Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is Marc Hujik a fox guarding the hen house?

As the scandal brews over the Kenosha Unified School Board's risky investments, member Marc Hujik's defense of this shady dealing which could cost district taxpayers millions of dollars.

The first thing you need to understand -- in plain English -- what the problem is. So here goes.

Municipal treasurers like to tout that they made the taxpayers money when they invested tax receipts in safe short-term vehicles such as certificates of deposit or Treasury Bills. They get a pat on the back for reducing the tax bite a little while not risking taxpayer money.

What KUSD and a few other school districts did was nothing like that. KUSD actually borrowed money to invest and then put it in a risky product that smacks of investing in junk bonds.

Playing Russian Roulette with taxpayer funds is bad enough but to borrow money on top of that to make risky investments is bizarre, to say the least.

Hujik's defense of that practice is not terribly surprising. Think of it like this: When was the last time you got a newsletter from an underperforming mutual fund that confessed, "We blew it and made some bad investments." You never hear that. So Hujik's butt covering blarney holds about as much water as a strainer, period.

3 comments:

new neighbor said...

Even if this idea had blossomed and benefited the KUSD and the taxpayers, the taking of odd financial risks is not what I consider to be an elect-able quality in a school board member.

Village People said...

Let's get the details on who made the most money; the seller or KUSD?

Anonymous said...

Even if Hujik suggested this product...someone other than him pulled the trigger. Johnson (Financial officer), school board (of which Hujik is a part), or superintendent. I think Marc not only suggested this product, but profited in some way. This "investigation" should find these answers out...we can't unspill the milk, but we can make sure it doesn't happen again.