Monday, February 28, 2011

Cuomo Wants Supt Salary Cap

Proposed legislation would cap a superintendent's salary at $125,000 for smaller rural districts and at $175,000 for larger districts, often located in wealthier suburbs.

SCATS ~~ Mr. Oberg, it's time to rethink your "chump change" remark and rollback the salary Greece Central offers to the next supt. before tying us into another contractual giveaway for 3 - 5 years!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Does Greece BOE Plan Secret Meeting Tuesday?

Mr.Oberg:  ALL Discussion With
The Attendance Committee
Should Be Open To The Public!!

Over the last several months, it's become apparent that the Greece Central School District's Board of Education has taken to conducting much of their discussion away from the eyes & ears of the Greece community. Recent meetings have been fast-paced, ending within 90 minutes, instead of several hours. Many votes on key subjects have been held with NO DISCUSSION and NO DISSENTING votes cast. This is atypical for this group, who suddenly appear to be emulating the Town Board's closed, clubby & corrupt methods.

Now it's come to my attention through several channels that a special closed door meeting for Tuesday  has been considered. The purpose: to hear the methodology used by the Attendance Committee in arriving at the recommendations they made to the school board regarding the various School Choice options.

As of this writing, no such meeting has been posted on BoardDocs. I'm hoping that means that Frank Oberg and his gang of 8 have come to their senses and decided against holding such an illegal meeting. Greece really doesn't need another black eye for this kind of behavior, do we Frank?

16% of Greece Properties Are Tax Exempt

In depth article discusses the politics behind tax exemptions

Explains how COMIDA, STAR, veterans, educational, religious and other tax breaks/exemptions cost the rest of us more.

"The state legislators go down there and they're everybody's pal. They authorize tax exemptions and it doesn't cost them anything ... For every dollar of exemption granted, everyone else's taxes go up." ~~ Monroe County Legislator Paul Haney, D-Rochester.

STAR is cited as the most used tax exemption in Monroe County. It doesn't cut school taxes, but spreads it out to all taxpayers throughout NY state.
"A decade after the program's full phase-in, you are channeling more than $3 billion a year of state personal income tax receipts into STAR, effectively subsidizing property taxes for most homeowners without reducing them for property owners in general. This has been a costly lesson in what doesn't work." ~~  E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for New York State Policy

SCATS ~~ Previously, I think I compared tax exemptions like STAR to buying milk on sale for the same "reduced" price every week. After a certain period of time, you discover it isn't really a sale at all, it's the price!

BY THE WAY ~~ The "AVERAGE HOME" in Greece is assessed at $120,000. Without any exemptions, not even STAR, the taxes are nearly $100 per week! It's time to stop escrowing property taxes so that morthage holders get the reality check that comes with paying a tax bill every January & September!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Is Your Child's Bus Stop Near A Sex Offender's Home?

In light of the Paul Kinney sex abuse cases, it has come to my attention that the Greece Central School District's Transportation Dept. sometimes still places bus stops IN FRONT OF or NEAR the homes of several sex offenders in the Town of Greece. In at least one such case, it was a level three offender!

Apparently, GCSD employees believe it's NOT their responsibility to use discretion in locating stops!

This link provides info regarding sex offenders locations searchable by last name, zip code, etc. as well as an alert should someone relocate near your home.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kinney Indicted On Additional Sex Abuse Charges

UPDATE (8:25pm) ~~ WHEC-TV reports that Kinney faces a total of 35 charges & is accused of subjecting four children to sexual contact almost everyday from Nov 9th - Nov. 24th, 2010.

YNN reports that the Grand Jury added to original number of charges against former Greece Central School District bus monitor, Paul Kinney;
Kinney arrested by Greece Police Wednesday evening;
He was originally charges with one count of sex abuse in November of 2010;
The Greece Post reports Kinney now faces 32 counts of sexual abuse

SCATS ~~ Everyday for more than 2 weeks? How did no one SEE this happen? Where was the bus driver?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is GTA Scripting Its Members Again?

