Monday, May 31, 2010

BOE Must Get Serious About Saving Money ...

 
Next year's budget mess is predicted to be much worse with deeper cuts required to balance the local school budget. With enrollment down by over 2000 students, we MUST start shutting down some schools to realize some significant savings.

Which Schools Get Closed?

What Criteria Should Be Used For Deciding?

What Do We Do With Empty Buildings?

Do We Change The District's Structure/Organization?
 

Some Serious "Criminal Mischief"...

  
Seabreeze Park Is Closed! Rochester PD tells WHEC-TV there are rumors a "huge fight" was planned.

WHEC also reports that the West Ridge Rd. A-Plus Sunoco station was robbed at knifepoint early this morning. $100 was stolen.

The D&C reports: A victim was robbed at gunpoint of his car keys, cash and cell phone in Northgate Plaza, 3800 Dewey Ave., on May 20.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Achramovitch: Property Tax Cap Could Be "Catastrophic" For GCSD

  
"We have increasing costs that are not driven by district decisions. And if you're going to have a property tax cap, we're going to have to have a relief mechanism as well." ~~ Supt. Steve Achramovitch

D&C article examines resistance to school property tax cap idea

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Teacher's Sticker Story ...

  
Once a month, a school teacher  has a sticker day. She gives each child a sticker and asks the students to write a story about it. One day, she gave a little boy a sticker with a horse on it. His story is below. As you can imagine, he misspelled the word which changed the context of the story completely! If you have kids or are a teacher this will bring back memories, enjoy.

(click to enlarge)


















   

SCATS ~~ Will your spouse allow YOU to get one?? :)

Who Will Become The Interim Supt?

  
This week, the BOE announced they didn't like either candidate finalist for Superintendent, so it's back to the drawing board. They now admit it could be months before we find the person who is the "right fit" for Greece.

In the meantime, they seek to find an interim superintendent, but haven't provided any details about what sort of person they desire, how much they are willing to pay or who will search to fill this slot for them. Perhaps that's why many employees and residents are conjecturing that our current Supt. Steven Achramovitch will be offered an interim "opportunity." 

I sincerely hope that's not a possibility. He is "retiring" because the BOE didn't want to renew his contract based on poor performance. For that reason alone, we must be sure that he leaves the district on June 30th. Otherwise, there is a fear that he could be offered another 3 yr. contract by a certain element on the BOE. That certainly isn't in the best interests of either the students, or the community.

To move this process along, I ask, is there anyone within GCSD who is capable of fulfilling an interim position? Is there anyone who wants the job? What can we do to ensure we move forward, not backwards?
 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Regents Test Prep On TV & Online

  
YNN Reports: Regents Review 2.0 is a series of hour-long, interactive TV segments designed to help high school students prepare for the regents finals. Fourteen test subjects from Integrated Algebra and U.S. History to Foreign Language are available On Demand so students can watch and review at their convenience.

This series is available to Time Warner Digital Cable customers free of charge. Local channel listings are as follows:

Rochester: Rochester On Demand, channel 111

Regents Review Live is available online & also covers 14 subjects.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Add Arrogant, Cowardly & Shameful To Closed, Clubby & Corrupt!

 
Greece's elected officials, both school district and town hall, leave much to be desired. Neither group truly "serves" the community that elected them. Neither group conducts any form of ongoing open discussion with the public. Neither Town Board, nor school board addresses concerns brought to their attention in a timely way. They fail to respond to letters, calls, or pleas made during Resident's Forums for help. Sometimes, the media gets their momentary attention, but failing that, Greece residents are left in an "every man for himself" struggle to get resolution to issues ranging from property code violations to student discipline to significant health and safety concerns. Wednesday night, both groups lived up to the "arrogant, cowardly & shameful" additions to the description of their collective boards.

At the school board level, seven of them failed to heed the input they asked the community for on the recent Exit Poll. The residents told them to keep the tax hike associated with their budget to 3% or less. What did they decide to do? They gave us a 4% hike, adding back in things like janitors and music lessons for 4th graders that the Supt. took out. That's the arrogance. Making matters worse, the majority led by Roger Boily and his group of yes-man cronies decided to not let the community re-vote on the "new" budget! That's the cowardice, since they already knew that they did not eliminate $1+ million in excessive busing their own study uncovered and that the community is fed up! Failure of the budget at the polls was guaranteed by a group who has failed to make the tough decisions they were elected to make. Shameful!

Also on Wednesday night, Greece Supervisor John Auberger & several of his pals from Town Hall, the Town Board and from elsewhere in local govt decided to avoid the Northgate Neighborhood Group's meeting, despite getting specific invitations to be there. The hot topic concerned a group of residents who have been battling extreme water problems along a couple of creeks with no response from their elected representatives over a lengthy period of time, i.e. YEARS. Their absence after receiving invitations is the cowardice ~ They knew angry people were waiting for some answers! Ironically, Auberger's group is rather well-known for showing up at NGN meetings without invitation, possibly because Mr. Auberger's need to control & monitor such groups is a hallmark of his dysfunctional "leadership" style. I'm told that even Chief Todd avoided a drop-in last Wednesday night. How pathetic! The arrogance is that following their cowardly absence, they told media they want resident's input "later" ... how long can people wait? Probably until Auberger leaves office ... shameful!

With Memorial Day just ahead of us, it occurs to me that the veterans who gave their lives and limbs for our country, and the servicemen and women who are working to keep us free around the world today would be appalled to know that Greece's elected officials routinely thumb their noses at the "rights" and the "freedoms" of the populace they are supposed to serve! They are truly shameful examples of public servants ... and we are remarkably stupid for electing/re-electing them!
  

BOE Begins New Supt. Search ...

 
The Greece Post reports that the Greece school board is opting for an interim superintendent while they reopen their search for a permanent replacement of Steve Achramovitch who "retires" June 30th. I can only imagine how the Help Wanted ad would be worded if they were honest about the qualities they seek. Perhaps it might read something like this:

"Must Love Busing!"

