2021 school referendum yard signs

Yard sign thieves are at it again, and a Republican members of the Elkhart City Council is offering a reward for information that leads to the conviction of thieves stealing vote-no signs for the Elkhart Community Schools referendum.

ELKHART — A city councilman is offering a $500 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to the conviction of people stealing yard signs encouraging people to vote no in the Elkhart Community Schools referendum on May 4.

“We’re missing quite a number of signs,” said Councilman David Henke, R-3, who is part of the Taxing Unit Responsibility and Demand PAC that opposes the proposed tax hike. “We’ve put several thousand dollars of our personal money to get an informed voter and get the message out, and obviously there’s an effort to take the signs down.”

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter at @ReadRasmus

(17) comments

DHenke

I have been given copies of the budget but the REAL information is at the State Education level when you compare ESC data to similar school districts. That is the real story not the emotional responses we hear. Thalheimer stated the school is in financial trouble IF the referendum fails. They would need to close some buildings. Well if you lost over 2000 students why has this not been accomplished.

DHenke

Sunsoaked, I am pro education no matter where it comes from. Is your argument for education or just Elkhart School education? I am in favor of supporting what has proven positive outcomes measured by data not emotion, Without a managable plan the school continues to talk about moving schools, adding building and layers of managers but FAILS to manage a better and efficient education process. When the product fails other options surface hence, private schools and Charter schools. Wherever the best education comes from like college choice.

DHenke

Property provider is a real business. Margins must be met to manage cost of service and pay mortgages like a real business should. If I go broke I cannot call for a personal referendum to bail me out. I run a business and so should the school.

Sunsoaked

It is so obvious that DHenke doesn't know what he is writing about school finance and hasn't taken the time to really look at how school funding works. Maybe he should listen for a change of pace. BTW- property values go UP - not down - with investments in local schools (look at data on this). This article started about yard signs and it is very obvious that DHenke is the one that should be fined as he illegally placed signs and was fully aware (or should have been) of the rules. Article should of focused on the City Council member who is against schools and school employees (thus against bettering Elkhart) and cheats. The acronym is appropriate for his "so called" message.

sidearm

Are you a shill for the teachers union? Not everybody is thrilled with the current plan and added tax and Mr Henke is stating his opinion as is his right and duty as a council member. You sound like a very woke guy wanting to shut down anyone who disagrees. Grow up.

Sunsoaked

no one went broke- again dishonest. don't you want ECS to succeed Henke? ECS can't keep up with districts who already passed a referendum. Don't you want to help Elkhart? The district is NOT misspending money. That is in the past. The need for a referendum is due to legislative decisions that have been made and has caused MANY districts to ask the people. this is not an ECS specific concern. It was created by those who do not take the time to truly understand school finance and who remove dollars from public education.

sidearm

You are sounding very desperate now. Your, “that is in the past” statement says it all.

Joe King

It's embarrassing that someone like Henke who is a council member (for now) chooses to support himself and his rental properties more than he would support our schools, our teachers and bus drivers, and our school children... All so he won't have to pay more (or charge his renters) more for his rentals.... Think I'm wrong? How many rentals does Henke own? They should start sending him fines for every illegal sign he put up...how many sign permits do you get? My bet is 0... Can't even follow Elkhart's rules for stick in the ground signs....

DHenke

Superintendent Thalhiemer states the school needs to raise wages of teachers and education will improve. Why was teacher not included in the $148MM budget these last few years? The school put more buildings and promises above teacher pay. Don't blame the community or ask for more money. You already get $148MM each and every year! The more the school takes the less for food, medicine, restaurants, travel and the money is lost from local economy and quality of life for many property owners.

DHenke

The school budget of $148MM for 13,000 students is in the toilet and you want to talk about acronyms? Focus on students. Obvously the school board and administration have less value of teachers and staff as they HAVE NOT included them in their massive budget. BTW, they are now getting $26MM in CARES ACT money and $11MM in COVID Relief. Meaning property owners are being taxed twice for incomplete service. The school continued to pay staff, teachers, custodians, dietary, bus drivers, crossing guards and resource officers when NO STUDENTS were attending school. They know better and this is a money grab pulling the heart strings for teachers and transportation when in fact they should have been a priority in the school budget as opposed to duplicate positions, layers of administrative staff, more buildings and too many offices. What's in it for the students?

fire111

And 28 positions @ ECS pay $100,000 +. 180 of school. I know some of these positions are year round! Those not!!! $555.55 daily pay!

Kriblet

By the way, did anyone notice the name of the PAC against the referendum? Taxing Unit Responsibility and Demand...think about it. I can't even post the acronym here.

Sunsoaked

Mr. Henke is in the wrong and has full knowledge of guidelines and yet still placed signs illegally. Why isn't the headline here: "cheating" - rather than a small mention at the end of the article? The republican comment is also a wild claim. VOTE YES

59wall

It seems to me that Mr. Henke has a valid complaint about the referendum. While I support increasing teacher pay and making sure the transportation is safe and adequate, I can't help but wonder why these items were not given higher priority in the budgeting process? And I can't help but wonder if Mr. Henke's statements would be called a "wild claim" if they were coming from a Democrat instead of a Republican?

Kriblet

For all who have questions, do not rely on social media or one person's perspective. Come out to a meeting or go to the Stronger Elkhart web page. Watch a meeting. Get the information from the source. The next open forum is at West (Memorial) on April 29th at 6:30. Bring your questions and concerns.

sidearm

Dis band the teachers union and you would get a lot better response from the community. By downplaying the amount of money this will cost per household you are ignoring the fact that some people are just getting by and can’t afford it. We were sold a bill of goods by the last superintendent and many of us are not going to forget it.

Joe King

Henke is grandstanding to get free press. He is a council member, he knows where his signs are going..he has the phone number to the dept head and could have simply asked...he is placing his signs in abandoned and public right away knowing full well that the city will remove it eventually....vs putting it on peoples private property...where people don’t want it... I find it ironic council member henke is illegally placing his signs, then claiming someone is stealing them and offering a reward....hey henke...it’s the city....you know that, we know that..stop placing them there,,,now how to I collect my $500? Support schools and children...be a community citizen.vote yes.

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