Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Beginning of The End for West Ridge?

  
13WHAM news reports that Greece parents are  upset over elimination of kindergarten at West Ridge Elementary School.
  • Families want their children to attend school together.
  • Some hope to persuade parents on Pinebrook's waiting list to enroll in West Ridge instead.
"I just hope that more parents get on board with telling the school board how great of a school West Ridge is and telling the School Board that it's the wrong decision." ~~ Mark Knowles, parent

SCATS ~~ February's BOE meeting should be MOST entertaining to watch, as GCSD tries to cut school-of-choice educational programs BEFORE cutting sports & other extra-curriculars. 

A showdown between sports boosters and school-of-choice parents would be just desserts for a district that's repeatedly failed to get its priorities straight and its budget under control ;)

Promoting From Within GPD: A Good Idea?

  
A check on the Monroe County website link to Civil Service Exams shows there's no shortage of interested cops seeking to move into Sgt. or Lt. positions within the Greece Police Dept. We've lost a number of Sgts. and a couple of Lts. during the scandals, so this is no surprise.

As I look through those lists, I recognize quite a few names, many of people I've met. None of them particularly impressed me at the time. None stand out as superior candidates for promotion now.

Something that really troubles me is that the familiar names are cops who worked at GPD long before Nick Joseph got drunk, coked himself up and rocketed into the rearend of another vehicle late one night on I-390. These other officers worked side by side with Joseph and Pignato. They followed the orders of Rahn. Surely they MUST HAVE KNOWN something was amiss in GPD. Yet they remained silent.

How can we trust these men in positions of greater authority when we already know they did not step up and do the right thing previously? How can we be sure that the dysfunction within GPD is gone when they remain? I'm convinced it is not. 

While I'm impressed with what I've seen and heard from Todd Baxter, I also know that when one person is sent into a dysfunctional group to do "a rescue," it's a recipe for disaster. The dysfunction typically sucks-in the person who sought to put things right UNLESS they have another person accompany them for frequent reality checks. For this reason, the selection of Deputy Chief is as important as the selection of Baxter.

I hope you have another good man to bring with you, Todd!

 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

GCSD & the BOE Are Out of Touch ...


While scanning an article about girls hockey, several mentions of how other districts are handling tough economic times caught my attention. It's interesting to me that their emphasis is on retaining academic programs. Not so in Greece, where sports wags the dog. Here's a few excerpts:

"Among the many challenges facing varsity girls hockey: the rising costs of forming a team, a lack of nearby competition, uncertainty with the number of interested girls and shrinking sports budgets."

"It's going to be hard to add new sports when (school districts) are canceling or eliminating programs." ~~ Nina Van Erk, Exec. Dir. of NYS Public HS Athletic Assn.

"Athletics tend to be one of the first targeted areas in a down economy like we're in," said Pound, a Pittsford resident who helped bring girls lacrosse to Honeoye Falls-Lima in 2001.

"When schools are faced with potentially laying off teachers, they'll be looking to cut extracurriculars before cutting the instruction."

Q ~ Why do Greece Residents continue to settle for sub-par education over sports?
A ~ Dysfunction (and a lack of self-esteem) is our way of life!

What Price Leadership?

 
The search for a new Supt. has begun. So has the discussion about what the starting salary must be to attract a "quality candidate." Achramovitch began at $200,000 with a more or less "typical" benefit package in his original contract from about 3.5 yrs. ago. An article from Buffalo Business First discusses Superintendent's salaries throughout NY State and contains a tool for viewing salaries in various locales with the cost of associated benefits packages tallied separately.

It's my personal opinion that we need to find someone who seeks a challenge first and foremost. I think the BOE might consider offering less money upfront to the right candidate with the contractual promise of lucrative bonuses paid out after years 1, 2 and 3 provided that clearly stated specific and measurable goals are attained during each interval. It's time we give more than lipservice to the notion that we desperately need someone who can and will deliver.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This Headline Screamed For Me To Read More ...


Then I discovered, the article is about rare black vultures visiting the area and NOT about cleaning up crime, corruption or scandal in Greece.
Phew! The status quo is safe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Arrogant, Selfish & Ignorant

  
In the 4 years (nearly) that I've run this BLOG, I've seen some amazingly thoughtless comments posted on a variety of emotionally charged topics. However, I've just received a comment pertaining to the senior income exemption that has managed to really frost my litter box for a variety of reasons which I will explain following the posting.

Anonymous said...

