Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where Oh Where Has The Finance Committee Gone??

While Hauer Was MIA,
The World Changed ...
But GCSD's Budget Dilemmas Remain

SCATS: While Carolyn "went missing" for 6 weeks:
The world's economy collapsed
US stock markets tumbled
The housing market dried up
Tina Fey became the latest SNL legend
Obama was elected
A $700 billion bailout was enacted
Citizens' 401k plans shriveled
The automaker's begged before Congress ... TWICE
a $700 billion bailout began
Hillary decided NY wasn't her biggest fish to fry ...



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Household Incomes Down 11% In Greece Since 1999

Follows County's Trend As Impoverished Number Grows


Friday, December 26, 2008

The Blind Leading The Blind ...

GCSD Schools Risk Losing $4Million In Paterson's Budget Cut Proposal

“Everything’s on the table right now. We’re looking at everything. We’ll be looking at staffing, we’ll be looking at programs, we’ll be looking at class size.” ~~ BOE Prez, VanOrman


SCATS: Does "everything" include schools of choice, signature schools and secondary options, too?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

From Santa's Sack ...

GCSD Reaches Agreement With Teamsters
Members To Get Pay Raises, Health Care Changes

Greece Cobras Sue Parma Over Land Use
Group Seeks Zoning Variance For Soccer Complex

Anonymous said...
My Christmas list:I want an update from the finance committee for Christmas. By the way, does anyone know the objective(s) of the finance committee? The tactic seems to be to never report on any actions, any recommendations or even post any meeting notes. So now that I know the tactic, can we please know what their purpose, goal, or objective might be. Happy New Year too! 12/24/2008 9:55 AM


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Update on Previous Posting ...

Anonymous said...
Regarding the 51/2 yr wait on my settlement I was wrongly terminated from a k-5 building along with 22 others that were forced to resign,relocate or just quit. I worked for 22 years and when asked to sign a letter a resignation I refused. This was under Walts I have not spoken out for 5 1/2 years and now I am outraged that Greece keeps putting on the back burner. 12/23/2008 12:30 PM

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gov. Paterson's Budget Timeline ...

Tues. Dec 16th ~~ Gov. Releases Proposed Budget

Tues. 16-now ~~ Public Reacts With Anger Over 130+ New Taxes & Fees

Fri. Dec. 19th ~~ Paterson tells media: "I can't believe that I became governor and I'm cutting education like this."

Sun. Dec. 21 ~~ Paterson visits Iraq

SCATS: Just like the automakers who used their corporate jets to get to Wash. DC to beg for bail-out money, Paterson doesn't "get it!" I wonder WHO paid for his jaunt to Iraq?! WHY is he there!?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

GCSD Sues To Recoup $1 Million+ For Shoddy Work

Allegations Mount As More Problems Surface:

Key card security system has never worked
HVAC systems poorly designed, malfunction
West Ridge ES roof defective
Entry canopies endanger students in poor weather
A-PAC handicapped & other seating has no view of stage
Loading dock inaccessible

Achramovitch ~~ No comment
BOE Prez. VanOrman ~~ "This is all very serious. When you pay for a service, you expect that service to be performed."


SCATS: How astute of you, Julia!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Should Greece Have Closed School Today?

Should school have been let out after a half day?

Should afternoon pre-K been called off?

As of the noon hour, I only saw that evening activities were FINALLY called off ...

SCATS: Steve, have you looked out the window of your Ivory Tower yet today?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Julia Said Settling Donlon's Suit Closed A Chapter ... Maybe Not ...

Anonymous said...
I would like to know when Greece will settle my suit that has been in the works for 5 1/2 years I had a arbitration date Nov 20th that I waited for a long time and when I arrived at the meeting I was told Bob Schroder had cancelled the meeting at 9:20am 45 mins before we were to start. What is up with that?
12/18/2008 9:51 PM

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paterson Slashes State Aid By Almost $700 Million

Greece to see 6% reduction in aid


Update ~~ Greece's reduction in aid will total $4,225,257, a decrease of 5.73%

An Ominous Comment ...

Anonymous said...
Maybe the BOE ought to revisit the volunteers that are making money from our families and the district. Specific to the Girls Soccer program at the HS.

Once again a lay person, who has been rumored to have been removed from all coaching and clubs in and around Greece, is partnering with our paid coaches to run training programs for girls in the "off months" .

Buyer beware. Part of your money is going into this persons's pocket. He is charging a fee.

Not so rumored are documented accusations that this individual bilked hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former business partners accounts-foiled county records show that some of these dollars were spent on Massage parlors and the likes...although no guilt was admitted and the case settled.....

I ask-do you want this kind of "coach" training your kids and do you want to pay him to do it?The BOE will not listen nor will the District-he's a volunteer so they have no authority over him

and he's friends with most of them! 12/16/2008 5:59 AM

Monday, December 15, 2008

Crime Spree Hits Greece Neighborhood

Dollar General Robbed At Gunpoint Twice In 3 Months

Kwik-Fill robbed 3 Times In 3 Months

At Least 4 Businesses Robbed Recently

RNews Story

SCATS: Why hasn't this been reported elsewhere?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deliberate Violation of GTA Contract Hurts Union Negotiations

BOE's vote to impose calendar change is: "just the culminating event, the last in a series of things where we have been ignored or disregarded." ~~ Don Palozzi, GTA Pres.


