Monday, March 8, 2010


The Havre School Board will be meeting Tuesday at 6:30 pm at Havre High School to decide if they should place a mill levy on the ballot to raise approximately an additional $44,000 for the high school district. Currently the Havre elementary and high school combined budget is close to 13 million dollars per year and the proposed mill levy request will, as reported by school clerk Zella Witter, “only” add an additional tax of $3.91 on a home valued at $100,000. Over 51,000 of these 100 thousand dollar Havre homes would have to pay this added tax to offset the $200,000 our local school board threw like chaff into the wind to rid themselves of a superintendent they thought should just be gone. The current school board still doesn’t see fit to tell the taxpayers any reasons or details pertaining to that decision yet they now feel comfortable coming to the taxpayers to make up the shortfall.

Just how much does that taxpayer with the $100,000 home now pay?

Name:  Levies:  Percentage:  Dollar Amount:
Elementary General 116.12 15.365%  $349.5212
Elementary Transportation 10.41 1.377%  $31.3341
Elementary Adult Education 0.00 0.000%  $0
Elementary Bus Reserve 3.67 0.486%  $11.0467
Elementary Technology 7.24 0.958%  $21.7924
Elementary Debt Service 1.72 0.228%  $5.1772
Elementary Building Reserve 11.16 1.477%  $33.5916
General School Elementary Equal. 33.00 4.366%  $99.33
Elementary Retirement 28.61 3.786%  $86.1161
High School General 64.05 8.475%  $192.7905
High School Transportation 8.31 1.100%  $25.0131
High School Bus Reserve 3.13 0.414%  $9.4213
Adult Education 0.95 0.126%  $2.8595
Technology 3.09 0.409%  $9.3009
High School Building Reserve 9.52 1.260%  $28.6552
High School Debt Service 0.90 0.119%  $2.709
General School High School Equal. 22.00 2.911%  $66.22
High School Retirement 13.03 1.724%  $39.2203
County Transportation 5.00 0.662%  $15.05

TOTAL = 341.91 mill levy which is 45.241% of a city taxpayers total property tax or $1,029.15 per year school tax on that $100,000 home

We at the Corrector feel the pain of those with a tight budget in these economic hard times but we must advocate voting no to any and all additional mill levy requests until the school board offers the taxpayers some transparency in regards to their recent superintendent “payoff.” In addition, 3 school board members are up for reelection this year and we also advocate for their replacement with 3 people that will give the taxpayers an “open and honest” school board.

Furthermore, it is very interesting that the City of Havre would allow a campaign sign advocating this mill levy to be hung on city property when they deny political candidates the same right. You may recall that last presidential election, Joe Skornogoski and Gerry Vies both erected “Elect Barack Obama” signs that were 4 foot x 8 foot in front of their homes only to have the city contact them to remove them because they were too big to comply with the city sign ordinance. Apparently signs out of compliance are now ok as well as allowing the use of city property for these signs. In addition, we could find no disclaimers on the sign in this picture as to who paid for the sign or other details that are required by the Political Practices laws.

I guess it all depends on who is putting up the signs and what the message is as to whether a campaign sign is in compliance in this town. Yet another example of a city ordinance that is either not enforced or is “selectively enforced”

Remember the deadline to file for one of the open positions on the school board is March 25th and you must have 20 signatures of registered voters to be placed on the ballot. Pick up the school trustee packet from the Robins School administrative office.


  1. You are preaching to the choir here. I will be voting NO! to the mill levy, AND BE GONE, BE GONE, AND BE GONE! to the incumbent board members

    I am voting YES to transparency from our school board

  2. I am voting no to the mill levy this time also. The Havre taxpayers deserve more answers before we vote to increase the school budget.

  3. I am also voting against the mill levy as well as the replacement of the current board member whose terms are up. I don't like the like the idea of holding the board hostage at the expense of our children but I think our school system spends a lot of money that does not have anything to do with the education of our kids. So cuts could be made. The board owes the public an explanation as painfull as it may be...

  4. The example of only $3.91 seems like such a trivial amount when ‘it’s for the kids’ but the figure you cited of $1,029.15 paid in school tax on a typical 100,000 dollar home is more sobering. The school tax got to this point over many years by trivial increases like $3.91. I am insulted by the attitude of the school board towards us ignorant peeps that wouldn’t understand even if we knew the facts about what happened with our former superintendent.

    I am with Freddy on this one and voting no to everything

  5. The solution to the problem is not the mill levy but the milktoast board members that wii not fight to change the way things are done to arrive at these figures.
    There is more waste in this system than most and it is galling to see "our childrens educational welfare" used for an excuse for inefficient fiscal responsibility.
    I will vote for the mill levy but not for anyone that has anything to do with writing it.

  6. It's a tough call. One wants to see mills pass for our kids, however, there is anger and resentment towards a school board that keeps secrets.

  7. Don’t really see it as a tough call. The combined schools have a budget of around 13 million dollars and they want $44,000 more. Surely if they are any kind of decent managers at all they can find that amount of money without cutting any services to the students.

    I find it insulting that they always tell us they will have to cut student programs or terminate a teacher if we don’t do their bidding and vote for increases. Cut some of the overhead.

    I also would like to know who paid for that sign. I am guessing it was the taxpayers via the school system

    The do it for the kids people must think we are dang stupid.
    No to the mill levy and no to the current school board that thinks all taxpayers are too simple minded to understand their high fluting ways

    If you can waste $150,000 for terminating a contract and everything is secret you don't need the extra $44,000 plain and simple
    We need to send the school board a message by voting to defeat this levy

  8. if they cut the busing they could save, 10 kids on a 40 passenger bus doesn't make sense, also why is it a lot of the school districts contract the busing but not havre?

  9. If I am not mistaken, the school board basically gave away $150,000 in hush money to a superintendent who was not released from a former position. After paying an attorney $10,000 to research this position. And then they come to us and have the nerve to ask for more money "for the kids". They didn't seem to worry to much about a shortage then, did they? I say pass the Mill Levy as soon as we see the current board either resign or come clean on what went on. I myself am going to contact the Great Falls Tribune and the TV station to see if they are interested in going to a school board meeting.

  10. Well, I guess we'll see when there is a tremendous outpouring of candidates that file. I guess my feeling is anyone can sit back and complain but you need to act. If everyone that's disatisfied files we'll have plenty to choose from.

  11. Thats the whole problem Corvette. Nobody but these self appointed school experts ever run for the school board. The smart ones know you can't just say no because someone will always say its about the kids and then anyone standing up for fiscal responsibility are portrayed as anti-student

    It's a no win situation

  12. Awww, I see somebody took down this sign. I just about had my anti-mill levy sign all painted too. I may just hang it on the ball field fence anyway

    What's fair for one has to be fair for me also

  13. I see someone at the HDN thinks we should just forget the MAHON-HUSTON
    THEFT!! And pass th HS Mill anyway....Its OUR money not the Boards....I say we Deny Pymt to Mahon & make him sue for it! then all would need to be explained on how he actually DESERVES it!! bottom-line no Jury would agree to it...

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