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!


Anonymous said...

I heard 4% increase and the Board is going to vote to approve going with the contingency, vs. putting the budget back up for a re-vote.

Saw on Fox News 7 that now they must terminate 5 teachers and 2 administrators as a result of the contingency budget. 7 whole people. Wow. I'm so impressed with their dedication to reevaluation.

Anonymous said...

Here's one take, some broad says she's "sick of the bloggers" HA!

SCATS said...

To 11:34PM ~~ Thanks for the attempt to make sense of what the media failed to cover.

Anonymous said...

A contingent budget is voted on and approved only by the school board.
Questions: Can the new board vote in July to approve a different contingent budget? Can that new board agree to approve any additional the cuts the superintendt may have proposed?
Can the new board do anything to further reduce the spending once the budget is approved?

Anonymous said...

the exit polls are from 300 people out of the 7300 that voted. How valid does that make them? But, the tax levy was reduced which is what "the public" wanted so what is the issue?

Charlie Hubbard said...

5 board members last night 'chose' to take away the peoples vote.
5 'chose' to ignore the fact that we live in a democracy.
5 'chose' to make believe 'they' know more than the 'stupid' people who vote.
These 5 showed they lack the courage to promote democracy in our public schools and to show our kids about true leadership.
These 5 took the easy way out.

Democracy came at a very high price. On Monday those who paid that high price will be honored. I truly hope these 5 are not asked to participate.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry SCATS, Julia's team you supported will soon be in place, you'll have your city school district super and all will be fine. be patient.

SCATS said...

To 6:22AM ~~ I see several statements in the media that the contingent budget must be in place by July 1. I don't know if that's because NY law demands it, or because the BOE wants it resolved before Achramovitch supposedly "retires." The new BOE can always cut or add services/programs within certain parameters, I think.

To 7:15AM ~~ You need to get better "sources." There were 1151 returned exit polls. If people didn't fill one out when they could have, that's too damn bad. Translation ~ "The tribe has spoken!"

To 8:13AM ~~ It appears that "Julia's team" is already on the BOE. 7 of the 8 present BOE members voted to go to a contingent budget that is LARGER than the 3% increase residents said was acceptable. VanOrman, Oberg & O'Toole all wanted to allow a community revote which I agree should have happened. Of course, it's highly likely it would have been defeated since the BOE ignored the 3% ceiling the community was comfortable with.

There's nothing like asking for public input and then IGNORING IT! No wonder people don't bother attending meetings or even voting!

george hubbard said...


1. The handbook, SCHOOL LAW, 30TH EDITION, states (pg 732), “Are school districts required to have a budget? Yes. The Education Law requires that school districts other than large city school districts present an annual budget to the district voters for their approval. If the voters refuse to approve a budget, the school board must adopt a contingency budget...”

2. As concerns a GCSD budget for 2010-11, here is how I understand Educ. Law applies:

2a. On April 8th, BOE adopted a PROPOSED budget in the amount of $195.4M... to be presented to District voters for approval.

2b. On May 18th, GCSD voters rejected the PROPOSED budget.

2c. On May 26th, BOE acted by vote not to present a budget for a second vote by District voters.

2d. Also on May 26th, BOE acted by vote to adopt a CONTINGENCY budget at some future date.

Comments invited.

Anonymous said...

"Democracy came at a very high price."

About $47,000. For what? There are a block of people that are going to vote "No" regardless. Waste of money.

SCATS said...

To 12:38PM ~~ I would like you to tell our veterans and military personnel that they are wasting their time fighting for our "rights" because our right to vote is just "a waste of money."

By the way, it used to be that it cost over $80,000 to hold a vote ... or so we were told! I'm really glad to see that the cost of something in GCSD has come down!

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 12:38 (anonymous)
Yes the price to do the vote was 47K due to the timing of the vote partially due to the delay by the board. I listened to the roll call vote with 5 board members (on their soapbox) voting against going for another vote due to the cost. VERY concerned about the cost.

As an example of the hypocracy of the concern about spending let me bring your attention just one item (there are many). It can be found on page 34 of the teachers contract - it is refered to as 'release time' for union reps to be released from their teaching duties to do 'union' business. The cost of this item is over $100,000 every year.
With a tentative agreement on a new contract supposedly having been reached it will be interesting to see if 'this' cost is still in any new agreement and or wheather concern about spending is consistent or phony.

What a great oportunity to include the community in a meaningfull way has been lost due to inflated ego and phony grandstanding.

SCATS said...