Although the program is flawed, if we put in the max exemption, taxes would increase about $20 per $100,00 of assessed value of the property. So, some of our seniors are struggling. I agree, the flaws in the legislation allows those with homes in Florida and large sums in accounts that don't count to "pull one over on us" and get the exemption too. I however am willing to give our needy seniors $20 (my great aunt) a YEAR to help them out. Maybe some of our older residents that are capable of paying their taxes should "opt out" of the exemption. Oh, I forgot they are too busy relocating to florida during the winter and complaining on this site to do the righ thing. Maybe what we should be asking is for the loop holes to closed instead of complaining about what amounts to $1.75 (roughly) a month. Maybe you could live without one starbucks or dunkin donuts coffee a month!   1/28/2010 5:06 PM

To 1/28/2010 5:06 PM ~~ You speak of your great aunt and tell us she is "needy." You say you are "willing" to give $20 per year to support senior citizens like her. Then you go on to tell the rest of us that we should "live without one starbucks or dunkin donuts coffee a month" to come up with the extra $1.75/month/person needed to support the senior tax exemption for people like her. Adding insult to injury, you characterize this as "doing the right thing." You, my dear sir or madam, are so full of crapple that I barely know where to start!

First of all, you dare to suggest that the community and I are still able to afford Star Bucks, Dunkin' Donuts, etc. Apparently, your arrogance has blinded you to the extent that you didn't notice when the largest Star Bucks in town closed down a few years ago. Could it possibly be because so many of us have already given up life's little luxuries?? To be honest, I've never frequented any such place because I simply can't afford to do so. In fact, the infrequent Sunday dinner at Red Lobster is also "history" in this household. Its become a real treat to pick-up Chinese take-out or a pizza ordered with coupons maybe once a month! Since delivery costs extra, we fetch it ourselves to save even more.

Secondly, how dare you imply that it's MY job (and the community's) to support YOUR great aunt! How selfish and thoughtless can you possibly be? I'm already very busy financially supporting my third relative in need and it's to the tune of much more than $1.75/month!

Thirdly, you mention that the rest of us should "do the right thing." Well, why don't YOU step up and "do the right thing" yourself? Why don't you pay your own great aunt's tax bill for her and get her off this welfare? Better yet, invite her to move in with your own family. Isn't that what family is for? Helping each other? It's what I'm doing and believe me when I say, it IS "doing the right thing" for all concerned.

Finally, and this is where your ignorance really shows, how dare you suggest that this issue is about "closing loopholes!" It's not. It's not about any "flaws" either.  It's about continuing to provide welfare for a group who has come to feel they are entitled to a program that was supposed to have been eliminated! It's also about age discrimination. And it's about people taking responsibility to live within their means ~~ If you can't afford the taxes on your home, then you need to downsize! I'm sure that an affordable rental can be found for your great aunt. Between the savings on property taxes, utilities & maintenance combined with the money from the sale of the property, I'd bet she can live quite comfortably ... especially since she wouldn't have to live with someone like you ;)
 

Todd Baxter Has Three Goals For GPD


A Q&A session with MPNNews gives many insights into how Todd Baxter plans to overcome the toxic environment the GPD scandals have left in the town & PD.
 
"My three main goals are: (1) to rebuild community trust; (2) create more security within the department and bring stability to the police department; and (3) support those officers and bring back morale."
 
" ... I will get to see the completed audit of the investigation before I take over. It’s safe to say that I will make sure we are making the best use of time and resources."
 
"The buck stops with me. My reputation is on the line, along with the other police officers’ reputations. I will make sure it never happens. If it were to happen, my first move would be to address it as quickly as possible and be vigilant. My family’s reputation is on the line and that’s what motivates me."





"I’m a firm believer of developing relationships with the community. As a police chief, I need to develop relationships around the community. I plan to do this by attending meetings of the community and to be out there ... "
 
SCATS ~~ Please make Neighborhood Watch a priority in Greece, Chief! Many of our neighborhoods could benefit much from such a focus by GPD.

Investigation of GPD By DA Is Complete

 
No new indictments to be handed up to Grand Jury (Tell me they haven't known this for months!)

  • Pignato's second trial begins Feb. 10th
  • Rahn's trial on 12 criminal charges begins March 29th (As I've stated before, I expect he will get a plea deal, have charges dropped and/or reduced to ensure he does no jail time. This will be his payoff for not ratting out the culprits who remain and for taking $10K to give up $50K+ in health care and other benefits ... which makes NO SENSE without the payoff!)
  • Robert Trowbridge's case is still before a Grand Jury. (Why is this taking so long??? Either they have a case, or they don't!)
STORY
  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WEST RIDGE COULD BE PHASED-OUT!

 
Applications have fallen & waiting lists have shortened over the long term, according to Don Nadolinski.

Only 34 Kindergarten students seek entry in Sept. 2010.
They could "easily be absorbed by other schools." ~~ Supt. Steve Achramovitch

Elimination of one grade level each year could allow the school to be closed ... again ... and would save $$$ on teachers, aides, etc. starting in year #1.

Stay tuned for the new season of "As the Parents Roar!"
      

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BOE Raises Senior Income Exemption By $2500

WATCH YOUR WALLET ALERT!*

By a vote of 5 to 3, the BOE has raised the 50% income exemption for senior citizens under the Enhanced STAR from $17,499 to $19,999.

