Friday, December 28, 2007

D&C Editorial:

"School budget plans lack detail"

Hundreds Upon Hundreds Make Athena Honor Rolls ...

With the vast majority on the list, is it still "special" to receive this honor?

ATHENA HONOR ROLLS

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We're Pleased To Announce ...

NEW BLOG ADMINISTRATION;

Same BLOG Rules :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Taxpayer Jingle ...

Anonymous said...

To Jingle Bells:

Spending lots of dough
Forget what voters say
Keep asking for more
Laughing all the way


The board is a big joke
Steve makes too much money
Tax payers are broke
This isn’t very funny!


O! Higher taxes, Higher taxes, Higher taxes today!
To pay for all the things
‘Cause Greece is in disarray!
The district whines, the teachers cry, the union has its day
For them to get a free ride,
Tax payers are forced to pay

Teachers need a health club
Or so the district said
AC and Astro Turf
While we’re livin’ on thread

We’ve given them our cash
For granite road side curbs
They spent it in a flash
On Big raises that disturb

O! Higher taxes, Higher taxes, Higher taxes today!
To pay for all the things
‘Cause Greece is in disarray!
The district whines, the teachers cry, the union has its day
For them to get a free ride,
Tax payers are forced to pay


12/26/2007 12:03 PM

Sunday, December 23, 2007

IF YOU WERE SANTA, WHAT WOULD YOUR GIFT TO GCSD BE?


12 brand new buses?

11 shorter school board meetings?

10 fewer executive sessions?

9 new musical instruments (per school)?

8 fewer district studies?

7 eliminated vacation days (eliminate Feb. break)?

6 extra teachers (per building)?

5 less committees?

4 more schools-of-choice?

3 curriculum upgrades (math, science, ELA)?

2 propositions passing?

1 apology from Carolyn Hauer?



SCATS' Gift To All ~~ The Twelve Days of Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

Athena MS Removed From State's Watch List

Apollo & Arcadia Remain On List

"This really reflects the hard work of our campus administrators and staff." ~~ Geoff Sanderson, Greece's exec. dir. of strategic planning ~~ Regarding Athena's Removal

STORY

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Anonymous said...
" ... Exactly what does someone need to do to be held accountable for their actions in Greece?" 12/18/2007 8:40 PM

Sunday, December 16, 2007

NEW POLL STARTS TODAY

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Walts' Legacy Makes Wall Street Journal Headlines!

SPECIAL EDUCATION LAWSUIT,
AFTERMATH ANALYZED

Principals felt "pressure to spend the least amount of money possible" on special education. ~~ Jo Kehoe

"I can say without a doubt that he makes all decisions based on what's in the best interests of the kids." ~~ Keith Imon, regarding Walts' handling of Special Education Services in Greece

"It was, boom, one year, the kid was in a private placement and the next year he was dumped into a regular school with really limited support." ~~ Margaret McLaughlin, special-education prof. Univ. of Maryland

Wall St. Journal

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Official Vote Tally Is ...

4,386 voted in favor of EXCEL
1,009 voted against EXCEL
5,395 voters total

Source: GCSD Website

Thursday, December 13, 2007

VOTERS APPROVE EXCEL
BY ALMOST 1000 VOTES

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SCATS Recommends a "NO" Vote On EXCEL

It is with a heavy heart and a torn psyche that we suggest Greece voters turn down the EXCEL Bond at the polls tomorrow. We looked at the positives and realize our schools really need some attention. Then we looked at the track record of the school board and Superintendent since the vote last May where EXCEL and the budget were both voted down. Then we asked "What's changed, except for a few faces on the schoolboard?"

Unfortunately, we find absolutely no reason to trust anything they tell us! From the toxic email debacle to the Barnard Fitness Center, from a TV studio no one knew we had for several years to missing meeting minutes, we just can't find something of substance to reassure us that our tax $$ will be well spent no matter where those $$ come from. Therefore SCATS strongly recommends that you go out on Thursday, whatever the weather and ...

JUST SAY "NO" TO EXCEL

***Please remember that polling locations have returned to the elementary schools where everyone voted previously***

Monday, December 10, 2007

JUDGE RULES IN COUNTY'S FAVOR ON FAIR PLAN!!

News 10 Links

From 13WHAM News ~~ Justice Kenneth Fisher ruled that "… plaintiffs/petitioners have wholly failed to meet their heavy burden to show that the county legislature resolution which adopted the sales tax intercept option would be a 'causal link between the present funding system and a proven failure to provide a sound basic education to... children."