SCATS: Why didn't our Supt. know that calendar changes required union approval? Why did he blame the union for leaving the calendar issue unresolved when it was due to his own short-comings as a Supt.? Why did our BOE enable him in this dysfunction by voting to adopt the change anyway?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

BOE Calls Special Meeting/Exec. Session For Tuesday

12/16/2008 Special Meeting, Executive Session, 5:30 pm

It is anticipated that the Board will go into an Executive Session at 5:30 pm in E40 to discuss a the employment history of a particular person.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Donlon Settles EEOC Suit Against GCSD For Just $235,000

"Until the Greece school board's vote, Walts had been on track to testify in depositions or at trial." ~~ Washingtonpost.com

"It's good to be done with this chapter of our history. It was a lot of heartache for the district to deal with these lawsuits. Some people thought it would be interesting to hear him testify in a lawsuit." ~~ Pat Tydings, BOE VP

SCATS: Did the BOE settle just so Steve Walts wouldn't have to testify!? I believe so!

ATTN District Office: The promised statement Steve mentioned Tuesday night still is NOT on the district website ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Way to go Joe!!!

Two county workers in Robach campaign ad accused of theft in investigation

Robach declined to go on camera ~~ News10 NBC

NYS Legislature Ponders 4 Day School Week

"Can we squeeze an equivalent amount of hours in a four-day week as we now do in a five-day week in order to meet the traditional New York state 180-day statutory minimum of instruction requirement?" ~~ Charles Dawson, state School Boards Assn


SCATS: We're already doing this what with all the days off the kids get out of school for conferences, staff development, etc. Why not make it official?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Community must FOIL GCSD to learn settlement amount!
Hauer wants Berry Report released ~~ to be discussed at future meeting.

BOE votes to change school calendar despite GTA contract conflict

Hauer Finds Her Way Back To The BOE Room ~~ CONGRATS, CAROLYN!!

Joe Moscato ~~ Offers to meet in Exec. Session to share info he has related to Walts' health care with BOE

Dave Garretson ~~ Tells BOE EVERYONE should be able to address them during Residents Forum

A-PAC Update ~~ Needs $400,000 - 500,000 in repairs for "several dozens of problems" with walls, windclips, etc.!! Will take approx. 6 weeks to do. Continued monitoring for weather conditions recommended

Forensic Audit of 2000 CIP ~~ Of 38 contractors, 34 involved in notable problems, especially with "contingency allowances." Found: $143,000 of potentially unallowable charges made via contingency allowances; $43,500 in over-charges for work; inconsistent labor rates used for same employees on different jobs; $10,000 spent to install water fountain that cost $150. Cell phone expenses rose from $100 to $500/mo/person when Walts et al began move to Va. Travel expenses also rose rapidly at that time.

Transportation Committee ~~ Savings from bus stop changes instituted may exceed planned $800K and reach $997K this yr.

BOE Amended/Expanded Complaint Against Thomas Assoc.

Senior Tax Exemptions Left Unchanged

Longridge School Among "1st Percentile" of NY Schools Cited With Poorest Air Quality

Odyssey Academy Ranks In 2nd Percentile*


School Locator Map

*SCATS: We can breathe easy knowing these kids (and employees) are exposed by "choice"

Monday, December 08, 2008

Forensic Audit Findings Expected Soon

Final Report May Be Ready For BOE Meeting Tuesday

Forensic Engineering Report Expected

Walts' Health Care TBD


SCATS: Lots of "HOT" Topics On Tap For A Cold Night ;) Let's hire a forensic investigator to locate our "missing" BOE member!

Friday, December 05, 2008

How Can Greece Get The DA's Attention?

Anonymous said...
"... has anyone noticed the media frenzy and the Brooks/Green stage show regarding the alleged theft of $100K or so by 15 city employees or contractors. Well here in Greece we have at least $1,700,000 of public funds spent by our school district without proper authorization, no record of contractual obligation, or architect acknowledgement of completion of work. Now is that a bigger deal than yesterday's $100,000 dog and pony show?

You bet! But just try to get DA Green to step up to the plate and do anything about Greece tax dollars stolen. When the Republican party in Greece tells Brooks and Green to ignore our loss, they won't lift a finger to seek out the thieves. And isn't it true that Phelan and others who let those "gifts of public funds" occur should be considered "co-conspirators" in a felony?

What does it take to get anyone interested in getting our "stolen" public tax dollars returned to us? Boily and his stooges (aka Van Norman, Smith, McCabe, etc) are the laughing stock of Greece as they protect their private money contribution machine (aka Crista Construction). Too bad we are crying instead of laughing." 12/05/2008 10:05 AM

Greece Cobras Consider Taking Parma Soccer Complex Case To Court

Zoning Board of Appeals denied club's request to overrule a Parma building official's determination that the proposed complex doesn't comply with existing zoning regulations

Soccer club believes complex is akin to placing a golf course in residential area


SCATS: I've never heard obscenities shouted at a golf tournament before ... have you?

Regents Recommend NY Cutback School Spending Increase By $1 Billion

Regents seek $879 million more in 2009-10, for a 4% increase to $22 billion
Targets $586 million for foundation aid


SCATS: What should GCSD do to prepare for state aid cutbacks?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Accused Teacher Makes Brief Court Appearance

Follow-up court date of 1 p.m. Jan. 7 set to hear motions, or requests by the defense attorney of Jeffrey Hoffman. Hoffman is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

2008 Ethics of American Youth Survey Summary

30% admit stealing from a store in the past year

42% sometimes lie to save money

64% cheated on a school exam in the past year

26% admit lying in response to the survey !!

93% said they were satisfied with their personal ethics & character

77% said that when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know

SCATS: Sounds like there will be no shortage of potential future GREECE BOE candidates

Julia Works "For The Children" ~~ Are They Running The Show?

"In the past we have not done this publicly. But we are trying to be a board that is open and we are trying to be transparent. We were all elected by this community to work for the community on behalf of the children of this district." ~~ Julia VanOrman, BOE Prez

BOE Sets Measurement-Based Goals For Supt.
Will Raise Test Scores For Math & LA
To Boost Graduation Rates 3%
To Reduce Bullying/Violence By Committee


SCATS: They finally admitted 79% was the accurate graduation statistic for this past year ;)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008



It appears her last time in attendance was at the Oct. 14th meeting.