By their own admission, they do NOT know the impact this will have on the GCSD budget!  

Several BOE members discussed this as the beginning of "a phase-in" towards maximizing the limit to the most allowed under current NY State law.

*The BOE members who favored raising your taxes last night were: O'Toole, McCabe, Boily, Tydings, Stenglein & Smith. Although Sean McCabe voted against the resolution it was because he favored an even higher exemption for senior citizens. VanOrman was absent from the meeting. Frank Oberg was the only BOE member who favored ELIMINATION of this tax break.

Duffy Plans Return To Neighborhood Schools

  
Will Boost Graduation Rates, Address Truancy & Safety

STORY

SCATS ~~ Since even the Mayor of Rochester understands the importance of neighborhood schools, I wonder if he would explain that to our BOE ...

Monday, January 25, 2010

BOE Meetings Jan. 26 & 27

Jan. 26th (at 6:30PM) topics include Senior Tax Exemptions, District Goals & Budget Preparation.

Jan 27th (at 8 PM) topic is a "Discussion with Superintendent Seach Consultant." This meeting is not listed as an Executive Session, so feel free to attend.

Oh The Irony!

I was reading the online version of the Greece Post and spotted an article reminding us that tonight, Autumn Lane School is hosting a bookfair at Barnes & Noble. The purpose of the fundraiser is so that an Autumn Lane teacher can buy books that will be donated to help a school in Ethiopia that she visits twice a year. Nice idea, right? Absolutely.

My issue with it is that we have students right here in Greece Central Schools that have INADEQUATE or NO TEXTBOOKS, WORKBOOKS & OTHER NEEDED ACADEMIC BASICS. Worse yet, I've never seen nor heard a Greece teacher show any concern publically to this ongoing problem during the last 20 years!

How can we make the world a better place until we fix what's broken right in front of us?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No New Assessment Figures At Library


CLOSED & CLUBBY CONTINUES

A heads up to all residents intent on trying to challenge your new assessment:
The library does NOT have updated assessment information for 2010.
The books for last year's "reassessment" are the latest they have on hand.

Article Discusses Qualities Baxter Brings To The Job

"I have a lot of homework to do in the next few weeks. But the first thing is to instill in the community a sense of trust so they can call on us without second-guessing who's going to show up at the door." ~~ Todd Baxter, New Greece PD Chief

STORY

SCATS ~~ I like what I'm hearing, so far. Many of these qualities are things our BOE should seek in a new Supt. : Someone who questions the status quo with a critical eye. Someone who others praise loud & often for their honesty, dedication, love of a challenge, sense of community involvement.

One question though, Chief-to-be. What do you recommend for some poor distraught woman who finds Schamerhorn at the door during a domestic dispute call for help?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

BOE Meeting Tuesday @6:30PM

 
It is anticipated that the Board will go into an Executive Session at 5:30 pm in E40 to discuss collective bargaining and the employment history of particular person(s)

Financial Oversight
EXCEL Bids (W/A)
EXCEL Change Orders (W/A)

Unfinished Business
Senior Tax Exemption (Just say NO!)

Agenda Items
District Goals (15 minutes) (Yeah, 15 min. should be plenty of time for something so trivial as this!)
Budget Preparation

SCATS ~~ Will they raise income limits for senior tax exemptions? If they do, YOUR taxes will go up!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Greece Street Fight Results In Stabbing


GPD Make Arrest on Pomona Dr.

15 Yr. Old in Serious Condition

STORY
 

Baxter Wants To Listen, Wants To Lead Cops

  

Anonymous said...
Here is the question I have: How was the Town able to reach Captain Baxter at #9 off the civil service list? I thought you are supposed to select from the top 3 scoring candidates. The county website shows some candidates signed off, but not enough to get to #9

Also, the Chiefs test the Town used was for Fairport and East Rochester. There is a "class system for these tests and those smaller Towns are not in the same class as required for Greece.

So Im left wondering how they got around those requirements. This isn't a knock on Baxter, he may be great, but it would be refreshing if the Town followed some of the state laws that are out there...   1/22/2010 4:08 PM

SCATS ~~ Chief Baxter talks about needing the eyes & the ears of the community. Mr. Baxter, will YOU step-up and tell our Supervisor & Town Board that Neighborhood Watch groups MUST become a priority, instead of a nonentity? Those signs that dot the town look pretty, but are meaningless!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How Good Is Greece's PD?

 
John Auberger (1/19/10) ~~ " ... One of the finest department's not only here in Monroe County, but here in the entire state and nation."

SCATS ~~ Still suffering from delusions of grandeur, John?

56% Of Local Poor Live In Suburbs

 
Only 44% live in the city.

A new report shows nearly one out of every three people in the Rochester region is living below the poverty level.