Updated EXCEL Info

Dec 9 2007

EXCEL Project – Hidden Costs

1. Now confirmed - bonds will be sold to finance the EXCEL project.

2. Publicized Project Costs = $21.4M.

3. Unpublicized (hidden) Costs = $7.3M (estimated bond interest)

4. Total public funds to be expended on EXCEL = $28.7M --- 34% more than $21.4M publicized for Building Repairs and Technology Upgrades.

5. Question#1: What did BOE know – when and how informed?

6. Question#2: Have voters been properly informed?

7. Question#3: When Board Member Julia VanOrman urged voters to vote yes at the recent BOE meeting, how much [spending] was she urging voters to approve… $21.4M… or $28.7M?

8. Question#4: Does anyone now have new theories on why the BOE meeting video tape was altered?

George Hubbard

Sunday, December 09, 2007

From Our Email ~~

Dec 7 2007

EXCEL Project – Finance Costs

Board Member Oberg makes a point in his posting “EXCEL Bond Dot #4 - December 6, 2007”. Thank you for responding to my earlier posting of Dec 5.

Frank states, “The rate of interest charge will be determined at the time the bonds are sold so the precise amount of interest is not known [at this time].”

George says, none of the costs in the EXCEL project are precise... all are best available estimates. So why should finance/interest charges be treated differently... doesn’t the District have estimates... what has BOE been told... why shouldn’t these costs be disclosed... why shouldn’t the public know?

Let’s break the EXCEL proposal down into bite size pieces using essential declarative COST STATEMENTS and REVENUE STATEMENTS.

CS#1 - COST STATEMENT: According to project plans, GCSD estimates “Building Repairs” will cost $17.8M at then current market rates at the time of construction.

RS#1 - REVENUE STATEMENT: GCSD estimates revenue from State Aid reimbursement to be $17.8M for “Building Repairs”.

CS#2 - COST STATEMENT: According to project plans, GCSD estimates “Technology Updates” will cost $3.6M at then current market rates at the time of purchase.

RS#2 - REVENUE STATEMENT: GCSD estimates revenue from State Aid reimbursement to be $3.6M for “Technology Updates”.

Oberg statement: GCSD plans to borrow money to finance the EXCEL project using 15 year bonds.

CS#3 - COST STATEMENT: According to project plans, GCSD estimates “Bond Interest” will cost $x.x at then current market rates at the time the bond(s) are sold.

RS#3 - REVENUE STATEMENT: In the interest of simplicity and before discussing revenue to pay for “Bond Interest”, let’s first understand the amount of “Bond Interest” to be paid.

1. COST QUESTION: What is the estimated interest cost ($x.x) to finance the EXCEL project?

2. Can’t the “Bond Interest” cost be estimated with about as much precision as estimates for “Building Repairs” and “Technology Updates”?

3. If this cost information is not confidential, shouldn’t it be made available to the public as part of total project cost? And if not, why not?

4. I and others have estimated the bond interest at $7.3M. If this number is correct, finance cost/bond interest is more significant than cost for “Technology Updates” for the total project by a factor of 2X.

George Hubbard

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hauer To "Update" Us On Finance Committee @ Tuesday's BOE Meeting

It is anticipated that the Board will go into an Exec. Session at 5:30pm to discuss GTA, GUSS & GUSTO Negotiations

AGENDA ITEMS INCLUDE:
Proclamations - Supt & Boily
Board Member Apology
EXCEL Update - Nadolinski
Schools of Choice & Open Enrollment Update - Supt
Budget Review - Supt & Alaimo
Finance Committee Update - Hauer
GUSTO Contract Comments - Boily
Discussion on Release of Board Meeting Information - Moscato
Discussion - Board Communication and Actions -Moscato
District Code of Conduct Review - Moscato

Thursday, December 06, 2007

FROM THE MAILBAG ...

YouTube Video
Of PWC BOE Meeting 6/20/07
Shows Graduate Angry With
District's New Administration

Edited Board Meeting Tape Called "UNWISE."

VanOrman's comment "was expressed during an open meeting. It's in the public domain. In my opinion there's absolutely no reason for deleting it or removing it from a record that's clearly public, that was created during a public forum," ~~Robert Freeman, executive director of the Committee on Open Government.