Superintendent sought for large suburban school district. Must have the ability to read the minds of employees, the Greece school board & the few voters who bother to cast ballots. The ability to ignore any/all input the district actively sought and gets from the community is an especially prized talent. Those who enjoy playing victim will be put at the top of the list. If "whipping boy" defines you, then YOU are our guy! Applicant must be honest, but not too honest (wink, wink). Please be adept with hiding various amounts of money under one of three cups you constantly shift around. Your background will be checked to ensure you NEVER tried to fire a hockey coach who drank on the job or eliminated a nearly empty classroom or school building to save money in a district that is constantly cash-strapped. Any knowledge of education is a bonus, but not required.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Budget Confusion ...

CORRECTION ~~ The BOE vote to let the community revote the budget was 5 NO and 3 YES. Sorry for the error!
 
I missed the BOE meeting that was held at 5 tonight. Since then, one TV station is reporting that there is a 4% contingency budget that "the school district will vote on." Another station is reporting the same info but that the budget is calling for a 3.5% tax increase.  I'm not sure what is meant by voting on a "contingent" budget. I thought they declared a budget contingent and that was that. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. Either way, they ignored the Exit Poll results which GCSD has finally posted.

Update ~~ I've learned that the Supt. crafted a budget that had a 3.4% tax rate, but several on the BOE didn't like some of his changes (reductions). As usual, they added back in what they couldn't stand to part with (attachment issues, I think). They adopted a budget on a 7-1 vote that will become a contingent budget after they craft the language needed to make it all legal. A vote on that must be held by the end of June. At that point, they will vote to adopt it as the contingency budget. The vote on a motion to send it back for a community revote was 1-7, defeated. If you are confused, you're in good company!
 

The Exit Polls ...

  
Of the polls returned ...

Q#1 ~ How did you vote on the proposed 2010-2011 budget? 
59.1%  NO ...  40.9% YES

Q#2 ~ Why did you vote as you did?
50.1% (552)  "taxes too high", 24% (265) not enough cuts were made, 15.8% (174) thought the tax rate reasonable. Only 5.5% (61) thought "too much was cut".

Q#3 ~ What could leaders do to earn your support on future budgets? 
NO voters said 82.4% (393) keep the tax rate increase to 3% or less, 13.6% (65) said "reinstate eliminated staff".

Among written comments to Q#3, NO voters wanted:

Decrease administrators pay 32.3% (95)


Reduce taxes 31.3% (92)

Decrease teacher pay/benefits 21.8% (64)

Eliminate School of Choice and/or busing to them 17.7% (52)

Reign in Unions 16.3% (48)

Cut spending 10.5% (31)

Q#4 ~ Was an appropriate balance achieved between quality and affordability?
40.1% (392) YES, 59.9% (586)  NO

Q#4 written comments from those voting NO:

Lower taxes 34.1% (89)

More cuts needed 26.1% (68)

No more busing to schools of choice 19.5% (51)

Do not make cuts that impact students 17.2% (45)

Salaries too high 12.6% (33)

Q#5 ~ Part 1 ~ Were you aware that the budget proposal you voted on today decreases spending?

77.7% (832) YES, 22.3% (239) NO

Part 2 ~ If NO would that information have impacted your decision?

27.1% (69) YES, 72.9% (186) NO

Q#6 ~ How would you rate the value of money spent on education at Greece Central?

Good 30.2% (329); Poor 22.2% (242); Fair 22.1% (241); Satisfactory 20.5% (224); Excellent 5.0% (55)

Q#7 ~ When developing a budget , what is most important and what is least important? Check only one for "most" and one for "least".

Reasonable class size: Least 25.5% (134) Most 74.5% (391)

Keeping taxes low: Least 18.2% (127) Most 81.8% (570)

Maintaining schools of choice: Least 77.9% (490) Most 22.1% (139)

Quality teachers/support staff: Least 4.6% (31) Most 95.4% (646)

Student transportation: Least 65.1% (299) Most 34.9% (160)

Access to Technology: Least 24.7% (103) Most 75.3% (314)

Maintaining programs: Least 39.4% (181) Most 60.6% (278)

Variety in course offerings: Least 55.7% (274) Most 44.3% (218)

Q#8 ~ Regardless of how you voted, did you find the budget newsletter and district web site provided you with enough information on which to base your decision?

Yes 73.0% (723); No 27.0% (268)

Q#8~ NO voters written comments:
More candidate info needed 44.6% (25)

More detail/cost analysis 39.3% (22)

Not aware/ didn't receive 14.3% (8)

Explain funding better 5.4% (3)

SCATS ~~ I agree almost 100% with the sentiment of the community expressed in this poll! Will the BOE keep these results in mind, or shoot themselves in the foot by creating another "NO vote" situation? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Coming Soon ...

  
Cost: $1+  million ... so far ...

Over 1 year in the making ... and continuing on ...

The highly anticipated ... much awaited ...

LOSZYNSKI REPORT

To Be Released AFTER
Rahn's July 6th Sentencing

SCATS ~~ Are you SURE you've thoroughly covered your cowardly backside with this taxpayer funded report, Jack "Can't Recall Sh*t" Auberger? You are a disgrace to this community!
 

BOE Remains Indecisive On Budget Plan As They Begin To Recognize Their Own Dysfunction

   
They will meet again Wednesday at 6:30PM to look at Supt's recommendations (without restrictions by BOE on where to cut from) for further cuts to bring the tax rate increase down to 3.5%. Thursday is the deadline to get any revote advertisement to the newspaper in time to have another vote.

The defeated budget plan was below the required caps for declaring a contingency budget, but another $1.1-1.2 million must be eliminated in capital improvements, equipment purchases, etc. to make it a contingency plan.