STORY

SCATS ~~ And this is BEFORE Uncle Dave & Uncle John raise our taxes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A $eriou$ Ca$e of $ticker $hock

 
Dear John Auberger ~~

I got a letter from the Town of Greece on Wednesday. I thought maybe it was from you, Uncle Auggie, announcing how you personally overturned every stone and chose Todd Baxter for PD chief. Was I ever wrong. It was my new assessment and it's a whopper ~~ A 10% hike in what my property is worth, so says Leo Carroll, the assessor no one ever sees, or hears.

As I recall, Uncle Auggie, you warned us that our taxes would skyrocket if we elected a Democrat, instead of you last Fall. I must ask: Did you change your party and forget to tell us, John?? Is this how you are funding the $630,000+  you've spent investigating GPD? Is this where you'll get the cash to pay to settle all of the lawsuits facing the Town of Greece? Did someone forget to tell you that the middle class homeowners around these parts are all tapped out?

By the way John, of the few homes in my neighborhood that sold in the last year, several were foreclosures. That means they mostly sold for less than their assessed value, not more. Can you explain a double-digit percentage increase in the value from 2009 to 2010? No?? I didn't think so!! Did you pick that number out of thin air?

Well, I gotta run, John. I need to go try to squeeze some more blood from that stone you overturned. Good luck with your new chief. By the way, how much did you promise to pay him??

Mostly broke,
SCATS

PS ~~ I am very proud that Uncle Leo's math adds up correctly on the assessments. Is he available to tutor for GCSD on the side? The students really need someone who can help them learn to add!

2PM Press Conference @ Greece Town Hall


CAPT. TODD BAXTER 
NEW POLICE CHIEF

“If he is chosen I will be very, very happy for Todd and his family and his kids. I'll be very happy for the Greece Police Department. I'll be very sad for the Rochester Police Department because his loss will leave a void that will be very, very hard to fill." ~~ Bob Duffy, Mayor of Rochester

Auberger will inform GPD of this decision at 12:30PM today. The Greece Town Board is trying to schedule a "special meeting" to approve this selection.

STORY

13WHAM News reports that Baxter lives in Ogden.

SCATS ~~ Looks like Auberger is doing business as usual, wasting time & wasting money. There was a meeting just last night. Can he even pretend this wasn't all set and ready to be approved then? I think not! But I digress. Our D-Y-S-F-U-N-C-T-I-O-N-A-L Town Board won't question it ;)
 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Clean Is Your Child's Cafeteria? Your Favorite Drive-Thru?

  
D&C Database details Findings of the Monroe County Dept. of Health Inspections for all kinds of eateries. How does your favorite fast food restaurant stack-up?

SCATS ~~ Surprisingly, various Kodak food operations had lots of violations, as did several local churches. Greece Schools had relatively few infractions. For some reason, I couldn't find several Greece restaurants including the McDonald's Restaurant on Long Pond Rd. near Athena HS and Long Pond Family Restaurant.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Greece Town Board Meeting Tuesday, 6PM




East Bloomfield-Holcomb Fire Department
Training w/Captain Todd Baxter (left), RPD

Will the meeting last longer than 10 minutes?
Will a new police chief be named?
Will it be Captain Todd Baxter from RPD?

NY: Lowest GED Passing Rate In US

 
NY Offers Greatest Accessibility To Test, But Just 60% Pass

Most who fail on first attempt do not try again

STORY

SCATS ~~ We socially promote students in public school but expect them to actually pass a GED exam if they drop-out then return to finish. Could THAT be the problem?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Loszynski To Stay, Help New Chief "Transition"

Loszynski's Investigation Exceeds $630,000 Cost So Far

Town Board Reviewing Candidates For Chief

Original group of 11 whittled down by Selection Committee

"The goal has been to have a candidate in place by the end of the month." ~~ Deputy Town Supervisor Jeff McCann.
STORY

SCATS ~~ WHO is on this "Selection Committee?" Why isn't Loszynski's final report ready yet? Where is Auberger's comments on this? Isn't he getting paid to run this show? "The goal has been..." That's past tense! It's starting to seem like someone is dragging their feet.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where Are The Grammar Police?

 
BOE Unanimously Adopted A Flawed "Vision Statement"

"In the Greece Central School District, faculty, staff, and the community collaborate to provide a comprehensive, successful experience for each and every student we serve and where diversity and the dignity of each individual is honored in an environment that is safe and secure."

SCATS ~~ The second portion (after the third "and") is not an independent clause (that means it can't stand by itself). It also isn't the object of the prepositional phrase: "In the Greece Central School District." In a best case scenario, it is a grammatically incorrect run-on sentence that serves as a poor model for students.

Perhaps they meant to say something like:
The Greece Central School District is where faculty, staff, and the community collaborate to provide a comprehensive, successful experience for each and every student we serve and (it is) where diversity and the dignity of each individual is honored in an environment that is safe and secure.

