Financial priorities

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  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    Real Maverick...

    all those things you mentioned, some of it comes from us the Tax payers, but we are not the only one paying taxes. Corporations, small businesses pay taxes. they also get fined for many different things which ends up in the coffers. Then there are the many fees that is collected as well.

    So you are not the only one that puts into this pot.

  • LGH Sandy, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    OK. I wasn't raised in Utah. Maybe things are different here. But wouldn't taxes going to "defense of my state" automatically include the Governor of Utah as the state's chief executive? UTAH STATUTES AND CODES 39-1-3 - Governor commander in chief -- Powers and duties. -

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Apparently folks like Mike Richards subscribe to the "Herd Mentality." Well well well, if Gary Herbert jumps off a cliff so will I!

    It's amazing to me how some of you constantly complain about taxes and smart government and quickly condone gross offenses by our own local government. To me, I just see government waste as purely government waste. Don't matter whether it's Bush or Herbert.

    Where does Mr Richards think Herbert gets his 40 percent pay raise from? Where does Herbert's already bloated $104k salary come from? Where does the UDOT handouts come from? Where does the money come from to hire outside help (since apparently our own AG feels inadequate) to sue over gay marriage?

    It comes from our taxes.

    Now, if Mr Richards wants to pay for this, by all means, pay for it. Nothing is stopping you from giving the state more money to squander.

    But for business owners, like myself, we cannot afford to have our precious funds forcibly taken from us to be used for frivolous message bills and obscene pay raises. Keep my tax dollars where they're supposed to go: In education, the infrastructure, and defense of my state.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    And they are willing to spend more millions fighting a losing battle against same sex marriage...just to flaunt their painful puritanism.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:19 p.m.

    I guess as an educator in the public school system I missed where the point of this column is about spending more money on education. I never saw that as the author's main point, which is that our elected leaders have no problems either covering their tracks (the transportation payoff), or throwing out trial balloons on whether or not our elected leaders should have pay increases. I don't know of anyone in any profession whoould turn down a pay increase, private sector or public. On behalf of my fellow educators our first request is to just let us do our jobs. Like all,professions we will make our share of mistakes. We have bad apples (like all professions, including politicians) that we want weeded out. Just don't make us all out to be whipping boys. And finally, just let us teach our young and challenge them to be more than what they are. They are going to complain about how tough we are. Either you want us to challenge them or you want us to turn out students that will justify Mike Richards comments.

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    Mike Richards, it couldn't be that we're getting what we pay for in Utah--not much--could it? Teacher turnover here is at about 50% in the first five years--those who enter teaching leaving before the end of their fifth year, and those who willingly enter teaching diminishing in numbers every year. Who would want to teach in public schools knowing they'll be under compensated, overburdened, under supported and, to boot, micromanaged from above through endless rounds of testing? Whereas in 1930 90% of all graduates who entered teaching were in the top 10% of their classes, nowadays, more like 30% are. And if they're education majors, the rigor of coursework simply doesn't match the rigor in, say engineering.

    Utah has put itself in a box where educating our young is concerned. Too few want to teach, too few have the best of the best credentials, and too few who stay in teaching should. The answer? Look to Finland, Canada, South Korea, Japan,and other countries who are leaving us in their dust. Their dedication to having the best teachers possible is the model.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:38 p.m.

    The only "nonsense" here is that anyone can totally divorce finances from the results of Utah schools. Agreed it is not the only answer but it is a large part of the answer. Utah is 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates and somehow class sizes don't matter when we have the largest class sizes in the nation? The idea that teachers pay should somehow be equated with the pay of the parents of their students ignores the thousands of dollars they were required to spend on their education to get and keep their jobs. Doctors pay through the nose for their educations and patients pay through the nose to help them pay off their debt. Ok if matching pay is the answer then why don"t schools in affluent areas pay more than those in lower rent districts?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:01 p.m.


