood Village Council and Bedford Board of Education and experience working with nationally recognized experts in planning with Arthur Consulting Group, Oakland, California.