Monday, October 26, 2009

Administration Plays The BOE For Fools

 
An honest admin said...
The Board of Education believes everything that is brought to them. I have sat in the audience on board nights incredulous as to how much crap they are fed. They'd both eat it and then thank administration for it.

And before Charlie or Joe chime in, I will also say that I saw them get deceived by administration, too.

It was/is a sad thing to watch happen.   10/24/2009 9:24 PM
 

37 comments:

Charlie Hubbard said...

The comment about being deceived by administration is absolutly true.
I am a little short of time and will comment further later but let me make this one point now - AGAIN

School board members are elected by the taxpayers to represent the TAXPAYERS (owners of the district)and most fail miserably at that.
No better example than the budget vote.

When the taxpayers vote down a budget and you have school board members who think it ok to stick their middle finger up at that vote and increase spending 'without' voter approval - well you tell me - can those people ever be trusted by that same community, not to mention administration who would recommend a voter override.
More later.

Anonymous said...

If the majority of the budget is salaries, what could the board cut after a defeated budget? And I understand that certain state money is not given to schools when the budget is defeated so the loss of state money is then up to the tax payers to replace. And often is it not on items that are required by the state? To vote on a budget that has more required spenging than not seems like a dog chasing its tail. The only place I could see a LARGE reduction would be if contract benefits were changed to reflect a larger contribution on the part of employee.

SCATS said...

To 7:51 ~~ I kind of laugh that "salaries" are not only considered to be entirely hands-off, but all are considered to be created equally. As far as I know, we are NOT mandated to spend millions of dollars* on STIPENDS, COACHING SALARIES, etc. Aren't these "salaries" (esp. stipends) outside of union contracts in terms of amounts? Not only that, but most of the stipends appear to be for things that we could either live without or the teachers ought to do as part of their jobs to begin with. And before you folks jump all over me, please tell me that we REALLY WANT & NEED another "green club" at a 3-5 school and other BS.

*It may even be tens of millions of dollars because I do NOT think our BOE knows how much these total each year, not even a ballpark figure!

Graehaven said...

Many years ago, our former county exec, Jack Doyle, commented that the two things that would "break" our state and our county, are the unfunded mandates of welfare/SS/Medicaid/Medicare AND the benefits for government employees via the unions (including teachers).

He was right.

Anonymous said...

Former Supt. Steve Walts lied, cheated and manipulated his BOE for a long time. He was the master at it and people like Phelan and many others like G. Hubbard were blind fools.
But Achramovitch needed a partner in crime and easily found his sole-mate in Roger Boily. For 4 years they have connived and manipulated using the many lies and deceptions that are the stock-in-trade of these people. Power and control are paramount and "doing the right thing" is a phrase suited only for the naive, do-gooders and well intentioned folks who think the BOE and GCSD is a level playing field. As long as we have a board made up of power-mongers, useless puppets, misguided and weak bystanders, and ego-consumed "know-it-alls" then our district will continue to be in the academic toilet where it has been since early in the Walts days.

Anonymous said...

Scats I posted 7:51 and I agree with everything you said.

I would rather have the stipends for things like the before school acadamy at BH. It is one morning week and is a boost for kids that need ELA support. (only). I welcome the groups that directly benefits the core learning.

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 7:51 you indicate 'certain state money is not given to schools when the budget is defeated'
I am not aware of this - please elaborate.
I am very pleased to see more people are seeing how salaries and benefits (contracts)drive the budget increases. Let us 'never' forget it is the BOARD who approves those contracts - therefore, it is the BOARD who is responsible for the budget increases.
You can bob and weave and choke all you want but THAT is the truth.
Perhaps THAT is the driving reason why boards are so quick to override the vote - they know when a budget is defeated they have not represented the one group they are suppose to represent (the taxpayers)
Imagine if you will how school boards approve contracts without knowing the cost??? That is exactly what was happening until just 3 years ago in Greece. Unfortunatly it is still the case in most districts.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com
775-6015

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ Regarding the BOE knowing the cost of a contract ... I've yet to see that figure referenced in BOE minutes since the time it was first adopted. Am I missing something? WHERE do they keep this figure?

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scats 7:38 - excellent point - I am sorry to say that is not being done now.

Also missing is the 'benefit to the district' that is NOT being supplied with new contracts prior to approval.
This is the item I have spoke many times about 'item 17' 'page 30' in the Comptrollers audit that the board voted to accept. I guess that vote was just one of those touchy-feely ones that no one intended to follow. I can tell you the board officers have not and will not speak to this. Heaven knows i've tried.

Also in reference to contracts I questioned (based on legal input) why 'release time' is still allowed to continue under continuation of contract (taylor law) and was told by administration we would have an answer in May. NOTHING
This item costs taxpayers over $100,000 per year to pay people to do union business and taxpayers should be VERY concerned that thier money is being pi##ed away like that.

On many of the important items the mindset appears to be 'if we just close our eyes everything will be wonderfull and all our problems will go away on thier own'

Anonymous said...