From SCATS' email ~~

I heard today that the GTA inserted a list of talking points into each union members mail box. Essentially the union is scripting the members response. What to say to your neighbors, what to say to parents, what to say if you encounter the press etc. I think it would be interesting if a copy of this stuff turned up and was published. My other question is was this produced using district supplies on district time. Last time I checked the union bulletin board was the only allowable place to post union communications my source says every employee member or not got one of these flyers in their district mailbox. Thought you ought to know keep up the good work.

SCATS ~~ I presume this happened last week before school let out for break. Anyone care to share a copy of this talking points memo? I'm sure GTA's reps would never ever use school materials or time to conduct union business ;)

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will Northgate Walmart Thrive Or Fail?

Dollar stores hurting retail giant's performance as Walmart reports its seventh straight quarterly decline in sales at U.S. stores open at least a year, posting a 1.8% drop that was much bigger than the company's worst expectations. ( Source )

"What they are doing to everybody else, the dollar stores are doing to them." ~~ Britt Beemer, president of America's Research Group.

SCATS ~~ Let's see ... with 4 dollar stores already located in the area between Dewey/Latta & approx. the Dewey/Stone vicinity, Walmart's opportunity for success at Northgate seems shaky, at best.
The Town of Greece is holding a drop-in information session to discuss proposed zoning changes in the Dewey Ave. corridor from 4-7PM Mon., Feb. 28, at the Barnard Firehouse, 3084 Dewey Ave.

The session will cover Greece's preliminary mixed-use zoning code. Consultants from Steinmetz Planning Group and Ingalls Planning and Design will give two presentations, followed by an informal question and comment period.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Tackle School Choice Now?

Smoke 'N Mirrors?
Just Blowing Smoke?

It's annual budget building (or busting?) time in the Greece Central School District. Usually, this process alone overwhelms our nine school board members who are fed a constant stream of ever-changing numbers, as programs and/or services are added-in or subtracted-out ~ depending on the latest changes to state aid formulas.

But this year, things are different, very different. New York State is essentially bankrupt and the newly elected Governor Cuomo seems intent on doing something about the mess in Albany that got us into this financial quagmire. Making significant cuts in aid to school districts are high on Cuomo's "to do" list. That's really bad news to a district like Greece which faces a roll-over budget increase in excess of $7 million! Worse yet, Greece Schools keeps losing enrollment which also reduces the amount of state aid received. On top of that, past school boards in Greece have utterly failed to heed the warning signs that they MUST reign in the district's spending in some significant way!

Faced with this miserable mess the Interim Supt. and the Greece Board of Education wonder ... "What to do? ... What to do? ... Let's divert everyone's attention away from the fact that a significant double digit tax hike (say 15%) will be the ONLY way to retain the one thing our base of politically connected "Yes" voters demand: schools-of-choice."

How do they go about it? They propose making some significant changes to the school choice menu GCSD offers without ridding the district of the actual schools-of-choice! What does this mean? It means that Pinebrook, West Ridge & Odyssey Schools remain open at a time when the district really must consider closing down at least 2-3 schools to get the budget under control given the reduced enrollments in the past decade. 

Truth be told, the Greece Central School District built space to accommodate some 17,000 pupils back in the early 1990's ... and we've never come close to serving that many students! Current enrollments have fallen to 12,270 pupils (Attendance Committee Report pg.75) and projected growth over the next 5 yrs. puts district enrollments at a meager 12,724 students (Enrollment Projections 11/1/2010 - pg. 8).

The bottom line:
  • GCSD built space to serve 17,000 students
  • GCSD serviced approx. 14,000 at the height of the district's enrollment growth over the last 25 years
  • GCSD serviced 13,448 pupils in 1971 - before we acquired Apollo (Cardinal Mooney), built Pinebrook, built Arcadia MS and added dozens of extra classrooms to the other elementary schools (1993 and CIP 2001)!
  • GCSD needs space for just 12,200 students currently and only 12,724 students through the 2015-16 school year!
  • 17,000 - 13,000 = 4000 student surplus of space going into 2016!
So, as I said earlier, the idea to create a furor over suggested future changes to the current school choice options seems to merely deflect attention away from the real elephant in the living room ~ we must reduce the number of buildings, the staff, the maintenance, the utilities and all of the other associated expenses with retaining the current number of buildings we use to get our ballooning budget under control!  Stated differently, if we properly manage our building space needs, our system can no longer support the current three schools-of-choice ~ Odyssey, Pinebrook and West Ridge ~ as they are.

