Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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!!
 

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not suprised that out of appoximately 100,000 residents , barely 7,400 voters showed up at the polls yesterday for our school budget vote. In fact, voter turnout was low in every district across Monroe County. WHY??? Because your vote on school budgets do not count. Most people I talk to don't even bother to show up to vote on school budgets anymore because even when they vote NO, school boards shove the same budget down their throats anyway.

If Boily thinks this community can afford a 7% plus tax hike I would like to invite him to my house for coffee with my neighbors. You know, the REAL citizens of Greece. Not the political flunkies he surrounds himself with. Likewise for the Super and his top brass. They live in la la land

And just a reminder........whether we have a state budget in place or not is not the issue for our ever increasing taxes. 70-80% of all school district budgets in NYS are comprised of salay and benefits for union employees. THE SCHOOL BOARDS AND SUPERS negotiate and sign these union contracts that we CANNOT afford to pay. It is NOT state mandates or a late state budget that is driving our tax increases. It is the union contracts our local officials sign off on.

Graehaven said...

Very well said sir!

Anonymous said...

How many other budgets were defeated in Monroe?

Anonymous said...

SCATS: I am not for schools of choice, however am wondering if other districts have them. Doesn't Hilton have Quest where students are bussed if they choose to go there? How can we find out from other districts if they are able to choose and bus their children where they want to go instead of where they are supposed to go?

Anonymous said...

I did appreciate the exit poll that was conducted at my polling sot. I hope the board can take the information from that and other sources (like this blog) to understand what the voters want: quality education with graduation as the goal, reductions in "extra" spending for transportation and administration, a plan to reduce the size of our school footprint as the population shrinks. Not all can be done overnight, but please give us reason to hope there is planing afoot! Next year's budget will be even more difficult than this year's with the state no where close to an operating, functional government. We need to be planning more than 6 months out.

Charlie Hubbard said...

First and foremost - is the vote going to be 'respected'????

Don't ask me 'what' to fix until you conceed that some things 'need' to be fixed.

I have said it for years "it's all about TRUST"

Going to a contingency budget is the LAST thing that should be done. A second vote must take place if for no other reason than to tell the community (voters) they were heard, that A,B, and C will be fixed and you can TRUST us to follow thru and get it done.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com
775-6015

Anonymous said...

Hey Smith, see ya. Hey you lost, wake up and take your pillow with you. Maybe you could donate that hair to locks of love and they will make a hairpiece for Roger Dodger. Oh well be gone with you.

Anonymous said...

scats can you explain to me if the BOE goes to a contingency budget is there a cap on what the increase can be? or does it just prevent the elective purchases like buses and non emergency repairs.

I voted no, and wonder will we still see an increase close to 7%? Thanks

SCATS said...

To Graehaven ~~ Thank you :)

To 7:11AM ~~ In Monroe County, only Greece's budget was defeated. It was the largest levy increase in the county too. We had some company on defeating the bus proposition though.

To 7:30AM ~~ Yes, Hilton has Quest and they also had a high levy increase. Perhaps calling each district is needed to answer your question. Maybe the Monroe County School Board Assn could help ...?

SCATS said...

To 9:09AM ~~ From the last page of The Connection newsletter sent to Greece residents:
" * Statement of assumptions made in projecting a contingency budget for the 2010-11 school year, should the proposed budget be defeated.1
The contingency budget was calculated under NYS Education Law, section 2023. Actual line item appropriations under a contingency budget will be determined by the Board of Education. Certain equipment purchases and capital projects not necessary to maintain the health and safety of the students,
and some raises for non-union employees, must be eliminated under the Education Law.
** Consumer Price Index (CPI) — When calculating contingent budget cap for 2010-11, New York State Law establishes a limit of a contingent budget over the district budget for the prior year. The 2010-11 New York State Executive Budget allows the use 0% when the change in the CPI from the prior calendar year is a negative. A 0% CPI change was used to calculate the contingent budget figures in this notice."

You can find the orig. document here:
http://web001.greece.k12.ny.us/files/30208/2010-11%20Budget%20Connection.pdf

SCATS said...

To 6:40AM ~~ According to Supt. Achramovitch "We had a good turnout." On the topic of whether or not we go to a contingency budget, he said: "If we're looking at making even more reductions, that means more positions and more individuals. Those are some things we're going to have to weigh against one another."

For some reason, he failed to mention the secret deal he struck to settle a certain contract if the budget had passed ;)

Anonymous said...

What the board and superintendent should also be aware of is that we know that they will probably keep the same tax increase even in the defeat of the budget. And 6:40 is right that most of the residents think that it makes no difference if we vote or not. But we voted to let you know all the items that Scats stated on the front of this thread.
This is a resounding vote of no-confidence. Not just a squeaker like the budget passing the few last times, but a landslide of a message. And the community apparently followed the message in the recommendation of the Scats blog which was NO NO and 5 6 7 . Four out of five ain"t bad.

Anonymous said...

Look at the election results. It appears that Gale O'Toole ran her own bullet campaign. She is far and away above her running mates. Just a heads up for her allies.

Anonymous said...

Off topic I know but Dr Rivers is leaving GAMS and Sean McCabe is the new principle. I am not pleased.

SCATS said...

To 1:13PM ~~ I've been asked to make sure it's understood that the Sean McCabe who will become principal is NOT the same McCabe that attempts to warm a BOE seat ;)

Anonymous said...

As per McCabe thanks for clearing that up. I thought it was the same.

I am not so concerned now.

Anonymous said...

Undeniable voter turnout is low, but a number of Greece's 90,000 + residents are not of voting age. A small number of others are probably not eligible to vote. (Some like our town supervisor may not know they live in the Town of Greece) That changes he percentage somewhat.

SCATS said...

To 2:18PM ~~ If I recall correctly, there's something on the order of 36,000-39,000 households in the Town of Greece. Of course, some of those are in other school districts too. If I'm recalling correctly, there's something on the order of 40,000 registered voters in Greece. Under 7500 of them voted!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breath for any changes on Monday to the budget. By electing O'toole this community sealed the fate of the not enough data, "oh what do we cut" crew. All of you need to listen to the board meetings a little more closely. The board majority can't make a decision to save their lives and electing Race and o'toole, we just got another year of no decisions and more studies - enjoy.

SCATS said...

To 9:25PM ~~ I would have liked to have Joe Grinnan on the BOE. Having said that, three seats needed to be filled, not just one.