The GCSD Policy Book Index lists this entry: "Board Member Attendance at Regular Board Meetings 1510." Unfortunately, policy 1510 makes NO MENTION of BOE member attendance or requirements to attend a specific number of meetings. Previously, policy used to state that three missed meetings could result in removal from office.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Lonsberry Caller: 25% of Greece HS Students May Be Non-Residents

I tuned into WHAM radio while on the road today and discovered Lonsberry was discussing the whole school residency issue with his callers. One fellow who called-in really got my attention. He said his wife teaches in Greece where it is quietly accepted amongst employees that "as much as 25% of the high school students" don't live in the Town of Greece! He indicated little is done to remedy it out of political correctness.

Lonsberry asked him where these students come from and whether or not they succeed in Greece schools. The caller indicated that they come from the City of Rochester, are usually African-American or East European and perhaps only one-third do well in Greece.

Lonsberry further inquired as to whether or not these students bring problems with them. The caller mentioned gang fights and was promptly disconnected (i.e. hung up on).

Given the fact that upcoming school district budget decisions are going to be accompanied by lots of bad economic news, the potential for huge reductions in NY State Aid and complaints from those who pay property taxes to support GCSD, the time has come to wrestle this monster into submission. The chart in Sunday's D&C shows Greece's track record indicates they don't take this problem seriously. We've"disenrolled" only 3 students from 2004-07! For 2007-08, just 28 students were caught and removed.

In comparison, Rush-Henrietta under the leadership of Greece's former employee, Dr. Kenneth Graham, appears to be getting a handle on the problem. R-H ousted 80 students in 2004-05, 64 in 2005-06, 45 in 2006-07 and 25 in 2007-08 ... a record of huge improvement for a much smaller district!

Resident students are hurt by your do-nothing stance on a budgetary issue that makes the cost of our bussing pale in comparison! Speaking of bussing, maybe we wouldn't need as many busses if we were to transport only Greece resident students ;)

It's The Law ...

... But Are We Meeting It In Greece?

New York state requires students K-3 to participate in physical education daily. Grades 4-6 must have at least 120 minutes per week and grades 7-12 should have PE class three times per week in one semester and at least twice weekly in another semester.



Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Time GCSD Gets Serious About Non-Resident Students!

Rush-Henrietta ~~ removed more than 248 students from the books over residency since 2004-05 (almost 50/year!)

Greece ~~ Pvt. investigator has 14 open cases currently; of 43 total cases last year just 28 students removed from Greece schools over residency issues

"I don't know why kids from outside the district try to go to our schools." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch

SCATS: Could someone buy Steve a clue!?!?
What's wrong with this picture: We're NY's 8th largest district, but remove a fraction of the students that R-H does in a year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Study Session Tuesday ~~ Supt's Goals

Exec. Session ~~ student discipline & the employment history of a particular person ~~ 5:15PM
Study Session ~~ 6:30PM




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Joke Just In Time For Thanksgiving ...

I bought my dog Sparky a parrot to keep her company. What a mistake!! The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. I tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else I could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

To make matters worse the Parrot began to attack Sparky verbally and physically, even dive bombing the beloved pooch.

Finally, I was fed up and I yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. I shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. So, in desperation, I threw up my hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that I'd hurt the parrot, I quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto my outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

I was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As I was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"...



The BOE Meeting To Set the Supt's Goals Was Canceled So Sean McCabe Could Go Hunting!

SCATS: Happy hunting, Sean. Steve wants you to know he loves having no expectations ;)

Pignato's Colorful Record Discounted By Rahn?

RPD fired Pignato in 1997 for: 1 - revealing to a bar owner that undercover officers had targeted his establishment for surveillance and 2 - taking a transsexual to the birthday party of another officer and encouraging the individual to perform oral sex on the officer.

Greece Police Chief Merritt Rahn hired Pignato in 2002 after a background check and psychological profile convinced officials he would be a good officer.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Greece Police ~~ The Yin & Yan

8th Safest Community in America

"The members of the Greece Police Department work hard to provide for the safety and well being of our residents." ~~ Police Chief Merritt Rahn



2nd Greece Cop In 3 Months Charged With Felony

"We don't hide things. We don't cover things up." ~~ Chief Merritt Rahn, GPD



SCATS: With their recent track record, are we safer if we don't call police?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Give Backs ~~ Should Supt Set The Tone For Rest of District?

Town Employees Forego Cars/Perks During Tough Economy


With so many unsettled contracts, what has supt. done to encourage unions to settle for less?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Signature School Applications Due December 12

GCSD Signature School brochures were mailed to all incoming kindergarten through fifth-grade students. The brochure provides information about each of the elementary Signature Schools and contains an application. Those interested in enrolling must complete the application and return it by December 12, 2008. Acceptance is on a space available basis. Families will be notified in February as to whether their child has been accepted to a Signature School or placed on a waiting list. For more information, please call 966-2473.

SCATS: When do parents receive notice regarding school-of-choice applications?

Brizard's Suspension Policy: IS IT "RACIST?"

Brizard Appears To Have The Backing Of His BOE


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is Imitation Really The Sincerest Form Of Flattery ?

I guess I should feel flattered, but I don't. Beware any email received from an address similar to the one SCATS uses. An imposter, or maybe a stalker, has cloned a very similar email address and used it to send email to the BOE.

Anonymous said...
SCATS I assure you that at no point was this email address meant to be anything more than honorary. Given your response, I also assure you that it won't happen again. Sorry. 11/21/2008 9:44 AM


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Robo-Call Slams Robach

Dinner Hour Phone Call Urges Recipient To Call Robach's Office & Complain About His Inaction In Albany

SCATS: Who made these anonymous calls? Did you receive one?