Other things to consider:
  • Since we have an interim superintendent in place, why would we make such significant changes to the "options" now without fixing the part that's actually broken?
  • Since the proposed changes wouldn't be instituted until 2012-13, what guarantee is there to the voters in May that anything will actually change anyway?
  • I'm not proposing the closing of any specific buildings. I'm suggesting that the three school-of-choice buildings will no longer be used as such if we get our space needs in line with enrollments.

Bend over, grab ankles!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Greece Police Move Into New 2nd Precinct

Nothing But The Be$t For Baxter!

"It's a larger space, it's newer as far as technology goes, faster computer data base information, a booking facility over here that's probably state of the art, the best information and equipment we've got into it, it's just a better facility for the officers. We outgrew the other space. What it also does is get us into a neighborhood that we've been trying to get deeper into the Dewey Stone neighborhood." ~~ Greece Police Chief, Todd Baxter ( Source )

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Deb Leh Named Wheatland-Chili Supt

The Wheatland Chili Board of Education announced Wednesday that a new superintendent of schools has been chosen. Deborah Leh, assistant superintendent of student learning at Clarkstown Central School District in Rockland County and a former director of curriculum and instruction at Greece Central School District, will start effective July 1. ( SOURCE )

SCATS ~~ From Greece to Meg country and back to this area. Almost like a tour around NY State!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

$750,000 In Transportation Savings Possible ...

... By Ending School Choice

A big decision is coming in Greece that will affect every parent in the school district. The decision? Whether to end school choice - which allows parents to send their children to a school outside their neighborhood.

It has a lot to do with money. The district could save three quarters of a million dollars a year just on busing. But it could force families to make some major changes.

Spend the afternoon at any elementary school in Greece. Half of the kids get picked up by parents, the other half by buses. It's an example that a lot of kids don't live around the school.

"I'd rather there be a choice because some schools cater more to science and math versus just a general all around," Amy Mack said. She has two children in the district. Her son goes to Kirk Road Elementary. It's his neighborhood school only because they moved into the neighborhood. But ending school choice will have an impact on her older daughter, who's in middle school outside the neighborhood.

"She'll be in eighth grade next year and then she has the choice to go onto Olympia (High School) and she will be with those children her whole span of her schooling," Mack said.

"Not if she doesn't have choice," I said.

"Right," Mack said. "So if they take that choice away from me she has to start a new school in high school and how hard it that on a child?"

So why is the district doing it? That's the question we took to interim Superintendent John O'Rourke today.

"It's very complicated. It's hard to understand," O'Rourke admitted. He says says the bottom line is the bottom line. The district stands to save a lot money on transportation alone.

"Our transportation maps almost look like dish of spaghetti," he said. "When you think about all the routes that are there."

"It's a huge decision and I think there could be a lot of unhappy people," parent Laura Sidoti said (even though she's fine with the changes).

"Personally, if you're in Greece you're paying a lot of taxes anyway and I think people should have the choice if they feel that they want to go to a different school," Mack said.

The biggest problem is going to be with young kids and their baby sitters. Ending school choice would mean the district would only bus children to their sitters if the sitters are in the neighborhood. On the other hand -- if a child is in a school outside their neighborhood, they can stay there until they make the jump to middle or high school.

The school board still needs to vote on this. There are going to be public hearings. And even if the proposal is approved, it won't take effect until the fall of 2012. No matter what happens, it will not change school for any family next year. (Source: WHEC-TV )

SCATS ~~ If the Supt. thinks it's so complicated and hard to understand, then maybe we have NO HOPE of resolving anything in Greece. How much are we paying this guy? $800/day plus benefits, right?

Greece PD's Second Precinct Opens On Maiden Ln

You're Invited ...
Who: Greece PD's new 2nd precint bldg is openingWhat: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Where: 500 Maiden Ln
When: Thursday February 17th at 1PM

SCATS ~~ I wonder if anyone remembered to "invite" the politicians this time? Not getting an invitation was their excuse for not being at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Family Dollar Store that opened recently in the old, vacant Eckerts on Stone Rd. If you believe that, could I interest you in some fine land in Florida?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GCSD Issues School Choice Fact Sheet

The Greece Central School District's Board of Education plans a study session on School Choice scheduled for March 15th @6:30PM. A public hearing will be scheduled into the future following that meeting.