I know it's a small point, but I have to laugh at the submission by 8:46, and the reference made that G. Hubbard was a blind fool to Waltz. It's funny, or sad how time can reverse truth. I can't think of any public figure who fought harder against Waltz and his bag o' tricks during that time Hubbard sat on the BOE. Put a little effort into research and truth before typing next time 8:46.

SCATS said...

To 10:40PM ~~ You're correct, especially as it relates to the financial aspects of the district at that time.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Charlie "lead the revolution" ONLY as it relates to financial aspects of the district. He abstained when voting to terminate Jacobovic's job (hey, how's that lawsuit coming, anyway?).

I'm not minimizing Charlie's impact because he really did a fine job of ruffling the right FINANCIAL feathers, but focusing on history's truth was mentioned earlier.

Being a Board of Education member is a lot like being a parent of a pre-teen when it comes to your interaction with school administration. Unless you frame the question "perfectly" the answer that you get is spun. If you frame it perfectly, you get blank stares and silence. It's good entertainment for those of us who watch, really.

The interesting part about it? There's NOTHING the BoE can do about it.

Anonymous said...

Well 10:40......what you overlook is that G. Hubbard was a one-note samba. All he ever did was fuss with numbers, although rather well. And no one ever wrote complaints to the Commissioner of Education better. But as far as having a broader awareness of what was going on in front of him, he was clueless. Walts pulled trick after trick on that board and unless G. Hubbard could find a column of numbers to chart or analyze, he was unable to fathom the non-quantifiable issues. He wasn't alone in that missing skill set. But he dismissed all of the evidence that many personnel issues and academic situations were compelling problems because he could only conceptualize issues that have columns of numbers.
Unfortunately 10:40 chooses to put a halo on G. Hubbard for one skill set. Too bad so many other things never got on his radar screen, like age discrimination and harassment. He was like an outstanding fielding 2nd baseman who could not hit a fast ball or curve ball. And wow, was Walts good at making those pitches.
So save your time reverses the truth stories. The facts are irrefutable. Nice try. Is that you Charlie?
And if you missed it, it took a a new group of board members to finally address all the accumulated messes that were created or continued while G. Hubbard was busy crunching numbers.

CoffeeReady said...

I have asked before with no real good answer...short of the board and union reaching an agreement to have the teachers contribute way more to the benifits and perhaps salary scale changes, what can we do to really make a big dent in the budget? (I agree that there are area of "smaller" dollars that can be saved and should)

And I ask this after reading a now deleted blog entry about how our taxes have risen beyond that of inflation. My response to sais blogger was that towns and school district budgets are not measured agains the rate of inflation. The cosumer index doe not apply as each year there are cost that change, union contract, retirments, and other "fixed" fees that can not be slashed. So knowing this how do we get the BOE to cut spending on the largest item in our budget...salaries ( and yes stipends and extras are in this). And by not approving the contract does not cut spending, it becomes a battle of wills, can a BOE win over a union? I am curious to thoughts on this?

My example is you have a home budget and "contacts" that you must pay no matter if you reduce the budget...mortgage, car loans and such can not be just cut..so you can cut all non essentials and for some that still does not make a large impact.

( After posting such information regarding inflation rates to the other blogger the entire thread was removed?)

SCATS said...

Coffee ~~ I'm not sure where this now deleted blog entry is but I can tell you that no thread with any entries (unless it was my own entry only) have been deleted in a very long time.

Regarding the budget, since usually 80% or more is consumed by "contractual obligations" there's little wiggle room without hitting the students directly. At least that's the line they want everyone to believe. As I said before, stipends & coaching fees are huge areas within salaries where we need to start putting the budget for all these "extras" into a tighter belt. I doubt that anyone can give you a good ballpark answer for how much stipends and/or coaching salaries are within the annual budget. GCSD has NO IDEA how much they spend to support sports programs and they do NOT want to know! If they knew, you or I could find out and it would likely become a huge bone of contention because the numbers are HUUU-JAH!

The next area where there is LOTS OF WASTE is in transportation. But schools-of-choice and school option is hands-off so we must pay for the wasted gas to haul BOE member's & administrators/teacher's and even politicians family members all over town, door-to-door.

SCATS said...

Coffee ~~ One more thing. Are you aware that BLOG threads get archived after a certain point? The column on the left side of the page has titles for the archived entries for the current month & links to all past months & years.

SCATS said...

To 6:18AM ~~ I'm going to assume you aren't confused between Charlie & George ... many people are. I suppose they both "led the revolution" regarding financial issues. I think Charlie was more focussed on the contracts.

I completely agree about your assessment of how the BOE is treated related to questions they ask. It's ALL a game and they are usually the losers :(

To 9:27AM ~~ For any individual to become an expert on the GCSD budget is a HUGE accomplishment! Geo H did. There is no one person I've seen on the BOE in my years of watching that has shown me they know about most aspects of the district. I'm not sure it's possible due to its size and the fact our BOE members are volunteers. They have to rely on what they are told, and often that info is flawed, spun, or incomplete.