Greece Cobras Seek Variance For Soccer Complex In Parma

They must prove that building the soccer complex is the only way they could realize a reasonable return on their investment ($1) in the land.


SCATS: I'll offer them $10 for the land :) Do I hear $12? Anyone??

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We're Told Our Student Population Is Diverse

How Diverse Is Our Teaching Staff?
What Is GCSD Doing To Broaden It?

D&C Story Discusses Brighton's Initiative

From Our Email ...

A small group of Brighton residents have put up www.ASIBrighton.org a blog site concerned with the rapidly increasing property tax burden generated by our school district budgeting.

You may be interested in our blog site and some of the Posts.

Maybe there are ways that we can help each other. Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Editorial Claims Union Release Time is "Cost Effective"

"In my 30 years of negotiating local postal service contracts and being involved in three national negotiations, management has never tried, or even submitted a proposal, to curtail this item — because it is a cost- effective business decision."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Want fries wit dat?" ~~ "No, I just want correct change please!"

Sunday, on my way home from errands, I gave into my semi-annual yearning for a fastfood burger. I pulled into a McD's drive-thru to pick up a quick lunch on-the-go. I placed my order.

The voice from the microphone said, "That will be $4.21. Please pull up to the window."

I drove to the window and noticed the teen girl inside was wearing a hoodie from a Greece HS (Class of '08 it said, which school doesn't matter) along with her uniform to protect her from the gusting winds.

She opened the window. I gave her a twenty dollar bill and a penny. Immediately, her smile changed, first to a blank look, then to a frown. She set the penny aside and picked up a calculator. She punched some numbers. She punched more numbers. She entered something into the register and looked shocked. She walked over to get another somewhat older girl to come see what was on the register's screen.

The older girl punched more numbers, said something I couldn't hear then walked away. The window opened and the younger girl handed over my food and $15.79 in change for my purchase. The window closed and she walked away.

I sat there waiting to catch her attention when the older girl saw me and pointed towards me as she told the younger girl to look in my direction. They both returned to the window as they saw me shaking my head "No."

The window opens. I said, "I'm sorry, but the change is wrong. I gave you a twenty and a penny." I handed back the four pennies and said, "I'll trade you these for a nickle."

The older one said to the younger girl, "You didn't tell me you had the penny."

The younger girl responds, "I didn't think it mattered."

The older girl turns back to me and apologized, then explained that the younger girl was so flustered by the penny that she entered $20,000.00 into the register as the amount of cash taken.

Fortunately for McD's, this teen was incapable of giving change for a transaction such as that! Unfortunately for GCSD, this teen is a walking, talking advertisement for much that ails our schools.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Anonymous said...
Is it possible to communicate directly with board members, rather than be filtered by the clerk? Does anyone know how to reach the president or vice president by e-mail, for instance? 11/15/2008 8:51 AM

SCATS: If anyone can provide us with their email addresses, we'd like to post them so these folks can be reached for business. We'd also like to know which BOE members are liaisons to which schools.

Friday, November 14, 2008

BOE Can Meet Safely At A-PAC*

Engineer Clears Facility
For 60MPH Winds,
85 MPH Gusts

Full Report Expected At Dec. 9th BOE Meeting


*SCATS: All our buildings should be able to endure "gale-force" winds ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


When Pine Brook School opened in 1993, the design capacity was for 625 students.

Last year, enrollment was 599 students for this building.

There are 45 fewer students this year making current enrollment 554.

Supt. Achramovitch says they have adjusted their class sizes to keep them in-line with the rest of the district.

That's a net loss of 71 slots!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GCSD Could Lose $3.8 Million In State Aid


Control Nazis Nip Community Input

The BOE voted AGAINST temporarily suspending policy that would have allowed former district administrator, Doug Skeet to speak at Residents Forum tonight

SCATS wishes to personally thank Frank Oberg for showing his true colors by casting his vote with the majority!

"You can't just break a contractual agreement with someone." ~~ VanOrman

Claims BOE can't halt Walts' health care

Forensic Audit ~~ "We want this done right and don't want a rush job." ~~ VanOrman

A-PAC Safety Also On Tonight's Agenda



Monday, November 10, 2008

Music Teacher, Band Leader Arrested

Jeffrey Hoffman Charged
With Endangering the
Welfare of A Child

Taught At Craig Hill & Pine Brook Schools (D&C STORY)

Achramovitch's Statement:
“I can confirm that on Friday, November 7, a Greece teacher was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

On Thursday, November 6, the parents of a Greece student came to district officials with concerns about this teacher’s alleged inappropriate contact with their child. We immediately contacted Greece police and are cooperating fully with the Greece Police Department’s investigation.

The teacher was suspended with pay on Thursday, November 6 and the district will begin disciplinary proceedings immediately.

Student safety remains our utmost concern.”


An earlier comment posted provided this link to an Advisory Opinion written by Robert Freeman (NY State Committee on Open Govt). In it, Freeman states: "I note that §103 of the Open Meetings Law provides that meetings of public bodies are open to the "general public." As such, any member of the public, whether a resident of the District or of another jurisdiction, would have the same right to attend. That being so, I do not believe that a member of the public can be required to identify himself or herself by name or by residence in order to attend a meeting of a public body. Further, since any person can attend, I do not believe that a public body could by rule limit the ability to speak to residents only."

(Our Town Board needs to read this opinion, too!)

In addition to Mr. Freeman's opinion, precedent has been set MANY TIMES in the past with outsiders who were given the chance to speak. Since this "policy change" hasn't been discussed in public as far as anyone is aware, we are forced to conclude that SOMEONE IS LYING. We are also forced to believe that one or more board members wish to silence Mr. Skeet, a longtime past employee of the district, because his discussion of the facts and statistics relative to school and district performance is just too damaging to their fairytale image of the Greece Central they pine for. You know, the one where Freedom of Speech and the US Constitution are meaningless because their erroneous policy says so.


