Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wall Street Woes Whip Whitefish Bay Credit Rating

At my high school graduation in Maryland a long long long time ago, the speaker delivered what may have been the shortest truth ever told to a assemblage of college-or-career-bound kids.

"Have a ball," said then Ag Secretary Orville Freeman (his daughter was in our senior class), "but pay your bills."

That should be the guiding message for five Wisconsin school districts whose managers gambled big, and lost, on risky ventures a few years ago, but are resisting facing the music.

The Whitefish Bay School district, we learn, is absorbing another credit downgrade because it got involved in high-risk, high-flying investments, with borrowed funds, that turned toxic.

West Allis-West Milwaukee and Waukesha join Whitefish Bay, Kenosha and Kimberly Area district, too - - and there seems to be no bailout on the horizon, save from the local property taxpayer.

Gambling with public funds should have been a non-starter, but like a lot of homeowners and starry-eyed investors, these few school boards, their staffs or consultants got irrationally exuberant (read: greedy).

Eventually they are going to write off the losses and settle their debts, lest they continue to pay lawyers and accountants with money that should be going for textbooks, tubas, teacher salaries or good, old-fashioned tax relief.

The party is over.

Pay your bills.


Anonymous said...

This is what happens when school boards are dominated by WEAC unions hacks.

Somehow they think their job is to gamble with borrowed money.

These idiots should be personally and criminally responsible for these losses.

James Rowen said...

I am not aware that these are WEAC-inspired or influenced deals.

You may be right but I haven't seen that data.

Is WEAC that powerful in Waukesha, for example?

Jim Bouman said...

There are no WEAC sponsored or endorsed members of the Waukesha School Board, as "Anonymous" inplies. It might interest "Anonymous" to know that the President of the Waukesha School Board is a man of such brilliance and good judgment that he has been convicted of Drunk Driving (0.138 BAC), found in violation of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, works at a day job running the engineering operation at Pabst Farms Development (talk about astonishingly bad judgment) and is likely to be appointed soon to his eighth 3-year term as a member (currently president) of the Waukesha Water Utility.

Go back to the Journal Sentinel's (Reporter Avi Lank) expose of the crap-shooting this guy did as chairman of the Waukesha School Board's ("WEAC Hack," my foot!) Finance Committee. There are UTube segments of him fronting for the scam artists who sold the School Board these toxic--and now worthless--Collateralized Debt Obligations, identical to the ones bought in Whitefish Bay.

Believe me, as a nearly-forty-year resident of the City of Waukesha, I can assure you that there are NO WEAC suck-ups on the Waukesha School Board. None! They all make a point of being anti-union. They mostly run on the good-government, smash-the-unions ticket.

This is, after all, Waukesha, where we send solidly Republican fringe-dwellers to Congress (Sensenbrenner), the Assembly (Kramer and Newcomer) and to the School Board (Daniel Warren).

Anony, you come across as the quintessential, hide-in-the-weeds, uninformed, timid, sniper. You'd clearly like to appear bold and knowledgeable and challenging.

But, that doesn't square with your quivering, whimpering timidity when it comes to proudly putting your actual name on the shallow mindless dreck you dribble into the comments section.

Hey, Anonymous, show us what a bold guy (gal?) you are. Take ownership of your ideas and opinions. Quit hiding in the weeds.

Signed (When I'm wrong, I take the heat),

Jim Bouman

Anonymous said...

Golly gee wilikers Mr. Bouman - sounds like you really hate your community.

Hmmmm "quivering, whimpering timidity" - that is tough stuff, guess that makes you Rowen's attack dog.



Anonymous said...

Bouman you forgot sniveling, that would have fit nicely in your ad hominem attack on GFY from Richfield.

Since you brought up drunk driving and public officials, wonder what Edward Kennedy's BAC was the night he killed Mary Jo Kopechne?