"Somebody made a conscious decision to censor the tape. There's no other way you can put it." ~~ Joe Moscato

"That was the only thing that concerned people - the urge to vote 'yes.' Anything else that may have been edited, I have no knowledge of." ~~ Roger Boily

"I need to publicly apologize because I ran for the board to be the voice for the children and the voice for the community and I take that very seriously. So I have to make sure I'm doing the best job I can as a board member and I did make a mistake so I have to own up to that and apologize to my fellow board members for the havoc it's caused." ~~ Julia VanOrman

"I can't accept the explanation that it was an honest mistake. It lacks credibility. In my opinion, it was very clearly an attempt to exert editorial control which is against access guidelines." ~~ Brian Caterino, EduCable

MPNNow

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

VOTE NOW

NEW FINANCE
COMMITTEE POLL OPEN

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

HAS FINANCE COMMITTEE GONE UNDERGROUND?

"STEALTH COMMITTEE"
PLANS MEETING,
ACCORDING TO POSTINGS

Anonymous said...
I know someone on the Finance committee who told me they were meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the District offices. She also told me that Bob Mueller is one of the committee members. 12/04/2007 1:53 PM

Anonymous said...
I can't believe it! When in the wide world of sports is Bob Mueller going to wise up. Doesn't he realize that he has no credibility in this district. This is the guy who gave Steve Walts health care for life on our dime. Nothing but arrogance on the part of whoever put this committee together and they want us to trust them. Not likely. No way Jose. Talk about the fox in the henhouse. 12/04/2007 2:39 PM

Anonymous said...
Another name has surfaced on Carolyn's Stealth Committee. His name is Delbert Smith, CPA and Rotarian. His office is located at 2680 Ridge Rd. West. This was the address for the Greece Committee for Education. That office also served as Roger Boily's campaign headquarters in May 2006. They raised over $20,000 to get Roger, Carolyn and Julia elected that year. Politics as usual. This committee is a classic farce perpetrated on this community. These same guys raised $8,000 for last year's election to get O'Toole and the dynamic Jeff Smith elected to the board.Does anyone wonder why these supposedly fiscally responsible people would commit over $24,000 to gain control of the school board? That amounts to roughly $5,000 per seat for a position that pays absolutely nothing. What is worse, they got them on the board and they have done nothing but screw up since they've been there.Its unbelievable and only in Greece does this kind of crap happen. 12/04/2007 6:04 PM

Our First Poll Results Shows EXCEL Would Pass

67% (71 votes) Would Vote To Approve EXCEL
32% (34 votes) Would Vote To Defeat It


It will be interesting to see how closely this poll represents the reality on Dec. 13th!

Coming Soon: Our Next Poll On Schools-of-Choice
Please feel free to suggest future poll topics :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

BOE MEMBER PROVIDES FULL TAPE TO EDUCABLE!!

Anonymous said...
12-2-07 from Charlie Hubbard - school board

Let me make something perfectly clear - the 'cutting' of this tape is the type of thing that infuriates me as an elected official.

The 'anonymous' person who passed this tape to Mr. Caterino is ME. I was contacted by Mr. Caterino that part of the tape supplied to him by the district appeared to be missing and knowing that i always get a copy would i check my copy which i did and yes his copy was 'cut' - i toke him my copy the next day 'WHAT was cut is NOT the issue' WHO ordered these cuts and for whoever those people are i have one thing to say 'who the hell do you think you are'

I can tell you i have not been contacted by anyone at the district concerning this issue. This is dangerous stuff - we have been here before - if an attorney said it was ok (i got ten bucks that says you won't find a paper trail)my comment is 'see ya' and don't come back.

First we stick our middle finger up to the vote then comes the 'e-mail from hell' now this self serving censorship. It makes me sick.

Charlie Hubbard
chubbard005@rochester.rr.com
615-2678
12/02/2007 12:00 PM

Special Ed Costs Rise With Higher Needs, Fed Aid Falls

School Costs Average
Three Times Higher
On Special Needs Students Than Others

D&C ARTICLE
BOE VP TO APOLOGIZE
FOR "VOTE YES" MESSAGE;
TAPE CUT ADMITTED

"Board members are not supposed to encourage voters to vote one way or another on any vote."~~ Lynne Armstrong, District Clerk

"I was speaking as a parent, not a board member. I made a mistake, and I need to face that and say that I am sorry. I will publicly apologize to the community at our next meeting and let everyone know those were just my personal opinions." ~~ Van Orman, BOE VP

"I do think it was partly because of what I said." ~~ Joe Moscato, BOE

"It isn't a matter of people being good or evil, but it's the temptation of power. That's why it's the consensus of the cable access community that public access should not be in the hands of government." ~~ Brian Caterino, Educable

D&C ARTICLE (They finally covered this story!)