Sunday, November 09, 2008



Sunday November 9th 3:00 PM

We have reached a new low in Greece Central. Yes, it is true I have been banned from speaking at the BOE forums. I have been out of town since the last BOE meeting on Tue. Nov 4 2008. On Wed. Nov 5 2008 I called Lynne Armstrong to be placed on the list of speakers for the next BOE on Tue. Nov. 11 2008.

Lynne told me that I could no longer speak at the BOE meetings because I do not live in the Greece School District. I reminded Lynne that BOE President Julia, at each BOE meeting, always is asking for "Community" input, not resident input. Lynne responded with "Yes but the BOE has had a "discussion" about the BOE policy on "resident's" forum and I will not be able to speak because I am not a resident of Greece Central." Thus she could not put my name on the list of speakers for the next BOE meeting.

Now under the cover of "resident's forum" I am currently banned from speaking at BOE meetings. In recent times, Judy Braiman-Lipson, form Brighton, spoke to the BOE on the ill health effects associated with artificial turf fields. Non-resident Greece teachers have spoken at BOE forums, especially at budget times.

Sunday November 4:30 PM

I have currently found out that there was NO BOE discussion or BOE vote regarding community or resident participation at BOE forums. Thus someone or subgroup within Greece Central, not the collective BOE, has directed Lynne Armstrong to not allow Doug Skeet to speak at BOE meetings.

This issue will be further explored in the coming days.


Doug Skeet

BOE Meeting WEDNESDAY, 6:30PM**

Exec. Session at 5:30 pm to discuss contract negotiations & pending litigation

Supt's Reports
EXCEL Update
Report of Official School Opening Enrollment (Why did this take so long?)
School Improvement Team Update
Transportation Report
Senior Tax Exemption
CIP Update
Update on the Forensic Audit

Committee Reports
Finance Committee
Transportation Committee
Audit Committee
Community Faith Committee

Old Business
Former Supt's Health Care
Update on Town Hall meeting
Whistleblower Policy Update

Financial Oversight
Finance - Treasurer's Report & Budget Status Report
Resource Report
Extra Classroom Activity Funds - Qtrly Report
Change Orders Requiring Board Approval

Policy (2nd reading - all)
Policy 1332 Appointment & Duties of School District Treasurer
Policy 1335 Appointment & Duties of Internal Claims Auditor
Policy 5230 Acceptance of Gifts, Grants, & Bequests to the School District
Policy 5150 Contingency Budget
Policy 5410 Principles of Purchasing
Policy 5420 Competitive Bids & Quotations
Policy 5610 Insurance
Policy 5623 Instrument/Equipment Inventory
Policy 5670 Records Management
Policy 5320 Expenditures of School District Funds
Policy 5530 Petty Cash Funds

**At the request of several board members, all business not completed by 9:30PM will be tabled to several meetings in 2011 so that everyone can get home to watch "My Big Redneck Wedding" at 10PM (Ch. 62-CMTV)

Friday, November 07, 2008


Anonymous said...
" ... I received emails back from both the NAACP & the ACLU over the last three days. Guess what, they both expressed what seemed to be a genuine interest in the information/statistics I sent them relating to WHO gets to attend our "lottery schools". In the ACLU email, the gentleman stated that he went as far as to look at the GCSD web site to see when/where the "lottery" was held, and he wrote, "It's either presently unavailable, or always unavailable as you suggested". I will keep you informed! 11/06/2008 9:17 PM

Anonymous said...
If there is anybody else that would like to drop an email to one/both of these groups, I would first suggest going to the following site (cut & paste to your browser):
You can use the statistics there as an accurate reference when writing those groups. It takes a little time, but if you write down some of the numbers from the demographic sections listed for each school (racial breakdown, eligibility for free or reduced lunches) and compare the "lottery" schools to the others, you would be amazed. Take those differences, plus the general educational performance differences (also available on that site), plus the behind closed doors "lottery", and these groups do take notice. My neighbor's cousin works along with an NAACP branch in Connecticut. I spoke to him by phone, and he said the more letters, phone calls & emails, generally the quicker the response. So again if you find time, just drop a quick line (to one/both of the groups) containing any of the numerous disparities between our public schools and our "lottery" schools. 11/06/2008 11:25 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Iron-Clad Control As GCSD's Dysfunction Grows

Anonymous said...
Censorship has once again reared its ugly head in Greece. I thought these tactics ended with the Walts-Phelan board. I was wrong.

Mr. Doug Skeets, a long-time Greece resident with over 30 years of service to the school district has been denied an opportunity to speak at any future public forums or public hearings. It is common knowledge that Doug splits time between here and Florida where he owns property. Now, he has been told that because he is not officially a Greece resident, he may not speak. This is a violation of the Open Meetings Law.

A school board need not hold a public forum. However, once they do, they cannot deny any citizen of this country an opportunity to be heard.

It looks like Achramovitch doesn't like Doug's facts and figures and wants to keep him from letting the public know the TRUE facts.

My friends, in two short years your school board has reverted to the Phelan-Walts style. Censorship is a denial of a citizen's right under the law and the Constitution, the right to petition government.Walts is back in the person of another Steve. Only in Greece would this outrage be allowed to happen again.

It has been said that "if there is one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn." This certainly applies to Julia's board. 11/06/2008 3:09 PM

"Control is the opposite of empowerment." ~~ Leading From The Sandbox

SCATS: Exerting control over everything possible is the outward dysfunctional, symptom of a system spiraling out-of-control from within.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

BOE Meeting Recap ...

Budget Hearing ~~
A handful lobbyied for Boy Scouts, technology/technicians, girls' softball at Olympia & tax breaks for senior citizens.