WHERE ARE OUR HIGHLY
PAID ENGLISH TEACHERS?

I SUGGEST THAT THE SUPT
& BOE CONSULT WITH ONE!

 

MAYBE THE BEST POLITICAL CARTOON EVER!




"I keep thinking we should include something in the
Constitution in case the people elect a moron."
 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Report Govt Waste

  
YNNews Reports: Brian Kolb (State Assembly, Rep.) announces the launch of a new website where NY'ers can report govt waste.

Stop NY Govt Waste Website ~~ YOU CAN REPORT ANONYMOUSLY!

SCATS ~~ Since people from Greece could potentially overwhelm the servers and bring this website to its knees in short order, let's focus on reporting school district waste for two weeks, then we'll switch to Town of Greece waste for the next two weeks ;)

Paterson To Release Withheld State Aid

 
$580 million in aid to be repaid to NY school districts soon

STORY

SCATS ~~ And we didn't even have to touch our "rainy day" reserve funds!

Polaski Ponders Plea Deal In Prostitution/Spa Case

Former spa owner James Polaski considers offer to plead guilty to allowing prostitution at his business in exchange for probation, jail time & forfeiture of money seized from his home.

STORY

SCATS ~~ With all of his "spas" closed in Greece, where do our town workers go to relax these days?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FIREWORKS & DRUGS @ ODYSSEY ACADEMY

 
MPNNews Reports:
Brandon Smith, 17, of 1471 Ridgeway Ave., Greece, and Jeffrey Wong, 17, of 241 Alfonso Drive, Greece, were arrested Jan. 4 at Greece Odyssey Academy. Smith was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after security officers allegedly found marijuana in his possession. Wong was charged with unlawfully dealing of fireworks after security allegedly found fireworks in his possession.

SCATS ~~ Fireworks!? That has the potential to blow up, like a bomb! Is this student being dealt with the same as someone who brought a bomb or weapon to school? It doesn't sound like it! Why not?

No "Criminal Conduct" In Miller Case

 
Greece PD Investigation In Deadly Shooting Continues

DA says case will go to Grand Jury Within A Month

“It appears that they were justified because they were threatened with deadly physical force. We are trying to figure out if Mr. Miller may have fired a shot.” ~~ Lt. Phelan, GPD

STORY

SCATS ~~ After nearly a month, they still don't know if Paul Miller fired his gun? Something is wrong with this picture.

The Folks Who Talk About Transparency Aren't

 
Too Many Closed & Clubby Meetings

At Tuesday's BOE meeting, Circus Posse Prez. Patrick Tydings led the BOE through a vote on an item related to yet another closed door discussion. This one REALLY stood out. He mentioned the item involved a "personnel issue" the BOE discussed earlier while in Executive Session. He said an "MOA" (Memorandum of Agreement) was reached concerning a teaching situation at Olympia HS. Then, the BOE voted unanimously to adopt whatever this "secret" agreement was. The problem is that all votes MUST be conducted in public, which they did. However, at that point in time, there is no longer a "secret." The public gets to know what the resolution said that the BOE voted on.

Shame on you, Mr. Tydings, for failing to read the resolution aloud! Shame on the rest of the BOE for letting him get away with it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Like Good Little Puppets ...

The Boily Bunch Pushes To Delay Decision on Senior Tax Exemptions!
BOE will discuss & decide the issue at the January 26th Special Meeting.

SCATS ~~ Quite suddenly, it's become distasteful (based upon appearances) to decide an issue on the same night that a public hearing on the issue was held. Translated, that means some BOE members want it to appear (keyword!) like they will ruminate over the comments heard at tonight's hearing before they decide how to progress and/or vote. Please note that this in no way means that ANY precedent is being set ;)

Does the BOE Know What To Look For In Hiring A New Supt?

 
Anonymous said...
I would like to see a review of the job description for school district superintendent before the board interviews candidates.
It's difficult for me in my own mind to justify a $200K salary (plus benefits) when I don't know what is involved in the position.
If the main purpose of the superintendent is to oversee the school budget, then a small business accounting firm can fulfill that process an not cost as much.   1/11/2010 12:58 PM

SCATS ~~ I bet that if the board members had to list the responsibilities of the Supt. on an essay test that 2/3 of them would have blank papers after 10 minutes time. The BOE should not only know WHAT the position entails, but should have a list of specific short term & long term educational goals they want the new Supt. to work towards and for which he/she will be evaluated.

To the BOE ...

As you decide what to do about the Senior Tax Exemptions & Income Levels, please keep in mind the words of Adrian Rogers:

"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Monday, January 11, 2010

DA Offers Greece Teacher Plea Deal

 
Judge Valentino ruled there is enough evidence to go forward in the Jeffrey Hoffman rape case.

