Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Making Sense (or not) of BOE Business ...



I found the following items of interest while searching through past BOE Meeting minutes ~~

From the BOE minutes of 6/9/09:
Louis Alaimo received a change in job title from School Business Administrator (Dept of Finance & Support Services) where he made $105,793.00 to Asst Supt of Finance & Support Services (Dept of Finance & Support Services) with a pay raise to $132,000.00.

SCATS ~~ That's a whopping $26,207 per year increase!! How is this justifiable??

From the BOE minutes of 6/23/09:
Engagement of Attorney Motion: That the BOE appoints David Rothenberg as Special Council to the District effective April 28, 2009.
Moved: Second: Adopted 9-0

SCATS ~~ Let me get this straight. We hired this fellow on April 28th, but approved the hiring on June 23rd? There's a word for that: ILLEGAL!!! Only the Greece BOE could hire an attorney illegally! And to show how bad this really is, the BOE held a Special Meeting on April 28th where they could have approved this and made it legal. Why didn't they? Probably because it was NOT on their agenda! So when did they discuss hiring this person? The minutes of the April 28th meeting doesn't show an Exec. Session so ...??

From the BOE Minutes of 5/12/09:

Substitute Bus DriverTransportation $20.54

Tutor $19.00 06/26/09 Districtwide

SCATS ~~ We pay a substitute bus driver MORE than a tutor?? If that doesn't tell us where our priorities lie ...

From the BOE minutes of 4/7/09:

Resolved: That 16 donations made to the Greece Central School District totaling $ 56,960.13 be approved.

and later that same meeting ...

Second Read Policy 5220 Sale and Disposal of School District Property (which allows us to sell anything deemed unneeded)

SCATS ~~ The BOE has no clue what was donated to the district! And they have no clue whether it was ever useful, or whether GCSD turned around and sold it!



41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is higher pay for executives always justified when the rest of us are asked to take pay cuts or do with less?

Anonymous said...

And there are people who are surprized?

Anonymous said...

actually the people that know how to spell SURPRISED are quite surprised

Anonymous said...

It was a "prize" for Lou.
He is now an assistant superintendent just like George Kisha and Meg KellerCogan though she was not for finance. That is normal or low salary for that position. Did Schroeder have that title when he was in charge of finance. Remember that Steve 1 took us from 2 assistant superintendents to about 10 because he realized his contract and state law said he could reorganize the administrative staff any way he wanted. Maybe Steve 2 has figured that out. Slower learning curve but we are screwed just the same.

Anonymous said...

The Town of Greece doesn't do anything illegal. Shame on you SCATS. Stop the shenanigans. Running this town is SERIOUS business.

Anonymous said...

If you look on BoardDocs for any meeting there is a document that shows exactly what was donated to the district and by whom. Th's under financial oversight. It's no secret.

SCATS said...

To 1:10PM ~~ I just reviewed the minutes to the April 7th meeting a second time. They are 25 pages long and many things are listed in them including many staffing changes. Donations to the district is the one line item as I posted on the BLOG. I'm finding no other place to locate the specifics, so I stand by what I said. If there is a header other than the one for Meeting Minutes to look at, please tell me where :)

SCATS said...

To 1:10PM ~~ I see that for the "Proposed Agenda" for the July 14th meeting, Donations were listed on the AGENDA under the heading of "Consent Agenda." Those headers do not usually appear on BOE minutes. Perhaps the clerk isn't listing what the BOE approves in the minutes? Shouldn't she be doing so? If so, why is the BOE adopting minutes that do not include the details that the minutes should reflect?

Anonymous said...

Go to BoardDocs, click on the July 14 agenda, click on 8.0 Consent Agenda item, click on 8.01 Donations, there is a document attached there that lists are the donations made to district. Most all districts and towns do what are refered to as action minutes, not anecdotial minutes. So all the details would not be included. Maybe SCATS isn't as smart as they think they are.

Anonymous said...

Elect more people with union backgrounds to public office and then everyone will get big pay raises. Level the playing field so to speak.

SCATS said...

To 2:33PM ~~ SCATS is plenty smart ;) As I posted at 2:04PM, I found the list for the JULY 14th meeting. The meeting in question on the BLOG is from April 7th. There is no Agenda posted from that meeting, just Minutes ;)

And the Minutes do NOT reflect what was donated :)

SCATS said...

By the way 2:33PM, did you mean to say "anecdotal?"

Making a spelling/grammar error whem trying to slam another person usually detracts from your attempt :D

SCATS said...