To Charlie Hubbard ~~ Was there ANY concern over the wasted $1 million+ we're doing on bussing? I wonder if 12:38 is concerned about that ... ?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

The 5 board members that voted for this should all taken out back and Flogged. This is the reason that the Greece people will not get involved. The board knows this. The peoples voice does not matter.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey Cagwin ~~ The people's voice does not matter unless that is the voice of a shrieking hockey mom or the voice of a sobbing school-of-choice dad ;)

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Not sure where you are going with that.

The BOE did get elected by the people of Greece. They "SHOULD" listen to what they say. When asked
"Which of the following do you support

1. Going back to the budget and retrying the vote.
2. Contingency Budget"

Mr. Tydings told me that

"I do not believe that it would be appropriate to respond to your question at this time. As you may know, an exit poll was conducted yesterday, and the information from that poll is being compiled as I write this e-mail. I do believe that it would be premature to respond to your question until after we have had an opportunity to review that information. I do not want to ignore the information that the voters have provided to us"

I guess this was just a good line.

SCATS said...

To Charlie Hubbard ~~ Re: "With a tentative agreement on a new contract supposedly having been reached ... "

Of course, there is no EXTRA MONEY for any wage/salary increases in this just adopted "bare bones" contingency budget, right????

I mean, our BOE would never lie to us right ;)

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey Cagwin ~~ I think you know EXACTLY where that comment was aimed. Playing innocent doesn't work here.

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Ok I may be a School of choice Dad.

This does not change my views on the Budget and the board. The BOE should scrutinize every expenditure that happens. In doing this they should make there decision based on what is best for the Students and the tax payers of this district.

This district has wasted more money on things we did not need. New entrances for all buildings. Did we really need them ? How did it help the students education?.

I just want the Students of Greece to get the best education possible.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Re: "In doing this they should make there decision based on what is best for the Students and the tax payers of this district."

Please explain to me how spending more money, even $1, to retain schools-of-choice is "best for the Students and the tax payers of this district."

We are among the country's highest taxed & the County's worst performing school district. Charlie Hubbard says when he asked what benefit schools-of-choice provided TO THE DISTRICT, he was told they doubted any could be shown!

Schools-of-choice are among the top cited "things we don't need" according to the exit polls!

Are YOU, Mr. Cagwin, willing to let go of your special situation (Odyssey dad) so that ALL Greece students have access to an equitable education at an affordable cost? If not, your words about the contingency budget and the BOE's failure to revote are all but devoid of sincerity.

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

I am willing to let go of the so called "Special situation" as long as the theories and practices that are happening at Odyssey are carried to the other schools.

Now remember this so called "Special situation". Limited Sports and classes offered. More focus on education. Is Greece ready for this?

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Aside from football, what sports have been "limited?" As I recall, Greece had no lacrosse team until Odyssey started one ;) More focus on education is what this district needs to do & I've been promoting a streamlining of programs & services to that end.

By the way, are you ready to let go of your special situation because your youngest is nearly done with HS? VERY generous of you :)

How about we provide Odyssey with a full 12% of students who represent diverse backgrounds/cultures & special needs to see how far their "theories & practices" take them? I'm betting they get no further than the other schools, even with the hand-selected staff. Are you willing to wager $100, Jeffrey?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

You get the District to do it I will take the bet.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Nothing like taking the easy road, huh? How about YOU join me in the effort? It would go a long way in showing your sincerity!

Anonymous said...

"Democracy came at a very high price."

Yes, and we should all honor and respect those who have fought to protect it.

To be accurate, the United States is a 'republic' or 'representative democracy' where the representatives are democratically elected. It is our democratically elected representatives, the School Board, that votes on the actions taken after a budget vote.

Would it be nice if the actions aligned with the popular vote? Of course, but it's not required, and that's the law. If they stray too far from the will of the community, it is our responsibility to find and elect better representatives. That's democracy!

SCATS said...

To 5:06PM ~~ Better than Boily? Better than Auberger? Look at the 7 who just ran for BOE! It was barely one step up from no choice at all ... but I digress. I've seen enough people come & go to realize the SYSTEM is broken. And the newly elected fall victim to their egos as soon as the oath is taken.

Anonymous said...


1. Thank you 5:06PM for posting... a nice combination of substance and eloquence.

2. To your point of ‘straying too far from the will of the community’, perhaps that explains why one of two incumbents was re-elected... and one was not. Seems like certain undeniable forces are at work here... when members of the community vote - and a few are motivated to run for office.

3. Thanks to the field of 7 for being motivated.

4. As Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

What would you like me to do?

I am open to listening.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Wow, you can't think of a single thing??? Seriously?!