If he pleads guilty to the most serious charge of committing a second-degree criminal sex act, he will get no more than 7 yrs. in jail.

STORY  

Another Sign That The Dysfunction Grows ...

Greece Education Foundation Gets Greedy With Garage Sale Table Fees

In 2009:
"Insiders": tables $10 each
Community: tables $15 each
Vendor's tables: $20 each

In 2010:
Community tables: $20 each
Vendor's tables: $30 each

SCATS: Just because you raised $2000 with lower fees in '09 doesn't mean you will get more sellers or money by raising fees in a worse economy in '10. Think about how much used "stuff" someone must sell to only recover the cost of their table!

*** FREE *** H1N1 Vaccines This Week

Does anyone still care about swine flu? Or has local govt downplayed this into obscurity?

If you choose to go to a retail location like Wegmans, Walmart or CVS, you will pay $15-25/shot.

Public clinic (no fee) times/dates:

Tuesday, January 12th 11am-8pm:
Dome Center
First Bible Baptist Church, 990 Manitou Rd

Thursday, January 14th, 11am-8pm
Dome Center

Monday, January 18th, 11am-6pm
Blue Cross Arena

*** Govt Subsidized which means we're ALL paying for them ;)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Replacing Achramovitch ...

 
Do we ...
... promote from within?
... hire a search firm?
... look out-of-state?
... avoid repeating mistakes of the past?

  • Does our BOE possess the knowledge to make the right choice?
  • What role, if any, should the community play?
  

Saturday, January 09, 2010

BOE Hearing/Meeting Tuesday

  • It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec. Session at 5:00PM to discuss collective bargaining and the employment history of particular person(s).

  • Sign up for the Senior Tax Exemption Public Hearing will begin at 6:00PM outside of the Board Room.
 
AGENDA ITEMS of NOTE
Supt's Reports
EXCEL Project Update
Secondary Staffing Projections
Budget Development
Comprehensive Education Plan - Apollo Middle School (W/A)
Race to the Top (To the top of what??)

Unfinished Business
Follow-up List
Senior Tax Exemption** (Attn BOE: Any adjustments causing the masses to pay more tax will be met with outrage!)

New Business
Review Board Operating Procedures (W/A)
Approval of Revised Budget Calendar (W/A)
Appointment of a Search Consultant (Ka-Ching!)

SCATS ~~ ** The MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THE SENIOR INCOME EXEMPTION:
Because the senior income exemption is deducted before any applicable STAR adjustments, it is conceivable that certain parcels (huge understatement there) will have a ZERO TAXABLE VALUE AND not all of the STAR adjustment can be claimed by GCSD.

EXAMPLE
Assessed valuation                                       $ 90,000
Senior Exemption @50%                              (45,000)
Less Enhanced STAR Adjustments                (60,100)
Total Taxable Value (Can't be less than 0)                0

Reduction in Assesssment for STAR               (15,100)
Dollar Impact on GCSD                                   (328)*

*This is a double whammy impact: GCSD LOSES THIS STAR REIMBURSEMENT AND THE REST OF US MAKE-UP FOR THE EXEMPTIONS IN OUR TAXES!

The "Options to Consider" that the Supt. provided to the BOE do NOT include the OPTION TO ELIMINATE THIS WELFARE PROGRAM IN GCSD! They have the power to do so. They only lack the guts!

Waiting For The Other Foot To Fall?

 
Anonymous said...

Legacy: "If you think Walts got away with the cookie jar, just stay tuned!"   1/09/2010 5:33 AM
  

Friday, January 08, 2010

Bomb Threat Locksdown Arcadia On Thursday

Bomb threat written on restroom wall in Arcadia MS at 11:30AM causes 45 min. lockdown;
Search yields suspects

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Rumor Confirmed: GCSD Hires Geese Wranglers

 
D&C Blogger confirms what was posted on SCATS a couple weeks ago:

Adios Achramovitch
Posted by kcaronna

Come July we’ll be either looking at or still looking for a new Greece School Superintendent. I have to admit that I have had little dealings with Greece in terms of its school district, other than the multitude of fundraisers I have been asked to contribue to over the years. But I did think it was odd that in times of less staff and resources, Greece hired a Geese Wrangler this fall. I guess the sports fields were being overrun by geese and their, um, leavings. So someone was hired to make sure that the geese stay off the property, even in the sports off season. A teacher who will remain nameless told me about the new hire a couple days ago, but not about how this Greece Geese Wrangler will accomplish his or her goal. If it was officially mentioned elsewhere, I sure missed it.

Anyways, the timing of my learning about the Greece Geese Wrangler paired with the retirement announcement of Achramovitch did give me a little pause and wonder what exactly is going on over at the school district. And if we’ll ever really know.

SCATS ~~ Can we WASTE money on anything more ridiculous? Where is the study and consultant who recommended this? How much are we spending? WHY in winter?? How about we put snow melting equipment under the fields so we can use them 12 months/year?