Tydings requested they adjourn by 9PM so they can go home to watch the election results, despite all the discussion they had at the previous meeting about the need to "move forward" with setting the Supt's Goals. Guess what happened? Around 8:45PM, they finally got to that portion of the agenda, BUT decided not to start because 9PM was nearing. Since they removed a meeting from their calendar in late Nov. so McCabe can go hunting, they are adding a meeting in Dec. to begin setting Steve's goals. Let's hope VanOrman doesn't find out her hair and manicure appointment conflicts with that meeting, or the Supt. will have NO GOALS again!

Once again, our BOE caved-in to whining student athletes who aren't meeting the standards set in the newly enacted policy that was supported by AD's, athletes and parents. The BOE wants the Supt. to revisit the regulations he wrote to expand how we define the exceptions that are potentially "non-extreme." They already watered down eligibility by going to 3 F's as the new line-in-the-sand for determining eligibility. Now we are going to open Pandora's Box by allowing more exceptions. God forbid we should place academics ABOVE athletics in Greece! Smith fully endorses the softening of the requirements, no surprise there!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008



Sign-up at 6PM

SCATS: If someone could summarize the meeting for us, we'd be MOST appreciative :) (It's one of those rare times when I can't get anyone to listen in & take notes, so please help)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Transportation/Busstop Changes Didn't Last Even 2 Months

Anonymous said...
I will be interested in seeing if the savings on bus stops is being realized. I believe it was around $800,000.In the last 2 weeks I have seen kids getting picked up and dropped off at their door. That wasn't happening before.Then yesterday I was behind a stopped bus (along with 2 other cars) waiting for a kid to come out of the house - no kid - the bus went on. I thought they were to be at the stop 10 minutes before - if so WHY was the bus stopped?I bring this up because if this is how administration and the board keeps their word - then we're doing business just like Walts and that board did and boy are we in for trouble.I was hoping this might be an isolated case but since have talked to others who are seeing similar situations. 11/01/2008 7:21 PM

Anonymous said...
You are both right. We were in the car on Thursday am and had to wait for a regular bus while it stopped at a house and waited for the child to then emerge from the house and run to the street and be crossed. curb service as usual. it was not cold that day but the children are obviously being told to wait inside until they see the bus.Also there was a policy that said that a bus could not let children off until they saw they were let into a house. How can they do that if the stop is not to the door? new policy? Are 5 through 8 year olds just let off in the afternoon to walk home and possibly not get into the house?
11/02/2008 1:14 AM

SCATS: It sounds like we're back to business as usual!

Thomas Assoc Blames Christa For A-PAC/CIP Defects

Says District & Christa Both Were Warned Of Deficiencies During Construction

"But we have not proceeded in this remediation effort to blame anybody. What we are looking for is to know what the problems are and to fix the problems." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch


SCATS: Right Steve! Let's NOT find out who ripped- off GCSD since YOU weren't here at the time!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pre-Budget Hearing Tuesday @ 6:30PM

You'll have to endure yet another District Office "presentation" BEFORE you get to speak though. This means 7PM is a more likely time for getting to use the podium to have your say!

Supt's Goals also on the agenda

Friday, October 31, 2008

A New Black Eye Over An Old One For Robach?

RochesterTurning.com ~~
"Supermarket Tabloid"
FOILs Robach's
Close Encounters
With Deputy's Wife

THE WHOLE STORY ~~ “Hey, Mrs. Robach. Can you please pick up your husband at this address? You see, I just caught him (expletive) my wife, and he’s now standing on my porch stark naked with two black eyes. Might want to get him out of that situation before I have to arrest him for indecency. Oh, you’re welcome. See you soon.”

SCATS ~~ Is there anyone who hasn't already heard about this rendezvous? No wonder Joe avoids public questions!

If You Aren't Part of the Solution ...

... Then You're Probably Part Of the Problem
Joe Robach Hasn't Pushed GCSD To Resolve Its Many Problems

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got
We already know what having Joe Robach serve another term in NY State Senate means for Greece and its schools

It's time for change ...


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PWCS Citizens Petition & Rally To Eliminate Math Investigations

From my email & attached fliers:

PETITION Gathers 1300+ Signatures


2PM - 7PM

What do you think about the controversial
TERC Investigations Math Program?
Bring signs to voice your concerns and join to help to raise awareness and improve Prince William County Public Schools!
Encourage everyone to stop by and sign our petition.



(The idea was suggested by several people!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thomas Assoc. Delays Giving Promised A-PAC Answers

BOE Votes In Favor Of Obtaining "Cause Order"

Wants To Force Contractor To Turn Over Structural Design Files So Remediation Work Can Proceed If Needed

BOE Also Votes To Pay Dr. Paul Carr Up To $135,000 For Forensic Work ~~ Will Try to Recover Through Litigation

A-PAC Monitoring To Continue

To Enlist Aid of Fire Depts. To Monitor Winds

Media Coverage ~~

SCATS ASKS: Why don't they use the WeatherBug Station at Parkland Elementary School?

This BOE meeting began about 30 minutes late. They are well on their way to spending 90 minutes or more on a discussion of "Literacy." By wasting meeting time on nothing of relevence to BOE work, they will either rush through the discussion of board & supt. goals, or delay that work until another time. No wonder we're lagging behind!

To Audit? Or Not To Audit? THAT Is The Question ...

Greece BOE To Consider Additional $15,000 Audit On CIP Tonight

EFP Wants Extra Work ~ Already Doing $35,000 Study

A-PAC Status NOT On Agenda, Despite Supt's Promise Last Week


SCATS' SUGGESTION TO BOE ~~ Spend the necessary $150,000 (approx.) to do a COMPLETE AUDIT of everything from 1998 to present. At this rate, you might end up spending that much without getting a full result. Is CYA your only "goal!" Or does regaining community trust matter?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BOE Meeting Tues. 6:30PM

Exec. Session ~~ 5:30 pm to discuss potential litigation

Literacy Initiative - Mr. John O'Flahavan

(After the Supt. spent so much on this, you'd think Greece would at least be mentioned in today's D&C STORY about gender and literacy!)

