Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Watching How They Spend Our $$ ...

 
At tonight's BOE meeting, there are two items of note that will speak volumes about how the BOE manages & expends OUR MONEY. I'm putting that into extra large print to remind them that after we write the checks to pay our taxes, it does NOT become their money. It is always OUR MONEY and is supposed to be managed wisely to support OUR SCHOOLS.

The first item will be deciding whether or not to spend about half million dollars more of OUR MONEY to "fix" the seating in A-PAC. Since the idea for this white elephant was first conceived, we've paid, and paid, and paid, and are STILL PAYING to try to get it safe, completed and usable. At this point, it's time to decide that enough is enough! I've seen no pricetag for the latest study to determine how to align the seating so people can both see and not become permanently disabled from too little leg room.

In these economically unfriendly times, it seems to me that the best solution may be to remove the seats with no view, rope them off and not sell tickets for them, or sell discounted tickets for them to people who are told there is no view. All three of these options involves saving about $500,000 of OUR MONEY! From board room discussions I've heard in recent years, OUR MONEY would go a long ways in providing some much needed repairs to this district's much neglected buildings ... like Olympia HS.

The other item the BOE will be discussing tonight deals with the emotionally charged "Senior Tax Exemption." Now let me say upfront that I'm not one who goes around suggesting that we toss grandma to the curb. However, there is nothing right or fair about how this exemption is determined, applied or handled. The way things stand, some older folks get to live in homes where they pay reduced school taxes, or sometimes they pay NO SCHOOL TAXES at all! Of course, if someone isn't paying their share, YOU & I get to pick up the tab for them - it gets added to OUR BILLS. We make up for the reduction using OUR MONEY. There are close to 1300 such properties in Greece and the seniors who live in them want the BOE to increase the allowed income limits. They want Greece to align with other districts. I want Greece to be a leader and drop this unfair program altogether.

If I understand this program correctly, income from IRA's is handled differently than income from a 401K resulting in one person getting  a nice exemption while another gets none despite having similar incomes. On top of that, it is possible to reside in a home that has a relatively high property value ($250,000+) and pay NOTHING towards school taxes under this exemption! But the little guy who works hard to scrape enough together to feed his family gets to pick up the extra tab on the tax bill for his "average" home assessed at around $110,000. Does this make sense? I think not! Worse still, most on the BOE have no clue how much extra the little guy has to pay to keep grandma in her home which she can no longer afford! If you can't pay your taxes, it's unlikely you can afford to heat your home or maintain it.

Gov. Paterson is talking deep cuts to state aid to school districts. That is our warning of things to come. The time to halt foolish spending and to make certain everyone "suffers" equally is NOW. Will our BOE have the guts to do the job? We'll be watching how they spend OUR MONEY ...
 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scats- you expect the boe to do something using common sense? What kind of rebel are you?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone remembered that the guy that personally "designed" the seating at A-PAC is now receiving $30,000 or more of OUR MONEY every year so that he can choose other benefit options from his VA school board? Yet our board thinks so little of how OUR MONEY is wasted on Walts' lifetime freebie that they are now willing to pay $500,000 of OUR MONEY to fix little Stevie I's myopic vision of appropriate auditorium seating. The whole BOE needs to have their freakin' heads examined for mold, dementia and plain stupidity. Maybe they just want to feel more comfortable getting their dead A____'s in better seats once a year to listen to their useless stooge of a superintendent pontificate about nothing while we slide deeper into the abyss of educational opportunities for our kids.

Anonymous said...

These seats are needed how often?

Anonymous said...

This district's BOE has no business cut the tax rate to ANYONE no matter the circumstances. Every year we have more seniors that are on fixed incomes and every year we have those that move into Greece with less than the median income. The cost to educate can not be maintained on the backs of taxpayers that are loosing jobs and loosig money. WAKE UP GCSD we no longer live in the great Kodak era. Cost shoudl reflect what we have to spend. The taxes are like extortion, we pay them or else we loose our home. No tax breaks, strip the budget down so all can have some relief not just those that cry the loudest. Don't like in move to Ada Ridge.

Graehaven said...

This project represents the ultimate raping of the taxpayer by the town's BoE. All of us who helped pay for it, and will NEVER use it, are likely the majority.

This recent wasteful spending isn't any different. They'll just keep tapping the taxpayer for more and more and more.

There will be a taxpayer uprising, and soon - within a year or two, if things continue as they are. Meaning, public official continue to thumb their nose at the public and continue taxing and spending more. It's nearly at the boiling point. I imagine that next year, at this time, things will be at the boiling point.

I suspect that in the next 6-9 months, the market will tank again, commercial property will tank, it will be a bad Christmas for all retailers - many will fail come Feb/March 2010. By the summer things will start to get bad. If not then, then perhaps the year after. Not much longer though, things just cannot continue as they are. There is a breaking point.

Anonymous said...

I bet none of the 1300 who get the extra exemption even bother voting. Afterall that's the purpose of these sweet deals- keeping the old folks from voting NO!

Anonymous said...

They could save some money by down sizing the grossly top heavy asst. supers,directors,middle managers,and foremen and actually make people earn their paychecks instead of sitting in their offices all day and passing the buck to the few who actually work at Greece Central!

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that we dedicate these seats, with engraved plates, to the members of the 'Waltz' administration and the board that supported him.. The seats should serve as monuments to the short sighted, lack of vision of these authoritarian leaders.