"We need feedback from the community ... It comes down to the fact that we need to make hard cuts." ~~ Sean McCabe

"We got a lot of feedback, in the form of the exit polls." ~~ Frank Oberg

"It's becoming us vs. them ... maybe it's been that way for awhile ... We (the BOE) are the "How To" book on how not to do things." ~~ Julia VanOrman

"3.5% is artificial ... We are the poster child for not working together." ~~ Roger Boily

SCATS ~~ The first step to recovery is recognizing you have a problem. Two out of 9 have said they have a problem ... Stay tuned!
 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

To The BOE: REDUCE & REVOTE!


REDUCE THE BUDGET
BELOW THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE CONTINGENCY PLAN



 
ALLOW US TO REVOTE
& SHOW SUPPORT FOR IT!

Anonymous said...
To 11:50 Don't try to put words into our mouths.

???"all private business employees who have not lost pay or benefits should voluntarily return some of their money to their companies."??

Nowhere did anyone say that the staff at the schools should return any earned money to the schools. They should get less in their salaries from this point on. That is the recommendation.

Many public employees that are union members are protected and can receive no decrease in pay but let's stick to the schools since that's the focus of this thread. I personally do not recommend removing firemen or the people that fix our bridges)

The district should stop paying their big salaries and stop giving raises. Let them sue and whine in court.

Another strategy is to remove from the program all the non-mandated programs and their staff. Then those that remain would still get big salaries and the others would be unemployed for a time. It is the only way to save money and keep the essentials.

Do we need a list once again of the surprisingly non-mandated programs? (for those of you that already have it memorized by now don't bother reading)

Elementary art, music, band and chorus, lessons, kindergarten,pre-kindergarten, librarians, counselors, psychiatrists. The state requires phys ed time of 135 minutes a week at this level but it can be overseen by the regular teacher as well as music, art, health can. I can hear the grieving now.

There is no mandated need for a librarian at each school just a district librarian and the libraries could be staffed by non-union people. (By the way did you know we in the community are allowed to use the district's schools libraries free of charge?)

Same goes for counselors. There is the mandate for a district counselor administrator and a plan (which we don't have) but no mandate for counselors at each school or any school.

At the secondary level we could look to Odyssey to find out how they survive with so few electives and get quality results. They have only 2 languages to choose from for example.

And there is no state mandate for band and chorus during the school day. It could be offered after school as a club with a stipend director. Same for all the art classes. NY just requires one of either be taken and passed to graduate. Basic art or music history for example. So we could be back to basics at the high school level too and remove the teachers that have those jobs. Tenure does not protect the program but rather it protects the staff member. If a program is eliminated the position is eliminated. The first person to possibly be let go in that position can then bump someone else (if they are qualified to teach in another discipline) that has less tenure. The union will always survive no matter how few members it has. And the union cares nothing about the individual members. Once a position is eliminated that member no longer is in the union and doesn't matter. The union would rather see positions and programs eliminated than see the members have to pay more for benefits or receive lower raises.   5/23/2010 2:24 PM

SCATS ~~ And transportation could also be cut back to state required limits!

On Monday night, bring a sign to the BOE meeting that tells them to:

REDUCE & REVOTE!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Contingency Budget ... Topped With A Settled GTA Contract ... ?

   
Several sources told me prior to last Tuesday's vote that had the budget passed, GTA was promised a deal. I chose not to reveal that plan before the vote, because I didn't want to be credited/blamed for the outcome.  

Apparently, some of our "leaders" felt that if the community was ready to eat an astronomical tax hike, then we may as well swallow it with a chaser of higher union wages and benefits for the teachers. Oddly, the union did not take a stance on the budget and it was defeated by a wide margin at the polls. Word is that union Pres. Don Pallozzi is still chomping at the bit for a settlement.

On Monday night, the Greece school board will likely declare a contingent budget that is a mere $1.19 million less than the budget defeated at the polls last Tuesday. It's also possible, likely even, that the GTA contract will soon (Monday night maybe?) be settled, but at what additional cost? Where will the extra money in our "bare bones budget" be "found" to fund it?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tell The Supt. & BOE To "Do Over" The Budget & Let Us Revote It

 
As time passes following Tuesday's Greece school budget defeat, I'm getting a growing, nagging feeling that our BOE & Supt. will attempt to whack out that $1.19 million or so identified pre-vote day as being "non-contingent worthy," and declare a contingency budget Monday night. It's the easy way out. Very tempting, I'm sure, given the alternative. Starting over and really doing the right thing by the students would take time, courage and committment. I don't envision Roger Boily, Sean McCabe or Jeff Smith with the fortitude needed to accomplish such a feat, at least not unless they feel some intense pressure. We already know they cave in when that's applied.

So here's your chance to be heard and do your part. If you want them to re-do the budget and put it out for a revote, you better let them know! I'll list their email addresses below to make it easy. PLEASE send it to each and every one of them, so they can't misplace any. Thank you!


   

Supt. Achramovitch Is "Irked" ...

  
Today's D&C describes our Supt. as "irked" about the budget defeat. He doesn't get it. He whines: "We put a ton of information out there, held community meetings and didn't get a negative response."

Guess what Steve? When you shut people out and/or shut them up at BOE meetings, they stop coming out to tell you what they are thinking!

In the Greece school board meeting room, there is NO TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN RESIDENTS & THE BOE OR SUPT. ... EVER! Although they hold something called "Resident's Forum," it's not really a "forum." There is no "discussion." Worse yet, if the BOE doesn't like the message you are trying to deliver, they will attempt to find a way to keep you from talking (think Doug Skeet), shorten your time at the podium, insult you after you finish and your time is up (you can't respond) ... yada, yada, yada.

We are allowed to come talk at you, but you do not respond to us. You seldom have answers to any question asked. You want to get back to us later, but often you don't. It seems like you don't want the community to get answers. We've gotten your message to just go away, so why would anyone waste their time coming to one of your budget forums to tell you that a 7.6% levy hike is way too high? We wonder, where is YOUR common sense? If you had any, you would know that tax increase was ridiculous in the first place.