BOCES Special Election

Second Board Meeting of the Month - New Format

Setting of Board Goals
(Doug Skeet will be a happy man! :)

Setting of Superintendent's Goals
(Are these retroactive to his raise?)

Continued Engagement of EFP
(WHO got engaged?!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

From "Top" of the Heap to "Bottom" of the Barrel?

WHEC TV & The Rochester Business Journal report that Steve A. is the THIRD most highly paid public official in all of Monroe County with a salary of $203, 380. (Of course, that was PRIOR to his most recent raise!) We can "BE PROUD" since we're nearly tops in something, right?

At the other end of the spectrum, GCSD's Annual Report lists this as the district's top point of pride : "Athena Middle School was removed from the New York State Education Department's list of schools requiring academic progress."

SCATS ASKS: To me, this point of "pride" is akin to a prisoner getting off probation! It's something I can't imagine that we're all that "proud" about! I wonder ... Is there any correlation between our Supt's salary that places him at the top of the heap in the county and our school performance which is near the bottom of the barrel in the county?

Robach vs. Dollinger~~ Democrat vs Democrat

SCATS: As the D&C article notes in the quote below, this race for the 56th District is really about an incumbent Democrat (Robach turned Republican, but did he really change?) who is being challenged by the same Democrat (Dollinger) that previously held the seat.
This begs the question: Was it the way to go, Joe?

"The former Democratic member of the state Assembly flipped parties in 2002 to run for the seat Dollinger once held."

Forensic Engineering Report Nears Completion

Just Two Residents Attend GCSD Forum To Get "The Real Truth"

"Our goal is to be reimbursed by these contractors for any overpayments by the district and for any incomplete or substandard work." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch

D&C Story

SCATS: Apparently, district residents know better than to waste an evening with Steve II ... and that's "the truth"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Says opponent and Rep. party should return Christa Construction's campaign contributions

“Christa Construction appears to have violated their contractual agreements by not adequately completing inspections as mandated, and also may have violated State Finance Law, which states that expenditures may not exceed what has been authorized by voters by so much as a single penny." ~~ Rick Dollinger at press conference last Thursday at Longridge Elementary School



GCSD Holding Open Forum
6:30PM Tonight
Olympia HS Library

Voter Fraud?

It is encouraging to see the concern with voter fraud as a threat to our democracy. Those who have not followed the rules should not be allowed to vote, as I am sure most would agree, but shouldn't our votes be counted?

Contrast this to how school budget votes are done. How do we allow elected officials to cancel our vote?

Currently, the people are asked to approve a spending amount — if the voters say no, a school board is allowed by state law to nullify the people's vote (increase spending plus taxes) via contingency budget.

The No. 1 reason people don't vote on school budgets? Their vote doesn't matter.
I would suggest this is voter fraud sanctioned by the state of New York and practiced by those educating our youths.



SCATS Asks: Has GCSD canceled the forum planned at Olympia HS for Thursday evening? (The schedule for the Town Hall events has disappeared from the district's website!) I was all excited about getting to hear "the real truth!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Candidates Continue Bashing Each Other At CARE Forum

"Even though my opponent has chosen to run a very negative and untruthful campaign, people know my record is out there work, my work is out there." Rep. State Senator, Joe Robach

"I'm not sure what he's talking about. I can't understand why public officials, when you ask them about their record, they immediately say 'oh you're negative campaigning.' " ~~ Dem. Challenger, Rick Dollinger

"It's the school board's responsibility to do the things they're talking about doing." BOE VP, Patrick Tydings


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Humor ...

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved.

They boys' mother heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the clergyman in the afternoon.

The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?"

The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God!!?" Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD!?"

The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?" The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time, dude. God is missing - and they think WE did it!"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dollinger & Robach Accept CARE Invitation, Do TV Debate

Beverly Strehle said...
C.A.R.E. is pleased that Senator Robach and Candidate Dollinger have accepted our invitation to participate in our public forum (including educational issues, property taxes, and school spending) this Monday at 7pm at the Church of St. John the Evangelist Parish Hall. Everyone is welcome. Thank you.

10/18/2008 10:08 AM

If you missed it ...

The Northgate Neighbors are hosting a
Meet the Candidates Night
on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 7:30 P.M. It will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center, 36 Armstrong Road. Candidates running for local, state and national office have been invited to attend the event.

Friday, October 17, 2008

CARE Invites Robach, Dollinger, Garretson & Reilich To Forum

Will Joe Robach Continue
Hiding From The Opposition?

Find Out Monday Night!

CARE & Greece CIA Are Having An Open Forum
7PM Monday, October 20th
St. John's the Evangelist Parish Hall,
2400 Ridge Road West.
(Entrance to the church is from Duxbury and Hiett roads)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

BOE Prez Befuddled By "Audit" Findings

"When you hire somebody to do a job, you expect it to be done correctly and accurately and to get what you pay for ... I still can't wrap my head around some of the things that happened or didn't happen or the lack of oversight. It seems like every day more things come to light." ~~ Julia VanOrman, BOE Prez


SCATS: Methinks she's finally catching on! Imagine what could be uncovered with a bonafide audit ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Board Meeting Highlights



Dr. Paul Carr ~~ Recommends Keeping An Eye On The Weather Related To A-PAC Safety

Loewke & Brill Report ~~ District Contracted For $56,000 But Paid $224,000 (That's 4 Times More!)

