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Conservative Reform Network


Conservative Reform Network Newsletter

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The Conservative Reform Network
The Newsletter for Independent, Conservative Political Activists

In This Issue
Conservative Reform Network

LM's Achievement Gap

LM's Little Guy

Ludington Library



Conservative Reform Network



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Dear Lowman,

This week's e-newsletter concentrates on my home township, Lower Merion. Despite many advantages of highly educated, affluent population and a broad commercial property tax base, there appears to me to be a growing arrogance in the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners (LMBOC) about its ability to manage the municipal fisc and the Lower Merion School Board's ability to educate all those attending Lower Merion government schools.
Lower Merion Debt: $8,496.81 Per Person and $20,793.10 Per Household. In the Township alone, for the coming fiscal year it is expected that spending will exceed revenues by about $5.5 million and Lower Merion itself has $100 Million in debt and rising with 15-22% property tax increases expected.

The article below details the Achievement Gap at Lower Merion government schools which, despite astronomical increases in School Board spending, has not been solved.

The LMBOC not only refuses to set a debt ceiling but does not seem to find any services it can cut. There are problems with core issue of Storm Water management which LMBOC cannot seem to solve and yet proposes to oversee $150 Ardmore Mini-Mall project and a $9 to$11 million Ludington Library expansion.


You can view more posts on my blog.

Lower Merion's Achievement Gap



Lower Merion leaves some children behind - Black Children and this school district spends more than any other school district on education and, it seems, many don't get educated.

Lower Merion's Little Guy



Who are the "little guys" in Lower Merion? The Homeowners on fixed income, I think. Some are people who have lived here 50, 60 or 70 years. If you can't afford what Lower Merion Board of Commissioners tells you to pay for services you may or may not want or use, you will just have to move to where poor "little guys" live.

20% tax increases hammer the homeowner on fixed income.
Do we really need to spend $11.1 million for library renovation where there is no evidence that even one more person will use the library?

Or to spend a QUARTER BILLION for two new schools, bus depot and Administration building upgrade (although I am reading that the total cost is $300 million where there is no evidence that even one student will learn more)?.

Or to spend $17.6 million for 319 new parking spaces in 8 story garage that few of the homeowners on fixed income will ever use?

I wonder if all of this was discussed at the LMBOC secret retreat?

Are higher taxes good for everyone? Do Higher Taxes hurt anyone?



Ludington Library



Lower Merion Commissioners: Raising Taxes For Multi-Million Dollar Ludington Library Renovation?


Ludington Renovation Buys 880,000 eBooks





I have been advised that the bid for Ludington is Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars

By way of comparison, and not a policy proposal, I would like to point out that 8, 800,000 will buy 880, 000 NEW books electronically via Kindle or 325, 925 NEW hardcover. Even more books currently in circulation could be bought. There are about 23,700 households in Lower Merion or about 37 books, NEW hardcover, for every household. It would seem that more people would likely be reading more books with this expenditure than $8.8 million for renovations, including a café, but not one new book. The operating and maintenance costs would likely increase for Café. There are eleven, not 17, Internet accessible computers and two are 10 minutes express computers. There about 55 parking spaces and these seem to be used for a separate building and also for Spring House Senior Center and Eldernet of Lower Merion and Narberth. The Library is closed Sundays, from June 21 to September 6. Kindle never closes. Borders is open seven days a week.

The Wall Street Journal reports that NEW titles delivered electronically via the Kindle cost about $10 compared to $275 to 27 for NEW hardcover books delivered and bought conventionally.

Lower prices can be expected to mean more people reading more books. Generally, when a price comes down for a product, we get more of that product so we can expect that with lower prices there will be more books, more books purchased, more books read and, even, we can hope, more readers. Lower prices lead to higher standard of living because more people can afford to buy more things they choose to buy. Why would we want to, artificially, inflate prices?

Amazon's Kindle is now $299. There are some Ludington Luddites who resist electronic books, the way of the future for producers and users of Law Books, Medical books and Educational Books and texts. Even for the delivery of daily newspaper.


Inconsistently, Commissioner Gelber, my commissioner in the 5th ward, and other Commissioners voted against automated trash pickup even though there was credible evidence that there would be savings between eight hundred thousand and one and a half million dollars per year. At Ludington, there is no evidence that even one more person will use this Library, nor that even one more person will read one more book nor that even one more person will read a book.

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