To 2:37PM ~~ Are you suggesting that Lou Alaimo has a union background or that he's running for office? Do NOT play games with me about the upcoming elections. You will NOT win.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have any problem finding the meeting agenda and documents from the April 7 meeting. It's posted like all the other meetings under the meeting heading.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic, but last night I caught the end of last week's board meeting on channel 12 (I think it was last week, the week they made Tydings and Smith leaders of the pack).

Mr. Oberg made an excellent, well thought-out, intelligent speech about how politics has ruined the school board, how those now in power care nothing about education, only about power and control, as evidenced by their poor choice of president and vice-president. No sooner had he uttered those words, when he was wrongly interrupted by Tydings who tried to squelch his remarks, only proving that Frank was absolutely correct in what he was saying. They are all about being "civil" and "keeping any dissent quiet" and sweepinbg all the nasty stuff under the rug. As a lawyer, Mr. Tydings should know better, but after all, he takes his orders from Boily as does Sean McCabe, who personally attacked Mr. Oberg, after having just signed the gag order saying they will not personally attack any individual member of the board. Of course, Mr. Tydings had nothing to say about this and refused to let Mr. Oberg respond.

If all this doesn't prove without a doubt that everything said by Mr. Oberg is true, I don't know what will.

Our only hope is that some of the others will wake up and stop taking their funding and, hence, their orders from these know-nothing groups, or will begin to see, as Julia has, that the whole bunch is corrupt.

SCATS said...

To 2:58PM ~~ Congratulations to you! I know that trying to make SCATS look like a fool is something you continue to work hard to achieve. After 3.5 years, I assure you that you can't dissuade me :)

Now back to the actual point of my posting. If the BOE accepts donations valued at over $56,000 at a meeting such as they did in April, shouldn't the minutes reflect that fact? That is a lot of moolah/value!

If it was all in cash, where does it go? Do we track whether specific schools that are earmarked for specific donations actually received the donated item/cash AND make use of it?

WHAT DID WE ACTUALLY LEARN FROM THE AUDIT REPORT? WHERE ARE WE SHOWING THAT WE LEARNED ANYTHING AT ALL?

Anonymous said...

I give up. Why do tutors make less than bus drivers?

Anonymous said...

Bus drivers help us collect state aid per pupil, tutors don't.

Anonymous said...

SCATS: We don't learn from audit reports. We refuse to change how we do business. We enjoy repeating the past. So does the town. Does anyone believe we will really see anything change after the police department investigation ends? I don't. Well I suspect our taxes will go up but that will happen anyway!

Anonymous said...

What are the qualifications for Lou's new job? The last two who had it were do nothing yes men.

SCATS said...

To 4:45PM ~~ As Charlie Hubbard used to say, "He can fog a mirror."

Anonymous said...

To:Scats Good point. Unfortunatly there are alot more administrators who can only fog a mirror.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the board's vp can fog a mirror?

Anonymous said...

I doubt he can fog a mirror. I suspect they carry him in at the beginning of a meeting with an electrical shock hooked up to his right arm and then they push a button so that he can vote correctly. After the meeting they put him in a car and drive him back to the mortuary.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scats; let me compliment you on keeping up on GCSD's goings on, this service to the community is 'unfortunatly' needed.

In the case of Mr. Alaimo's rapid increase in salary let me jump in.

Lou has been for me a breath of fresh air for his supply of straight forward, honest info.
I have no idea if he is any better or more qualified than anyone else as I am not qualified to judge.
A board member (those that care)or any community member deserves honest info. Do we agree on everything? No - which is not the point. Right or wrong I want HONEST info (no fluff).
I am glad Lou is with us.
No more BS should be one of our goals and there is a looooong way to go.
Having Lou Alaimo on board is a start. I believe his salary comes as a result of 'merit'.

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ Thank you for the compliment. I look forward to the day when I can "retire" but I don't see it coming soon ... (sigh) ...

Regarding Lou's salary, while I appreciate honesty (assuming he is), I can also say it is an EXPECTATION I have of GCSD employees, regardless their position or salary. I don't think anyone deserves an extra $26K for being honest.

I also want to point out that since most people understand that numbers can be manipulated to show just about anything you want to demonstrate, someone in a job where numbers (big $$'s) are the meat of their work needs to show me they are on top of their game. When/if Lou comes forward with some significant ways of saving money, I may become more open to his unusually hefty salary increase. Until then, I'm skeptical that he is worth such an enormous raise.

SCATS said...