Forensic Audit Update ~~ 34 Contractors Were Over Paid Related To Change Order Requests; They Received 15% Extra, But Were Entitled To 7.5% (STORY)

9PM ~~ BOE Abruptly Recessed To Another Exec. Session Regarding Litigation (What's up with this coming in the MIDDLE of a BOE meeting? It's not mentioned on the agenda.)

10:22PM ~~ Meeting Reconvened

Transportation Committee Report ~~ Over 2000 busstops were eliminated for the current school year!

Despite the recommendation of the Communications Committee, with a vote of 4 to 5, they defeated a motion to hire a district webmaster/graphics designer

11:20 PM ~~ Meeting Adjourned

Angry Teens & Alternative Schools ...


An anger management program for high school students begins Oct. 28 at the Community & Senior Center, 3 Vince Tofany Blvd.
The program will meet Tuesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. through Jan. 13. Cost is $15/person. Registration is limited to eight participants and began Oct. 1.
A mandatory parent/student orientation session will be held from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 28.
The program is for Greece residents only. For details call (585) 723-2425.



"It's definitely more cost effective to run an alternative high school in your own building ... and more schools are going that route." ~~ Charles DiPasquale, president elect of the NY State Alternative Education Assn


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our BOE Is All Caught Up!!

YIPEE!!!! Tuesday Meeting Has No "OLD BUSINESS" To be Done!

Exec. Session ~~ 5:30 pm to discuss pending litigation & contract negations (You read that correctly. Board Docs says "negations!" Freudian slip maybe?)

Regular Meeting, 6:30 pm

Supt's Reports
Dr. Paul Carr Update - Building Remediation Work

Forensic Audit Update
Loweke & Brill Contract Audit Update
EXCEL Project Update
Summer School Report - Elementary & Secondary
Report of Official School Opening Enrollment
Town Hall Meeting Update (That Steve is such a Maverick!!)
Parent Participation as Chaperons on Student Trips (They keep misspelling "chaperones!")

Board Reports
Finance Committee

Transportation Committee
Audit Committee
Whistle Blower Policy Update
Second Board Meeting of the Month - Change in Format
NYSSBA Annual Conference Resolutions

Financial Oversight
Salary Increase for Exempt Staff
Finance - Treasurer's Report & Budget and Revenue Status Reports
Resource Report
SEQRA Determination 2008-09 Reconstruction Project

First Read Policy 1332 Appointment & Duties of School District Treasurer
First Read Policy 1335 Appointment and Duties of the Internal Claims Auditor First Read Policy 5230 Acceptance of Gifts, Grants, and Bequests to the School District
First Read Policy 5150 Contingency Budget
First Read Policy 5410 Principles of Purchasing
First Read Policy 5420 Competitive Bids & Quotations
First Read Policy 5610 Insurance
First Read Policy 5623 Instrument/Equipment Inventory
First Read Policy 5670 Records Management
First Read Policy 5320 Expenditures of School District Funds
First Read Policy 5530 Petty Cash Funds
Second Read Policy 3211 Sex Offender (That's the entire title of this? Just "Sex Offender?")
Second Read Policy XXXX Professional Services, Consultants & Contractors(Quadruple "X" rated! AND Right After "SEX OFFENDER!")

Friday, October 10, 2008

Anonymous Employee (Whistle Blower) Hotline

GCSD's Employee Ethics Line


Dollinger Demands Robach & GOP Return Christa Contributions

GOP Given $74,000, Robach $1850 By Christa Who Botched GCSD Construction Projects

"The message, it seems to me, is very clear. Senate Republicans and Joe Robach need to give back this ill-gotten taxpayer money to the town of Greece and the taxpayers in this community." ~~ Dollinger, Dem.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Greece Police Investigating School Thefts

Someone climbed on the roof and stole the letters S, L, O, and P from a sign at Paddy Hill Elementary School on Sept. 26.


Police are investigating the theft of a number of items from the football field concession stand at Athena High School, 800 Long Pond Road. Missing after the Sept. 27 theft were packages of candy, chips and beverages.

Police are investigating the Sept. 8 theft of computer equipment from two classrooms at Olympia High School on Maiden Lane.


SCATS: How many items are stolen from district facilities annually? Are these crimes ever solved?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

CARE & CIA Press Conference On TV

Channel 12 will broadcast the entire press conference held Monday by Greece Citizens In Action and C.A.R.E. regarding the request for an investigation by the State Attorney General.

The program will air tonight (Wednesday) at 9:00 and tomorrow night (Thursday) at 8:00.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Obama vs. McCain


CARE & CIA Approach AG Regarding GCSD :)

"We asked the school board to take this one step further and go to the attorney general. That has not happened. So we decided we would put the documentation together and approach them ourselves." ~~ CARE President Bev Strehle

"She (Asst. AG) says the process is long, it is involved, but because of the way we have everything formally done and so well organized that we would probably be successful in getting something done sooner than later. What we need to deal with is why did these things happen, who was responsible for it and we need to hold somebody accountable." ~~ Joe Moscato, CIA


Monday, October 06, 2008


Joe Moscato said...
I'm sorry this is not on topic, but tonight "R" News, Channel 9, will broadcast a press conference held today by Bev Strehle and me. We outlined the results of our meeting last week with the New York State Attorney General's office following a four month investigation conducted by me concerning the comptroller's audit.

We were well received and are hopeful that our extensive documentation will result in an investigation by the Attorney General into what went wrong and who was responsible for the abuse and waste of tax dollars. It will be boadcast on Cable 12 later this week in its entirety. 10/06/2008 3:49 PM

OCT. 20th AT 2400 RIDGE RD. WEST

Understanding Wall Street ...

From An Email :

If you have difficulty understanding the current world financial situation, the following should help...

Once upon a time in a village in India, a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10. The villagers seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their efforts.

The man further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

The offer rate was increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on his behalf.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50."

The villagers squeezed together their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

Welcome to WALL STREET.