    Should the employee be paid more than the employer Of course SOME employees have a value that exceeds the value of their employer, but if every employee is paid more than the employer, that employer will have no reason to work, i.e., he can just let those "valued" employees fend for themselves.

    In Utah, some of you keep telling us that teachers should be paid more than the people who pay their wages. Some of you think that those of us in the private sector who work more hours than a teacher should just lay down and let those teachers walk all over us. Some of you think that the school system is not broken and that scores are improving, that students are succeeding, that no one is dropping out, that everyone leaving high school is fully prepared for college or for a job. That is nonsense. Talk to a recent graduate and see for yourself that many cannot put together a coherent sentence. Most cannot balance a checkbook. Few can do anything that they haven't been spoon-fed by a teacher. Is that education. I beg to differ.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    I notice Mike used the normal and credible way of showing that the Governor deserves a pay increase, he compares his pay to someone of like or less responsibility. Since he is paid less, therefore he deserves more. Fine.

    Why then wouldn't the same thing apply to teachers in Utah? The have the largest class sizes in the Country and are paid far less than teachers in any of the surrounding states, ergo they deserve a substantial raise. Surely Mike would agree with his logic be9ing used to raise the pay of teachers.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    Some posters think that a school district superintendant should be paid more than the chief executive of a State. Why? What makes that superintendant, who supervises a few district employees and a few teachers, more important than the chief executive officer of the entire State? Utah's budget is $13 BILLION dollars. Government workers, who "administrate" 35 students might think that they have the expertise and the authority to demand that their superintendant receive 2-1/2 times more salary than the governor. I disagree. I don't know what the salary should be for the governor, but I do know that no superintendant for a single school district should be paid 2-1/2 times more than the governor and I also know that no teacher should be paid a higher wage than the people who pay that teacher's wage. We're in this together. Public employees are paid from funds taken from the private sector. NO funds will be available for any public sector worker if the private sector stops working.

    Making demands is not solving problems. If you want more money, solve a problem for less money than is paid to the private sector.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    In fairness that 2 million is a charitable contribution to the other states to help bring same-sex marriage nationally by mounting a lousy defense and bumping it up to higher levels. At least that's how I'm going to see it. I'm fine with 1-2 dollars of my tax money going to that result.

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Nice call, Dane. If there's more like this in you, for Pete's sake run for office. Better yet, run for our sake.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    An excellent -- and unfortunately very true -- letter.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    But Wait! Utah lawmakers are VERY concerned about the waste of taxpayer money spent to uncover all the corruption in the AG's office.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    The funny thing about conservatism is that eventually you run out of someone else's money.

    And mike richards comparing Herbert's situation to slavery? Haha! I wish I could be a Slavs and maybe $104k per year without having to do anything.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    As long as they attach an (R) to their names, they are ensured a seat in the backroom. When we vote, we sustain not elect. The citizen credo is "do as you like, just don't embarrass me".

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    The people elect the leaders. If the people wanted higher pay for teachers, they would have elected someone else. If the people wanted shoddy construction work on their highways, they would have elected someone else. If the people wanted their elected officials to be slaves instead of employees, they would have elected someone else.

    I find it amusing that those who demand that the governor be qualified to administer all programs in the state want him to receive less than half the salary of Barry Newbold, a former head of Jordan School District. Mr. Newbold had a very small job compared to the governor, yet his salary was over $250,000 per year. Why was there no hue and cry that everything above $50,000 be stripped from Mr. Newbold and paid to the teachers in his district? Why is there no hue and cry that the district offices be staffed with 1st year teachers and that the highly experienced and highly qualified district "staffers" be returned to the classroom where their experience would benefit the students?

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    Dane, you need to understand the terminology, because words in Utah don't always mean what you may think. "Fiscally responsible" means efficiently diverting money to those who contribute the most to politicians' campaigns. "Family friendly" means whatever promotes the agenda of the brothers and sisters in the Republican familiy.