OK then. Let's start with two tasks. First, please go back through this thread and answer all of the questions I asked you with some detailed & thoughtful responses. Secondly, please sign up and talk to the BOE at Resident's Forum in June, July, August ... however long until they "hear" you ... and tell them you are "willing to let go of the so called "Special situation" as long as the theories and practices that are happening at Odyssey are carried to the other schools."

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

I just wanted to see what page you were on.

I will send you the answers you want.

As far as residents forum. We should wait until the new board is seated.

I will try to get there. I am usually working at the time the meetings are.

You should also sign up to speak.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Based on the words you choose to use, you should consider assertiveness training first.

Examples: "I just wanted to see what page you were on."
Translation: I was just testing you.

"I will send you the answers you want."
Translation: I am a people-pleaser with no mind of my own.

"We should wait until the new board is seated."
Translation: Maybe we can both forget by then.

"I will try to get there."
Translation: I plan to fail.

"You should also sign up to speak."
Translation: Please take the focus off of me!

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Maybe you should stop reading into peoples word so much. Sometime they just mean what they say.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Your words are ALL I have "to read into". If I got something wrong, please point it out. I'm still waiting for answers to my earlier questions ;)

Anonymous said...

1:02: Oh, please. Put the flag away. The point is that unless the tax increase was 0% or LESS, a budget is not going to pass, period. What's the point? Do you really think people would pass 3% after the year we've had in Greece? No way. Waste of money.

SCATS said...

To 12:49PM ~~ I think the people who wrote the exit polls are much more credible than anyone in public service in Greece! The budget hadn't been defeated in 3 yrs. so I'm not sure that you could assume it would be no matter what. That 7.6% levy increase that Boily thought the community might afford awoke the sleeping giant ;)

Jeffrey Cagwin said...


Please explain to me how spending more money, even $1, to retain schools-of-choice is "best for the Students and the tax payers of this district."

Getting rid of schools of choice also means that all students will have to go to the "Home" school. currently there are a lot of students that "Choose" to go to the 4 high schools. Not just Odyssey.

If the only cost is the transportation then let's offer the parents that want to choose that option the choice with the stipulation that they have to provide the transportation. This should also pertain to the parents of the students that have to be bused out of the district also.

Are YOU, Mr. Cagwin, willing to let go of your special situation (Odyssey dad) so that ALL Greece students have access to an equitable education at an affordable cost?

As I said before, Let's get rid of the so called "Special situation" as long as the theories and practices that are happening at Odyssey are carried to the other schools. This means the Students and Parents are held accountable. This is the only way this format works.
Let's expand the IB program to the other schools.

Please remember the classes are limited also. They do not offer all of the "Choices" that the other high schools have.

Aside from football, what sports have been "limited?"
Football, Swimming there are probably a couple more.

Are you willing to wager $100?

Like I said I will take the bet as long as all of the Students and Parents are held accountable.

Ok Scat's now a couple for you.

What do you think it will take to start getting the public more involved?

Are you willing to run for school board next year?

Charlie Hubbard said...

A quick note for 1:02 (put the flag away) (anonymous w#rm)

I have a good friend who spent 11 months in a North Vietnamise prison camp - unspeakable things done to him.
When he returned he was spit on at the airport by a group of 'freaks' because he had his uniform on and wore it proudly. Medals you wouldn't believe.
One of many I have had the honor to have known. People like this gave us the right to vote and that right should be respected.
Out of respect for them my flag will stay out thank you.

Banned on said...

To Jeff Cagwin:
A few of us pitched in. We got you this:

The SCATS blog became the go-to place when you started to filter who could post there.

Interestingly, SCATS is morphing into the same place but he filters through personal attack. It is only a matter of time until this blog goes the same path as yours.

In the mean time, man-up, Jeff.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Re: "What do you think it will take to start getting the public more involved?"

It will take the BOE & Supt. allowing true two way DIALOG! There is NONE of that currently.

Re: "Are you willing to run for school board next year?"

No. I'm too busy running this BLOG, but thanks for your support ;)

Because I'm needing to do some other things, I can't respond back to your other comments now. You're likely to hear more about them over time.

SCATS said...

To 3:01PM ~~ I try to attack ideas, ridiculous processes, behaviors that don't work etc. If you take that personally, it's your problem, not mine.

Banned on said...

I don't take it personally. Don't put words in my mouth.

I attacked a "ridiculous behavior that doesn't work". Hey, I'm just like SCATS!

Maybe some counseling will help you to grow some thicker skin. After all, it's your problem for taking it personally.

SCATS said...

To 8:44AM ~~ What words did I put into YOUR mouth?