Widow Ginny Miller Seeks Answers From GPD

  
WHEC-TV Reports:

Paul Miller's widow says she was handcuffed & sitting in the back of a police car watching the entire incident when Greece police shot & killed her husband of 33 yrs. She says she doesn't understand why she was cuffed or why her husband was shot, since she never saw him point his weapon at the cops.

Watch Berkeley Brean interview her at the link noted above.

BOE Hearing On Senior Income Limits Tuesday

If the Greece BOE increases the income limit for senior citizens, the rest of us will be footing the bill for their savings. Given these very difficult economic times where many have suffered job losses, income reductions, foreclosures and who face additional huge property tax increases in the coming year, tell the BOE you do NOT support changes that shift more burden to the poor working stiffs in the community. In fact, the time has come to eliminate this unfair form of "welfare" completely.

What Is Achramovitch's Legacy In Greece?

 
“Steve Achramovitch has helped moved this district forward,” he said. “Now that he is retiring, we will continue on that journey.” ~~ Patrick Tydings, BOE Circus Posse Prez.

Tydings said during Achramovitch’s tenure, test scores improved and school improvement plans were implemented.

“We sort of lost that negative energy that we had from that previous (Walts') era,." ~~ parent Gary Elling, PTA
 
STORY
 
SCATS ~~ We've had school improvement plans before, Mr. Tydings. This is nothing new. Test scores became so low that "up" was nearly a given. Your endorsement with "sort of" is so underwhelming it's laughable, Mr. Elling. Would either of you recognize a true leader if one was dumped in your lap? Doubtful. YOU and YOUR WAY OF THINKING & SETTLING for less than excellence epitomise what's wrong with GCSD. Our future lot as a district will not change until we change the people who choose, endorse and support this bastion of milquetoast leaders we hire and/or promote.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The One That Nearly Got Away ...

 
WHEC-TV reports that:

GPD Arrest Drunk Driver After Crash,
She Tries Escaping Through Bathroom Ceiling at Hospital.
Later She Calls Into Radio Show To Defend Herself,
Claims She Fell On Cops Finger Causing It To Break.
Also, A Previous "Victim" of This Drunk Calls In To Defend Himself.

She is charged with: leaving the scene of an accident, driving while intoxicated, second-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief, resisting arrest, attempted escape and harassment.

MPNNews reports she was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.She was arraigned and remanded to Monroe County Jail but has since posted $10,000 bail.

In Sept. 2009, she was charged with second-degree menacing after a road rage incident ended with her allegedly threatening the other driver with a baseball bat.

SCATS ~~ Just when I think I've heard it all, along comes someone to prove me wrong.

School Boards & Budgets ...

 
Charlie Hubbard Writes:

I applaud the Comptrollers office for seeing the lack of financial oversight in our public school districts such as the Fairport over taxation reported 12-30-09.

It goes on in most districts and school boards elected to look after taxpayers $$ have not been doing so and deserve to be chastised for it.

Budgets are anticipated expenditures. Between the end of June and the later part of Aug. when the tax warrant needs to be signed the 'actual' expenditures should be known and when the 'left over' amount is known 'every' dollar of that amount should be applied and subtracted from the pending tax warrant NOT put into a fetish type reserve. It is the taxpayers money NOT the school boards.

Taxpayers (voters) deserve complete, honest disclosure prior to any budget or bond vote of all funds (taxpayer money) being held and why it is being held and a pledge from school board members that any excess money will be promptly returned in the form of a lower tax rate the following year.

It is time school boards start showing respect for the taxpayers money and vote.

SCATS ~~ Just wait until you see the size of this year's budget in Greece, Charlie! With a lame duck Supt. ready to exit his job right after the May budget vote, he can be scape-goated with giving us a huge budget that the BOE will have "no choice" but to call an "austerity budget" should voters reject it.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

BOE To Achramovitch: "You're Fired!"

 
Is Supt. Steve Achramovitch retiring, quitting or getting fired? I guess it all depends upon your perspective.

The word went out via district channels today stating that he is "retiring" as of July 1. That is when his current contract ends. It's no secret that he received no salary increase after his performance appraisal by the BOE last Summer. It also is no secret that he was told to expect no offer of a new contract this year back at the time of that appraisal. In other words, he has spent the last 6 months looking for other employment opportunities. Apparently, he's found none. Thus today's face-saving announcement that he will officially "retire" on July 1.

In my mind, he's too young to "retire." He's been on the job in Greece too short of a time to retire, especially when so many projects he started will not be completed when he leaves. If I start something and don't finish it, people would likely say I quit. Technically, he is being forced to quit, er ... I mean retire. In reality, the BOE decided to fire Supt. Steven Achramovitch last June. They just didn't bother telling us (officially) until today.