And about that "ton of information" you put out there, how much of that was blatantly wrong? ("average home in Greece ...") How much of that was double-speak? (Adds scheduling flexibility for HS ...)  How much was spun to sell a budget only 1 in 3 were interested in buying? (Flexibility in schedules = ELIMINATION OF ELECTIVES!) You must think we're really stupid!

Mr. Achramovitch, if you want to do the right thing for this community, you will apologize for insulting us with your attempt to hoodwink us with this ridiculous "bare bones" budget idea and that erroneous mailing you sent out! Go back to the drawing board! Reduce things that don't touch CLASSROOMS. Get that tax rate cut to 3.5%, maybe less. Put it up for a second vote! Be honest!

And last but not least, try reading this BLOG once in awhile. People are telling you what they are thinking. We're aware that we're one of the elephants in the boardroom - never mentioned by name but everyone is aware we exist. We're approaching 100 followers on Facebook, in addition to those who follow us via other means. People are listening and talking on here. Try tuning in to get "the message" even if it isn't the one you want to hear. It might help you avoid those irked moments next time around, since you've shut us out of your board room ;)

To Chief Baxter ~~ Special Attention Please

 
I would be very pleased to read in a future Police Reports column that these people were caught red-handed. Stupid criminals deserve special attention.

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Reply To This Post
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Location: greece

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 1749434673

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Craigslist ad #2 - ***i need an inspection sticker*** (greece)

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Date: 2010-05-19, 9:48PM EDT
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it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 1749827176

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BOE Plans Special Meeting



BREAKING NEWS!! ~ Roger Boily blames Albany, but shares voter's frustrations!    
He "forgot" to mention that he "wasn't sure" if we could afford that 7% tax hike!

  Monday, May 24th
Executive Session planned at 5:30PM
Special Meeting starts at 6:30PM

The BOE will be discussing what to do about the budget.

SCATS suggests they each bring a pair of large, sharp scissors to help them ;)

Dear Greece School Board ...

  
That loud "THUD" you heard Tuesday evening was YOUR budget going down by a wide margin! Yes, YOUR budget. The one YOU chose. The one YOU crafted.

In case you might be wondering why it didn't get approval, here's a few clues. 
  1. You spent our hard earned money on a transportation study that took 3 yrs. to arrive and that only addressed a portion of the issue YOU raised about school choice. Worse yet, you failed to heed the "news" it gave you about busing in Greece. WE BUS TOO MUCH! WE BUS TOO FAR! WE BUS TO TOO MANY PLACES! WE ARE NOT A PRIVATE TAXI SERVICE! WE ARE WASTING TIME, MONEY & RESOURCES ON SOMETHING WE SIMPLY MUST REDUCE!
  2. With overall enrollment down by over 2000 pupils to only 12,200 students, you failed to close any buildings! By now, 2-3 schools should be taken offline for a significant savings to taxpayers.
  3. You refused to heed the Superintendent's recommendation to eliminate kindergarten from West Ridge School. Instead, YOU chose to make other schools/students feel pain they do not deserve, so that you wouldn't have to take the heat. BAD CHOICE! Schools-of-choice have outlived their reason for existing & the community is starting to understand the real cost of having our BOE not acting responsibly on this matter.
  4. You refused to begin putting this district on a "back to basics" track, something that is long overdue. We can no longer afford being all things to all parents, students, or families. You must reduce the number of extra-curriculars, including sports and music programs. You must eliminate stipends. It's time to focus the money Albany and the community gives you on one goal ~ education.
  5. People are tired of wasting money on studies. People are tired of hearing about more consultants. People are tired of wasting time on committees. People are sick to death over lousy graduation rates, poor test scores and rising dropout rates. People don't like knowing we have the shortest school day in the county and a short school calender to match!
  6. People are disgusted by the "more, more, more" message GTA puts out while whining about their guaranteed jobs with guaranteed benefits and built-in raises that require no performance on their part in return for an ever-expanding investment on our part. Translated, it means we're tired of eating beans while you get steak, potatoes AND gravy!
  7. Simply put, the overall message from the community is clear:
THE STATUS QUO HAS GOT TO GO!

A special message to Mr. Roger Boily:
You said you were unsure whether or not Greece residents could afford a 7% tax hike.
Did the voters clear that issue up for you now??
In case you missed it, they said
NO !!
They can NOT afford it!!
 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Election & Budget Results ...

GREECE
BUDGET FAILS!!
4546 ~ No
2824 ~ Yes

BUS PROP FAILS!!
4269 ~ No
3024 ~ Yes

O'Toole, Race & O'Connor
Win BOE Seats!!


13WHAM News
  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gov. Paterson Expects Many School Budgets To Be Defeated Today



DON'T DISAPPOINT HIM!


POLLS CLOSED!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Choose Very Carefully On Tuesday

     
Farmer      Grinnan       O'Connor

     O'Toole        7.6%      No              

    Yes           Mack         Smith        

 Race            Bus purchases     
               $195 million    No

Vote NO on the budget
Vote NO on the bus proposition
Pull Levers 5, 6 & 7   
Race, Grinnan & O'Toole
 

GREECE CENTRAL ~ #1 IN THE COUNTY!

  
FOR THEIR TAX LEVY INCREASE!
7.6% is the highest!

"We have an expense problem that is growing with time."~~  Jody Siegle, Monroe County School Boards Assn


SCATS ~~ Wow Jody! You ARE the master of insight & understatement!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

From My Email ...

   
In her letter to the Greece Post, Tracey Farmer listed Albert Shanker as one of her educational role models.

Knowing that Shanker was a left wing socialist and union organizer, I googled him. Among his many sayings he was quoted as offering the following statement:  “When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.”

Albert Shanker quotes

I don't know about you but turning the school board over to people who are "aligned with the thinking of" people like Shanker makes me nervous.

SCATS ~~ I must admit that quote is more than a bit scary!

Let's Not Burden Jeff Smith With Another Term in Office ...