SCATS said...

To the anonymous poster who wrote: "And of course this posting will go into outer space as it should"
I have NO PROBLEM posting what you wrote. I don't know who you are talking about, so I'll just add the claim to my to my ever growing list.

CoffeeReady said...

Scats I am very very sorry I left out the most important word in my post OTHER blog..not yours but ya know the other one that cuts and slashes at her will :)!

Anonymous said...

George Hubbard has cost Greece Taxpayers $85,000 to defend his frivolous complaints to the Commissioner. He has been partially successful in one case.

SCATS said...

To 4:12PM ~~ Whether his complaints are viewed as "frivolous" or not has been debated on here sometime ago. Anyone who takes all of the time and effort required to file one of those documents deserves credit as far as I'm concerned. In the scheme of GCSD's budget of nearly $200,000,000, the "cost" of defending against those complaints barely registers. He's shown himself as a man of conviction and principle and that he is willing to work for what he believes is right. Not many people do that these days.

Anonymous said...

Yes, George did have a strong sense of the financial aspect, perhaps the only one other than Waltz during that particular time. Let me now ask you this, what did the other members specialize in? What were their strong points? You can claim, "George did this well, but not that" or "George left us with bills for this or that and it was a huge mess". The reality is that he was essentially working ALONE at that time. He never got ANY backing from his fellow BOE. Maybe while he was busy "only crunching numbers" someone else could have picked up some of the slack on other fronts, instead of acting the role of Waltz's puppets. Why was he left without any other option short of "frivolous complaints to the Commissioner"? He was the ONLY person on the BOE who was working for taxpayers, during a time when Waltz bought other BOE members at will.

Anonymous said...

Your right George cost the district $85,000. Now figure out what the rest of the BOE cost us...

Take your time getting back to me, I realize that bill is still growing!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how that bill is growing and growing! You will soon though!

Anonymous said...

And so, how IS that Jacobovic lawsuit coming, anyway? :)

CoffeeReady said...

A biy off topic I know but I ot this newsletter by chance and I thought that you may be interested in a few blurbs under GTA news:

Does a good teacher need a union?

A good teacher cares about the pupils...

A good teacher cares about the quality of teaching...

A good teacher cares about his/her family and knows that one needs a defined school day to set essential boundries between personal and prof. life. We are PAINFULLY aware of the obligation to provide for the material needs of our family, and make no excuses about our concern for adequate salary. (greed spun into a poor me tune)

A good teacher knows that one alone can not negotiate the condition requisite to a healthy teaching and normal family life.

A good teacher knows that to guarantee theses conditions, each must band together will all other good teachers- in a union.

( then a little blurb)

Team GTA; Big thanks to those who dedicated time to opeing day GTA rally. As we enter our 4th year with no contract we commend those who go above and beyong to show support ( IE t-shirt wearing friday's)

Althought the first even was very successful, we must be candid and let you know...if we are going to make positive change your attendence MUST increase! Our attendence at these event are recongnized by local community leaders and influences their willingness to work with us and listen to our concerns. We hope to see you soon. ( they really don't get that it is the tax payer paing for them, not the local leaders. And this shows they don;t care what john q public thinks as long as they get the support of those that influnce the BOE)


CoffeeReady- I need a pot.

Anonymous said...

George has the smnarts but is not good a working and playing well with others. He would rather be right than get anything done.

Anonymous said...

George also has the smarts (and I agree with the rest).

SCATS said...

To 6:08AM ~~ Why don't you tell us? I've heard nothing about it since some related documents were erroneously posted on BoardDocs months ago.

SCATS said...

To Coffee ~~ THANK YOU! That's MOST enlightening ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Coffee Ready - it does speak volumns

Anonymous said...

SCATS - there's real trouble brewing when the administration covers up information that should be brought to the attention of the board. The "Executive Session" on the agenda must be a real laugher! I'm getting close to revealing some startling info., so be patient just a little while longer. It will make your day!!

SCATS said...

To 5:01PM ~~ Pardon me for my skepticism about your upcoming reveal. There comes a time when it is necessary to eith pee or get off the pot.

Why post on such an old thread that people no longer read?

Anonymous said...

SCATS - help me out here. How do I post on a "fresh" page?

SCATS said...

To 8:51PM ~~ I merely meant on a topic that is posted on the front page of the BLOG as opposed to this one which few are likely to read now that it's archived. Either way, if what you reveal seems plausible, I may make it into a separate new BLOG.

Anonymous said...

Take a step back Scats - the problem is still clearly one of administration. For the past several (if not many) years, the central office administration has been running (ruling?) the district through bullying of individual teachers. This has, in turn, made bargaining with the union a very difficult situation and until the atmosphere in and around the central office is cleansed, things will remaining the same. Give Babs a chance - she's still walking on eggshells as she probably can't trust anyone around her. TDOM

SCATS said...

To 11:20AM ~~ I'm wondering why you chose to post on such an old thread. Also, what does TDOM mean?