Rise and Shine, Park Cities (3-4-11)

McKenna Gilliland gathers an armload of books at the UP Public Library’s fall book sale.

1. I received an announcement that the condemned Borders at the corner of Preston and Royal is slashing prices by up to 50 percent today. Presumably, the same is true of the West Village location. Still, I doubt either Borders will be able to match the deals available Saturday at the University Park Public Library’s spring sale. Books will be available for suggested donations between 50 cents and $2, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the Chase Bank building, 6517 Hillcrest Ave.

2. We just heard that Malai, a new Thai-Vietnamese restaurant, has opened for business in the West Village space formerly occupied by Tom Tom Noodle. The joint is owned by Braden and Yasmin Wages, who were once the general manager of R+D Kitchen and assistant general manager of Park, respectively.

3. Did you receive this week’s e-mail blast from Superintendent Dawson Orr, the one in which he addressed the potential effect of state budget cuts on the Highland Park ISD? The most sobering part was when Orr tried to a potential cut of up to $10 million in perspective. “If we laid off every district-level administrator, every campus administrator, nurse, counselor, librarian, education diagnostician, and every instructional aide, we still wouldn’t reach the $10 million mark.” We’ll have more on this topic in the March 11 edition of Park Cities People.

8 thoughts on “Rise and Shine, Park Cities (3-4-11)

  • March 4, 2011 at 9:16 am
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    Re: #3, I kept waiting to hear something from HPISD on budget cuts since other local districts have been discussing their options for several weeks now. It doesn’t sound like they have a definitive plan yet. Hiring freezes and pay decreases seem like a good frist step before cutting staff. And, I’m quite sure there’s a lot of fat in the budget that can be cut.

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  • March 4, 2011 at 10:35 am
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    I may be dopey on this but… With the $10 million shortfall– am I correct in understanding that U.P and H.P. collected $10 million less in property taxes than last year??
    That seems fishy to me. Even with the downturn in housing prices I don’t believe that the tax department re-evaluates EVERY property each year. I paid the same taxes. Shouldn’t HPISD still have collected a similar amount of funds?

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  • March 4, 2011 at 10:41 am
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    UP Library does have great book sales, but they are sales, with prices. Don’t go expecting “suggested donations.”

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  • March 4, 2011 at 10:54 am
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    Jim Schutze in The Dallas Observer writes that Comptroller Strayhorn predicted this massive deficit several years ago, before the 2008 crash, if the Leg made their planned changes to the tax structure. This budget and school funding crisis shouldn’t have surprised the Governor, Legislature, or us.

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  • March 4, 2011 at 10:57 am
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    @Tk. The appraisal district has to reevaluate your home every three years but you can challenge your value every year. Your UP and HP neighbors may have challenged theirs.

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  • March 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm
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    @TK, it doesn’t matter if HPISD collected the same amount of tax dollars or not. The state also kicks in $, which is where the shortfall arises. If 3/4 of the tax dollars didn’t leave the district, then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, but that’s a whole other argument.

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  • March 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm
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    This is the HPISD general fund budget for FYE 8/31/2007, and this is the general fund budget for FYE 8/31/2011. Total expenditures for 2007 were $122,049,836. Total expenditures for 2011 were roughly the same ($122,825,784), but our “recapture” expenditure was about $7 million less in 2011, which means all other expenditures increased by about that same amount in the aggregate between 2007 to 2011. I am sure I’m missing something, but it looks to me like the district could simply take those other expenditures back to 2007 levels, which would offset 70% of the projected cut in state funds.

    Of course, the word “simply” belongs in quotes because I know it’s not that simple. The point is that raising property taxes should be a last resort. Also, the budgets available online don’t separate out salaries and benefits as a separate category, so there is no way I know of to verify Superintendent Orr’s claim regarding the $10 million.

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  • March 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm
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    The link for the 2011 budget didn’t show up for some reason – here it is.

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