  
"I want to stick it out for three more years to help the kids, the district and the town." ~~ Jeff Smith, regarding why he seeks re-election to the Greece school board

Vote for GRINNAN & O'TOOLE
Levers 6 & 7
Tuesday May 18th

Friday, May 14, 2010

Can You Afford A 7+% School Tax Hike?

  
NO?
Then you better plan to
VOTE NO 
Tuesday May 18th!!

At a recent BOE meeting, Roger Boily said
he's not convinced that Greece residents 
are unable to afford to pay that much extra this September.

And next year's increase may be double this year's amount! 

Send a clear message to Roger Boily & his bunch
on the Greece School Board by
voting NO on the budget & bus proposition
AND
Pulling Levers 6 & 7
for
GRINNAN & O'TOOLE

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Two Supt. Candidates ...

  
Here are some of the reasons why each candidate wants to work for Greece, skills/experience they possess and a few notable quotes.

Kim Dyce-Faucette has been on an upward tract in her career in education from the start. Only 4.5 yrs. after becoming a teacher, she began working to obtain her administrator's certification. She says that to become a superintendent, she knows she must leave the Rochester City School District where she has been Supt. Brizard's Chief of Staff since 2008. In her current position, she is a problem-solver handling situations that range from talking to a suspended student's parents to finding out why the power went out in one building to resolving a cooking equipment malfunction in a cafeteria. Some of her quotable quotes:

  • "I'm compassionately direct."

  • "Rather than perception, what people believe is fact."

  • "Unions add value to any organization."
If we hire her, she is young, wants the job for the long haul, won't have to relocate (saves us $$), already has her PhD (another savings), comes across as highly motivated and loves her work. If we hire her, it may well be an investment that lasts into the future for quite sometime.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

James Feil has 39 yrs. in education and is currently retired from a Michigan school district of about 10,000 students where he was superintendent. He has experience in closing down schools (as does Ms. D-F). He stated that he wants to work for another 8-10 yrs. He says that getting the job in Greece will provide more financial stability for him in the long run. He has always wanted to obtain his PhD and could do so here (at our expense!). He says he is half German and half Greek. Some notable quotes include:

  • He has "always wanted to visit Greece." (Laugh here.)

  • "I'm a lifelong learner."

  • "I'm in a premier school district." (I think he meant in Michigan, so don't get excited.)
SCATS ~~ Mr. Feil will cost the community a lot of money without the promise of a significant return on the investment. He must relocate from out-of-state. ($$) He must get his credentials in order to satisfy NY State requirements ($$). He wants to make more income, despite the pension he already gets in Michigan while he works to obtain his PhD at our expense (time & money). He could use Greece to achieve his personal goals, then retire to collect lifetime health care benefits paid for by Greece taxpayers. Mr. Feil is another Steven Achramovitch, in my opinion. They share many common traits.

If I were to choose between the two candidates, I'd go with Dr. Kim D-F. She's younger, energetic, motivated, already fully educated, seeking another challenge and an experienced problem-solver. She is the less costly and better fit of the two candidates. Greece sorely needs to add some diversity to the district's staff. Dr. D-F would bring intelligence, focus, and a "can do" attitude with that package.

Sadly, it sounds like the union & several on the BOE prefer to repeat history by either keeping Acramovitch or replacing him with a clone. Our BOE should be ashamed for the fact that several of its members distanced themselves from Dr. D-F during the dinner they were to share with her on the night of her visit. I'll let you guess which ones behaved that way. We have an opportunity to put GCSD on an improved track, if certain folks will allow it to happen

Your vote on Tuesday could determine the outcome for Greece schools for years to come! Be sure to get out & vote!

Vote for Grinnan & O'Toole
(Levers 6 & 7)

Vote NO on the budget!

Vote NO on the bus proposition!
 

To The Driver Of Greece School Bus 866

 
WHO TAUGHT YOU TO PULL OUT INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC FROM BOTH DIRECTIONS SO THAT YOU CAN MAKE A LEFT TURN WITHOUT WAITING?

You were in such a hurry to exit the parking lot at the Methodist Church on Maiden Ln at 3:15PM today that you forced traffic in both directions to come to a standstill just for you! You endangered everyone, including yourself!


We're Back To Secrecy In GPD ...

Here's the rest of the story: 

Richard E. Durfee, 48 of Chili, his son Austin A. Durfee, 16, of Greece and nephew Richard M. Durfee, 22, of Chili were each charged Thursday with first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, second-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment, all felonies, said Greece Police Lt. Steven Chatterton.


The three men are accused of forcing their way into an apartment at 398 Elmgrove Road, firing several shots and stabbing a 40-year-old man in an apparent drug-related altercation about 11:30 p.m., Chatterton said.

The D&C reports ...

A male was treated and released from an area hospital after being injured in an assault, Greece police said.

The man's name and age have not been released.

Lt. Phil Schultz of the Greece Police Department reported that officers responded to 398 Elmgrove Road about 11:30 last night, where officers found an injured male.

Officers discovered that a vehicle with three occupants had fled the scene before police arrived.
 
A vehicle matching the description of the fleeing vehicle was stopped a short time later, and police took three people into custody, Schultz reported.

SCATS ~~ Secrecy = DYSFUNCTION. Everyone knows where that got us under Rahn's watch , right?  
  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How To Replace Supt. Achramovitch Quickly ...

  
We really must replace Steve and we need to do so ASAP. Sadly, the two candidates BOCES uncovered really don't meet any sort of great expectations. So, what to do?

Well, since it's not rocket science, I propose that the Greece Board of Education offer a one year interim superintendent's contract to Ms. Kim Dyce-Faucette. We've had an interim "Super" under contract not so long ago (remember Jo?), so it CAN BE DONE.

The offer to Ms. Faucette should provide for several specific measurable improvements we want her to make within the one year period. Next June, the BOE can either evaluate her on the merits of her accomplishments & hire her with a 3 yr. contract offered at that time, or start looking for a new supt. with hopes of finding a more suitable candidate who performs better.

