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 ...

BUT OUR FINANCE COMMITTEE
HAS MADE NO RECOMENDATIONS!!

NOT ONE!!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Household Incomes Down 11% In Greece Since 1999

Follows County's Trend As Impoverished Number Grows

STORY

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

MPNNow

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
STORY

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

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


MERRY
CHRISTMA-KWANZA-KAH
TO ALL :)

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."

Story

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

Story

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.

Story

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

Story

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

BOE SETTLES DONLON LAWSUIT!!

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*

Story

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


Story

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

STORY

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

STORY

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.

MPNNews

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

D&C STORY

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CAROLYN HAUER??

HOW MANY MEETINGS CAN A BOE MEMBER MISS AND STILL RETAIN THEIR SEAT?

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!

WAKE UP GREECE LEADERS!
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.

D&C STORY

SCATS: WITH CHILDHOOD OBESITY ON THE RISE, WHY AREN'T WE DOING THIS?