By the way, I'm a bit surprised no one has said a single word about the illegal hiring of the attorney by the BOE! This is a perfect example of how the people of Greece ignore the elephant in the livingroom, thus making BLOGS like SCATS necessary. On the other hand, people will go to inordinate lengths to try to prove I have some detail wrong. Go figure.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scats; a couple things!!
The attorney; this is but another example of how we have laws and procedures and policies but the school board does what ever they want and usually by getting the ok from an attorney. Please note everything is verbal - never in writting. When an attorney TELLS you it's ok - we buy it. Ask them to put it in writting and it's a whole different story.
In this case they no doubt were told what they (board) wanted to here - done.

An example of Lou's work I was recently made aware of.
Did you know it costs over $600k per year to run the print shop. No one had ever figured that out. Built prior to Staples, Kinkos type stores it may now make sence to shut it down and farm that work out (maybe Boces) ect.
I use this only as an example but understand your concern very well.

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ That's an interesting example but it makes me recall similar examples that seem to go in cycles with it being more cost effective to do it in-house vs. letting someone else do it. Busing is the example I've heard argued both ways over the years. Sometimes it seems cheaper to buy the buses, hire drivers, pay insurance and maintenance than to contract it out. Other times we're told the opposite. It makes me think the numbers can be made to build a case in either direction ;)

Charlie Hubbard said...

You are absolutly right - I know exactly what you mean which is why I have always talked about 'trust' and how important it is.
The worst part? The board doesn't seem to care - the most important part is 'looking' good 'acting' like you know whats going on. Everybody doing their own thing and NOTHING gets done. Put things in the back room like what is going on now and you can have a BIG problem.

Anonymous said...

To 7:28
There are a lot of people that think he is a good worker and I don't understand why he would like to stay in that position without getting the salary that comes with that. Consider the abuse he takes.

SCATS said...

To 2:42PM ~~ Might I suggest that he get something LESS THAN an extra $26K/yr until he proves his worth and ability in the new position? Give him maybe $10K upfront and 6 months later evaluate him. At the rate GCSD is going, we will have the Top Ten Highest Paid public employees in Monroe County ALL working for GCSD!

Anonymous said...

Besides eliminating the Print Shop, the school district also needs to elimate our Payroll Department. It should be outsourced to Paychex or some other payroll company. We don't need to be paying union wages and benefits for this department. I am sure a private company can deliver this service more effectivly!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we hand out such whopping big raises in this economy! Do you people who defend this realize that $26000 is as much as some people make all year?

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions or lack of. If you do your work day in and day out you should be kept on board and compensated for it. If not show them the door. There are alot of people in the district that don't do anything and its no secret who they are. Greece is the only place where you don't have to work to keep your job. Get rid of the dead wood already!

SCATS said...

To 5:45PM ~~ That's a good point that I hadn't thought of.

Anonymous said...

No School District can outsourse the printshop/copycenter. Independant contractors won't violate that dang © the way school employees will.

How about somebody takes off the blinders and looka into the NY No Fault Law with regard to School Bus transportation and adds up all the money GCSA spends to insure against a liability they have no exposure to? Oh wait, insurance agents give nice Christmas presents.

Anonymous said...

A breath of fresh air should maybe get a $5000 pay raise. Then we should sit back and see if it is all hot air!

Anonymous said...

When you research the cost of outsourcing payroll, you will see that it is NOT more cost effective given the size of GCSD. I understand the point, and as the CEO of an organization, I researched this for my own purposes. It is more cost effective to do it in-house (I am not commenting on the # of people Greece employs to do it, mind you). A reasonable step for the BOE to do would be to direct that a comparison study be conducted as to cost of in-house vs. outsourcing. Only then, can the true cost/benefit be realized. Maybe Mr. Alaimo can direct that as part of his $26k increase.

Anonymous said...

To 10:11AM (7/31/09. The problem with the district doing their own study or comparison regarding outsourcing in house services is that the district NEVER finds it is more cost effective to outsource ANYTHING. I have seen this time and again for over 25 years. It is not about saving taxpayers money or delivering services mor effectivly. It is about job prservation. Period. We have not had any true job layoffs in 25 years. Likewise for the vast majority of other school districts in this state. Which is why we spend over $15,000 per kid in NYS and are the highest taxed residents in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Good point 5;53 and with computers and declining enrollment you would think that would be the case.

Based on other postings this print shop and payroll dept. will be a good test for the new assit. superintendant.
I doubt the Paycheck company (as an example) grew by charging "more".
It also could be a good test of administration honesty.