It will be a win-win-win situation for the community.

  • Since Ms. Dyce-Faucette already lives in the area, we don't have to pay her to relocate. That's "win" #1.
  • Since she's only making $145,000 now, we can offer her a "paltry" $190,000 to take the job for a year ... a savings over what we are currently paying Steve. That's "win" #2.
  • Since Steven Achramovitch will be gone, that's win #3.
Let's not waste a lot of time vetting these two candidates when everyone can clearly see from reading the info on the links posted on this site that neither of them are a good fit for the Greece Central School District.

Why Are Supt. Meet 'n Greets at 4PM?

  
   IF YOU GO, PLEASE TAKE NOTES & SHARE ON SCATS. THANK YOU!!

Anonymous said...
Most people I know that work day shift are not home before 5:30 so they can't attend. Most people I know that work afternoon shift are at work by 3pm so they can't attend. So the only people that can attend are graveyard shift,teachers and unemployed people. Why not have a meeting for each one at noon and then a meeting in the evening. In fact they could have considered a tandem forum where the 2 could have been presented at the same time.

They must be looking for the retiree/teacher reaction. 5/12/2010 7:06 AM


SCATS said...
To 7:06AM ~~ When I brought that issue up to a BOE member, I was told they can't satisfy everyone, that no matter what they do, people will complain. And besides, people don't go to the budget meetings, etc. anyways. Isn't it nice to feel like your elected reps "hear" you?   5/12/2010 10:16 AM

Greece's Tax Levy Hike Almost Three Times the County Average

   
The average Greece homeowner  ($126,500 assessed home value) would pay $190 more in school taxes next year if the budget is voted in by the community. That's an extra $1.50 for every $1000 of a home's value.

While other districts were able to keep their tax levies lower with reserve funds, Greece couldn't. "We don't have some of the flexible reserves." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch (Ed. note: another lie, see below!)

STORY compares local levy increases around Monroe County

SCATS ~~ The truth is that the Greece BOE refused to reduce the levy by applying $1 million from the reserve funds as repeatedly suggested by BOE member Frank Oberg.
   

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A "Factual Error" Is A Lie!

  
At Tuesday night's BOE meeting, Supt. Achramovitch corrected some "mistakes" GCSD published in their budget edition of The Connection & distributed to households in GCSD. These "factual errors" as he calls them, are explained in detail and buried on the GCSD website. You can read about the district's double-speak here.

The correction related to the "average home assessment in Greece" was previously exposed on SCATS in last week's BLOG titled: "Who Are They Kidding?" It turns out that the "average home" in Greece is assessed at/valued at $126,500, and not the $100,000 that GCSD claimed. I'd say that a 26.5% mistake is one whopper of a "factual error" wouldn't you?

In other BOE meeting "news" ...

  • Retired teacher David Townsend complained that GCSD refused to attempt to collect some $9400 the district overpaid Steve Walts when he left the district, but that the district aggressively pursued him seeking repayment of $177 paid to him when he was ill as a teaching assistant. He provided his check to the BOE after lambasting the BOE.
  • GTA President Don Palozzi admitted he "read the sites" and found the "contentious" comments regarding GCSD's two supt. candidates and their past behaviors. Welcome to SCATS, Don Palozzi!! The more you read, the more you'll learn ;)
  • The transportation committee is essentially "at a standstill" until other decisions are made ... related to school structure, transportation to/from daycare, etc. Stonewall, stonewall, delay, delay ...
  • The BOE voted 9-0 on a lease agreement with Kodak. GCSD will lease the 6th fl. of Building #12 from mid-June to mid-Sept for $50,000 to house District Office while Apollo School renovations are completed.
  • Jeffrey Hoffman was terminated as a GCSD teacher following his plea deal announced Monday.
  • GCSD recovered $184,000 from over-charges related to the 2001 CIP, another Walts related blunder.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Plan To Attend Supt. Forums

  
Dr. Kim Dyce-Faucette chief of staff for the RCSD
Wednesday, May 12 at Apollo Middle School. The forum starts at 4 p.m.

James Feil current Supt. in Traverse City, Michigan
Thursday, May 13 at Apollo Middle School. The forum starts at 4 p.m.
   

The Charge To The Budget Impact Committee

  
The challenge before the Board of Education and the Greece community for the coming school year and beyond, both fiscally and academically, is how to maintain and increase academic achievement levels and opportunities for students, despite the economic crisis. There are currently systems in place for the sharing of services, collective bidding, energy management, etc. that have and will continue to provide financial savings to the district. However, the existing financial conditions and the conditions projected for the next two to three years make it necessary to review and analyze district information in a new and different manner. The policy challenge, how to raise achievement levels in the current and economic future, will guide the work of the Budget Impact Committee.

The Committee is charged with establishing broad range issues subject to data gathering and analysis and to provide recommendations to the Board of Education and District Administration regarding these issues and to find efficiencies in our educational system that will free up more funds to support student learning. There is a need to generate local initiatives that utilize the best practices of school districts and other organizations to effectuate cost savings. The Committee will report on the issues pursued, savings achieved or expected, and identify obstacles to the recommendations. The Committee will consider for its review the following issues as well as put forth other issues for study and review:

  • District reorganization and possible consolidation
  • Technology
  • Facilities
Membership on this Committee will include:
  • Board of Education (2)
  • Superintendent
  • Deputy Superintendent
  • PTSA representation (2)
  • School Administrators (3)
  • AGCEP and GTA representation (2)
  • Community/Business representation (3)
  • Town of Greece (1)
  • Facilitator

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Walts Loses Out On Supt. of the Year Award


Instead, A Snafu On Instructional Time
Might Cost His District Their State Aid!

