At Irondale High in the Mounds View district, the “four corners” area becomes a traffic jam during passing times, officials say. The district’s $164.8 million ask is one of the biggest in the metro area. But officials say most buildings are already beyond capacity, with another 1,600 students expected within seven years.As a marching band parent, I've spent a lot of time at Irondale over the years. It's an old building and it's not unreasonable to ask for the money. While our taxes would go up, I'm willing to spend the money. But there's only so much money to go around, especially for people on fixed incomes. And if the school district needs the money, should the county and municipal governments make do with less? That's a question worth asking:
Inner-ring districts face a challenge, though: a core of older voters on fixed incomes for whom “yes” votes can mean a big tax hike. In Roseville, the proposal would add more than $400 a year for median-valued homes. In New Brighton, a City Council member held her tax form up to visiting leaders from the Mounds View district and said of the $400-plus bump she faces: “That’s kind of a kick, right?”The City Council member in question is Gina Bauman, who is running for reelection this year against considerable opposition. She has long been the meddlesome priest who often stands alone against the merry spenders who make up the rest of the council, along with the mercurial mayor we featured yesterday. They would like to raise taxes, too. Some of the people on my street are original owners and have been in their houses for 50+ years. It's going to be a challenge for them to pay more in taxes. Bauman is correct; an extra $400 a year is kind of a kick. That's why it's important to choose your priorities. Can the municipal government make do with less money? They'd rather not find out.