Here's a telling excerpt from a telephone conversation Achramovitch had with WHEC-TV's Nikki Rudd earlier today:

"I've been here for well over three years now, and I think it's time for a transition, for some new leadership," Archramovitch said.

"Were you forced to resign by the school board?" Nikki asked.

"No. I'm retiring, Nikki. I'm not resigning. I'm retiring from the district," responded Archramovitch.

SCATS ~~ No, Steve. You are lying ... again. You got fired ... again. Just like from your last job. I wonder if that is why you can't find another job? The lying and the firings do matter.

BREAKING NEWS ...

  SUPT. ACHRAMOVITCH
RETIRING JULY 1
"I believe we have established a system for continuous improvement that will lead us into the future." ~~ Supt. Steve Achramovitch

STORY

SCATS ~~ Interpreted, Steve's statement means we will be recovering from our position in the basement for years to come!

What Lies Ahead In January ...

 
Technology and Energy Education Presentation
Thursday, January 14

6:30PM @Autumn Lane Elementary School
(Why aren't we discussing the budget, the GTA contract & ways to control spending?)

Public Hearing on Senior Tax Exemption Income Levels

Tuesday, January 12 @6:30PM
Apollo, 3rd Floor
Sign-ups start at 6PM
(If they really wanted people's input, this hearing would be held seperately from the BOE meeting without requiring sign-ups.)

BOE January Meeting
Following the Public Hearing, as above
(Will they still have Residents' Forum?)

Town Board Meeting
January 19, 6PM
1 Vince Tofany Blvd.

Appointment of a New Police Chief
By January 31
Uncle Auggie Promised This ;)

Loszynski's Completed Internal PD Report Presented To Uncle Auggie
Promised by January 31

Joe Loszynski Rides Out Of Dodge (Greece)
Promised By January 31

Monday, January 04, 2010

Does Greece Set A "Standard" For City School Fundraising?

 
Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the article on front page today about the city schools administration complaining that they don't do enough fundraising like the suburbs. Interesting that they want to improve that activity on the part of the students to match the 'burbs but don't seem to worry about the disparity between their students academic results. But everything will be better there if they could just sell more candy bars and wrapping paper and frozen pizzas. And who cares if they can't read but can ski. That's it city schools, contrast yourselves to brighton's fundraising so we won't notice your abysmal test scores and graduation rates.

If we used your logic Greece should be at the top of the list when it comes to test scores and not #17. We might have brighton beat for fundraising. Why were we left out of that story?   1/04/2010 11:15 AM

SCATS ~~ Greece was mentioned VERY briefly at the end of the story: "His school's robotics club, he said, has been a success despite raising far less money than a similar club in Greece."

I'd like to know how much Greece's robotics club raised. I'd like to know how the city school teacher became aware of the number, since we commoners are never given such info in Greece. I'd also like to know which of our schools has such a club. So many questions, so little time! We could really use an investigative reporter!

Yet ANOTHER "Special Meeting" (Closed Doors!)

 
Special Meeting Tonight  @6:30PM

It is anticipated that the Board will go into an Exec. Session at 6:30PM to discuss the employment history of particular person(s).

SCATS ~~ Something really interesting must be happening to get them to meet during the holidays and again tonight ;) 

Crime Takes No Holiday In Greece

  
Anonymous said...

Arby's on Ridge Road West was robbed on Saturday night as was the Kwik Fill Gas Station on Dewey. But there's not crime in the Town of Greece.   1/04/2010 9:22 AM

SCATS ~~ It will be interesting to see if these retail robberies "make the cut" once the D&C reporter is done with them.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fleming Creek Flooding Problem Created By Town

  
Fixing it is not a priority.

D&C Story examines how Town's approval of retirement community development brought changes that cause flooding to a few homeowners.

SCATS ~~ How typical for Auberger's administration! Expand the tax base (i.e. develop) at ANY price; create havoc for a few; $tudy the resolution; turn your back on those you victimized after telling them they aren't your priority.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Duffy Pledges Takeover Of RCSD

  
“There is a saying: ‘Pick the hill you want to die on. Well, I have, and education is that hill.” ~~ Mayor Bob Duffy

From his speech: "To accomplish educational success, we must forget about pleasing special interest groups and focus on those who we are sworn to serve. I don’t care who we offend. We must set aside political aspirations and alliances when discussing issues such as school governance and tough policy decisions."

SCATS ~~ Attention John Auberger & Steve Achramovitch! This is what true leadership looks like!


If This Is True, There MUST Be A Santa Claus!

 
Anonymous said...

Capt. Mike Ceretto has removed himself from the selection process for Police Chief. This move puts Urhmacher at the top of the Civil Service residency list. He also moves up one notch on the county list to number five.

This development changes the expectations of some command personnel whose futures were linked to Ceretto. This is also a blow to Auberger's plans for the PD.    1/01/2010 11:16 AM