(Don't miss out on reading the comments on the two arrticles)


(Discussion of the topic starts about 20% of the way into the recording)

Some "Notable Quotes" from the BOE meeting on Walts' "ass whoopin' " :

Gil Trenum (Vice Chair) ~ "where's the oversight … not just a failure of one office not counting right" "Makes us look like we don't know what we're doing - makes us look bad." "My personal credibility is shot." "When customers are annoyed and displeased the worse things get." "Public expects us to maintain some accountability."  "I'll be interested to see what Accountability looks like in PWCS."

Milt Johns (Chairman) ~ "We need to recover from this." "I have an idea where $500k can come from in the budget, but Dr. Walts may not agree."

Lisa Bell ~ "When you knew we'd be voting on this, why didn't you figure out what those extra costs would be." "Yet you still had tunnel vision of one choice - unacceptable."

SCATS ~~ Personally, I'm blaming the whole thing on the Math Investigations curriculum, still in use in Walts' district. Even the adults have lost any ability they previously had to add and subtract numbers ;)
 

Friday, May 07, 2010

Who Are They Kidding?

    
I got my copy of "The Connection" ... the Budget Edition ... in Thursday's mail. Several items grabbed my attention for their attempt to spin the details into something more palatable than the reality.

On page 1, under "Budget Highlights" it says "the proposed budget adds scheduling flexibility for high school seniors." Translation: Course offerings were cut & seniors are encouraged to go home after attending the minimally required number of classes! NOTHING was "added"--  but much was subtracted.

On page 1, it also states that "the average Greece homeowner would pay $150 more in school taxes next year if the proposed budget is approved, or $105 more for those with the basic STAR exemption." Translation: The average Greece homeowner lives in a house that is valued at quite a bit more than the $100,000 used to define "the average Greece homeowner" in the district's example AND the STAR reduction is a lot like milk you've bought on sale for the last 5 years at just $1.49/gallon! If it stays on sale long enough, it becomes the regular price! If this was Wegmans, the Atty General would intervene for falsely advertising "a sale" that wasn't a sale.

The footnote on the above item states: "Calculations are based on a home value of $100,000 and assume that the homeowner has not recently been reassessed ." Translation: Since the "average Greece home" exceeds $100,000 (the value GCSD has used for more than a decade!) in value AND TWO of four wards are currently undergoing reassessments, the $105 figure applies to almost no one! YOURS WILL BE HIGHER ;)

Also on page 1 is this statement: "Even though a significant tax rate increase is being proposed, school taxes have steadily declined in recent years." Translation: "Look at how good we are at diverting your attention away from the growth in the overall budget which was $14 million more when we started this year, but this time, it's REALLY going to cost (hurt) you!"

I could go on and on and on ... but I won't bore you. I'm sure you get the picture by now.


What's important to remember is that the BOE didn't make the right cuts. They didn't cut enough overall. Expecting us to roll over and swallow a 7.6% increase is insane!


On May 18th ~~ 

Vote NO on the Greece School Budget!

Vote NO on the busing proposition!

(We don't need more buses with declining enrollments & under-subscribed buildings! Make them study it first ;)

Pull Levers 6 & 7 for Grinnan & O'Toole
  

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Two Supt. Finalists To Visit Next Week

  
ROCnow:

The Greece Central School District Board of Education has picked two finalists for the job of Superintendent of Schools.

The finalists will visit Greece next week for school tours, final interviews with the school board and a Meet the Superintendent Finalists Forum.

Kim J. Dyce-Faucette, currently Chief of Staff for the Rochester City School District will answer questions from the community during a 4 p.m. forum May 12 at Apollo Middle School, 750 Maiden Lane. Dyce Faucette has more than 20 yaers of educational experience, including as a secondary social studies teacher, an assistant principal and a principal, according to job search consultants with Monroe-Orleans No. 2 Board of Cooperative Educational Services.


Kim Dyce Faucette

James G. Feil, currently Superintendent of the Traverse Area Public Schools in Michigan, will hold a community forum at 4 p.m. May 13, also at Apollo Middle School. He has more than 25 years experience in Education, with a background in finance, according to BOCES.

James Feil

The Greece school board is expected to make a final decision on a successor to Superintendent Steven Achramovitch, who plans to retire in July, at the end of the month.

SCATS ~~ Love the last sentence on that Meaghan! Did you ask WHEN they would decide by?? What does "in July, at the end of the month" mean? I thought he retired effective June 30th.

Chuck Male, Juror 9, Shares Insights & Questions

   
Juror 9, Chuck Male, has posted numerous comments on several threads over the last two days. I want to highlight a few of his remarks and encourage you to read his complete comments left on threads titled:
Real Juror #9 Is Chuck ...
"Does everyone know that Auberger gave Merritt a "verbal repirmand" over the phone on his missing gun."
Group Of Rahn Jurors To Talk Tonight
"I spoke with Meaghan, interviewed with Nikki, wrote comments on Rebecca's blog and now I am sharing my opinion on this blog."
Baxter, Auberger Hope GPD's Troubles Are Over
"I have a question about the Lozynski Report and some of the testimony's that we heard during the trial. We heard many witnesses being question about their interviews with Lozynski during trial. My question is; are these interviews part of this report?"
RAHN JURY REACHES VERDICT ...
"In my opinion, the gun wasn't a big deal in 2000 and the evidense has not changed from that date to present when it was presented to the jurory. So why is it now. There were three reason why we had reasonable doubt and found Rahn not guilty. This is where Auberger looks like a bumbling idiot who was in the highest position of authority for the town of Greece."

Please feel free to ask him questions on THIS thread. With Mr. Male's input, maybe we can start to get some answers for the residents of Greece.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Supt. Search ...

   
Where do things stand? The community has been told NOTHING since we were asked to provide questions to the search consultanta many weeks ago. The BOE has been interviewing prospective candidates (exceutive session meetings posted at the last minute from what I've seen). Is the search serious, or just a cover for the majority's plan to keep Achramovitch as outlined below?

Anonymous said...
Greece Residents - Are you ready for another three years of Steve Achramovitch? Hold on, didn't he announce his retirement? I believe all that can change on May 18th.

If the people of Greece are stupid enough to elect three more "Roger Robots", this is a stark reality. The Boily, Rotary and C of C candidates of Smith, O'Connor and Mack will team up with Boily, McCabe and Stenglein to make it happen. Here's the scenario.

The current board has been considering candidates for the Superintendent job. They will probably announcing results very soon. Boily's present boboble heads will vote no on Steve's successor. - No votes by Boily, McCabe, Smith and Stenglein and Yes votes by Tydings, Oberg, O'Toole, VanOrman and Ferrington. So what's the problem, it's a 5-4 vote for the new super. The problem is that any self-respecting candidate will not accept the job without a unanimous vote, let alone a split vote. Only a desperate candidate would do so. Achramovitch took the job with a 5-3 vote because he was desperate. He had been given his marching orders in his former school district.

Simply, this means that on June 30th, no new super. On July 1, Roger's Robots control the board 6-3. At the reorganizational meeting, they vote to rehire Steve for $210,000 and he gleefully retracts his retirement papers.

Unless O'Tool, Grinnan and Race win on May 18th, it's another three years of the worst superintendent in the history of Greece (Yes, even worse than Walts). Vote no on his insulting budget and vote for an end to Roger Boily's political control of your school board. Vote yes to improve the education of your children and reduce spending.   5/05/2010 10:22 AM

Rahn Juror's Eyes Got Opened By Testimony

  
"Anyone who thinks the town of Greece can just move on because they've gotten everyone is wrong." ~~ Charles Male, juror

He plans to become more vocal, more involved.

STORY

"I don't feel like the whole story's out. I'm anxious for the Lozynski report to come out so we can really know the truth of what's going on." ~~ Paula, a Rahn juror

STORY
 
SCATS ~~ Watch out, Jack Auberger! It sounds like more people are onto your ways ;)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Civil suit on behalf of Baby Azaria cready to move forward ~~ STORY
 
  

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Real Juror #9 Is Chuck ...

  
... and he speaks out along with two other Rahn trial jurors. They think there is MUCH MORE to the story that needs to be brought out. One juror thinks Supervisor Auberger should resign. All await reading the Loszynski report. Nikki Rudd stated that they (WHEC-TV) are still trying to obtain the completed report, but Greece officials haven't made it available.

STORY*

* SCATS summarized from the video shown at 11PM and which has not been posted as of publication.

Just One ...

   
... Person spoke up at the Budget Hearing. He said the 7.6% tax levy increase was too much and the BOE could have avoided it, had they done some hard work. I agree 100%!!

Wednesday, May 5th is Candidates Night
7:00-9:00pm
Apollo Middle School
Board Room, 3rd Floor, E-4

  7.6% is too much!
Vote NO on the budget
Vote NO on the bus prop.
Pull levers 6 & 7
Grinnan & O'Toole

GPD Stopped Man Shortly Before Fatal Crash

   
Greece police stopped Scott R. Kleehamer, 51, shortly before he hit a tree on the Lake Ontario State Parkway Monday night. Police determined that his license was suspended & that Kleehamer was intoxicated and a paraplegic. While investigating, the man took off in his specially equipped vehicle and GPD chased him for a short distance before discontinuing pursuit. Kleehamer died after striking a tree in a head-on crash about an hour later.

MPN News

Group Of Rahn Jurors To Talk Tonight

UPDATE ~~ I just heard this will be on the 11PM news tonight. 
  
WHEC-TV reports that several jurors will respond to their questions on the news at 7 & 11 PM tonight.
  
Berkeley Brean's Twitter from yesterday ~~ "Still looking to hear from a Merritt Rahn juror. If you are one, you'll have to answer a 1-question quiz first." 6:54 AM May 3rd

SCATS ~~ I wonder why ... ?
  

GCSD Budget Hearing TONIGHT

  
Official Public Budget Hearing

6:30PM
 
This is YOUR chance to tell the BOE what's on YOUR mind!
 
Don't waste it!
  

Monday, May 03, 2010

Tying Up Some Loose Ends ...

  
WHEC-TV reports that Federal Court Judge Michael Telesca dismissed three counts of a seven-count civil lawsuit brought against the Town of the Greece & former Greece Police Sergeant Nick Joseph.

Court Documents

13WHAM's Jane Flasch interviews Rahn trial juror, the "real deal"
  
  

Sunday, May 02, 2010

At 7.61%, Greece's Levy Increase Is More Than Twice The Average

  
NY state education figures show that for the 2010-11 school year, school-tax levies are expected to increase on average by 3.2% statewide.

Compare Greece to other districts throughout NY state

SCATS ~~ From checking with neighbors & friends, few people realize how big the levy increase is. Help get the word out! Tell people. Tell them to pass the word along!
  

Baxter, Auberger Hope GPD's Troubles Are Over

   
Some skepticism remains following 2+ years of scandals & a purging of the ranks.

Resident Beverly Strehle told the D&C she wishes Chief Baxter luck, but doesn't think Auberger bore enough responsibility for his role in the scandals. And, she said, the purge of police officials should have been deeper. The Loszynski investigation was "a total job to protect John Auberger."

"I am very confident this department has moved past all the issues of the past year. I have broad faith and confidence in our new chief." ~~ John Auberger
"We are poised to move forward with building our morale and ensuring our officers have the honor and dignity they deserve." ~~ Chief Todd Baxter

Short Bios of the 16 Men GPD Promoted Last Week

SCATS ~~ Though not scientifically conducted, a simple poll on this website shows that 82% of respondents still believe that corruption/bad cops remain in GPD. That is in-line with Strehle's belief that the purging of GPD didn't go deep enough. And almost 40% polled here believe a certain Greece fire chief took Nick Joseph home after his accident. So much for Loszynski's ability to satisfy the community's perception that all is well in GPD ... despite spending $700,000+ attempting to do so!