Eliminate Sibling Priority at Schools of Choice

STATUS:. Proposed
Acceptance to one of the district’s three Schools of Choice would be for one child only. Younger siblings wishing to attend a School of Choice would have to apply and be accepted through the lottery process individually.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Schools-Of-Choice Won't Be Touched By the Budget Axe

I just finished reading the report by the Attendance Committee. What an eyeful I got, especially the comments from the December Forum held on School Choice! For your consideration, I've picked out several comments that are quite revealing about how these schools are viewed by those that work in or whose children attend them. The comments in quotes reveal the underlying threats about why these schools won't be touched.

Comments From Dec. 2010 School Choice Forum
  • A West Ridge parent ~~ more stability (this comment was echoed by the masses.
  • A parent of 4 attending Odyssey ~~ Odyssey is a private school in a public system.
  • Pinebrook principal ~~ planning across grade levels; k-5 structure fosters parental involvement; fewer school transitions
  • Several parents ~~ Would transport their kids or pay more to keep their kids (and the transportation) to a school-of-choice. They acknowledge the greater expense.
From the Written Comments:
  • "If passed budgets are something the district wants, it seems silly to do something completely against what the majority of the pro-budget voters want. Say goodbye to passed budgets with any change to schools of choice."
  • "Do not eliminate school of choice it will be political suicide and more families will move out of the school district."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cut These From The Budget, Mr. O'Rourke

The items listed below are ALL redundancies and should be eliminated ASAP!!

BoardDocs ~~ They are using paper anyway!

Renting a PO Box in North Greece ~~ Each school bldg can send/recieve its own mail. Use Apollo DO for the district's official address.

Non-emergency courier mail service to BOE members ~~ Email their packets to them on those GCSD laptops we paid for ... or let them pick it up, their choice. Reduce the use of all other courier services by at least 50%.

The items listed below could be instituted without impacting instruction.

Reduce the number of stipends by 50%. ~~ These are out-of-control!! Let each bldg decide what stays, what goes. Better yet, let them recruit volunteers!

Use more centralized bus pick up/drop off locations ~~ Sending buses down the side streets in most neighborhoods is a ridiculous waste of money. Examples: Harvest Dr., Black Walnut Dr., Straub Rd., Tait and/or Benjamin  Ave. should all have centralized pick-up locations at side street intersections.

Institute the three high school neighborhood transportation boundaries in 2011 ~~ for those using babysitters, there's no reason to wait to start saving!
Reduce legal fees by 50% ~~ Under Achramovitch, these expenses skyrocketed and must be brought under control. (Nov '06 - June '07; Fiscal Yr. '07 - '08; Fiscal Yr. '08 - '09; Fiscal Yr. '09 - '10 )

Eliminate any existing early/late bus runs. ~~ If the kids want to participate, make the parents step-up. This should be the type of "parent involvement" the district asks for.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cuomo: 75% Of Schools Can Cover Aid Cut

Gov. Andrew Cuomo argues that most schools have enough money in their reserve accounts to cover his proposed $1.5 billion aid cut and says that the reductions make up less than 3 percent of schools' overall spending.

"We are going to have to find efficiencies and we're going to have to find economies of scale. The answer can't always be more money, more money, more money. There is no more money, and raising taxes is not an option." ~~ Gov. Cuomo

SCATS ~~ You need to scream it from the rooftops, Andrew! The Greece BOE can't hear you ;)

Attendance Committee Report

The 143 page whopper of a report is ready for public scrutiny, but is the Greece Board of Education ready to take meaningful action? Sorry, but I remain very skeptical ...

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

C.A.R.E. Founder Dies

Ralph Bleier, founder of Citizens for Accountability & Reform in Education passed away Sunday February 6, 2011.

SCATS ~~ What a wonderful role model he was for everyone, young & old! You'll be missed, Ralph.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Communications & Attendance Committee Recommendations

Communications Committee Recommends:
(I certainly hope we didn't waste even one penny on any of this drivel!!)
  • Showcasing school bldgs on GCSD website
  • Use cable Ch. 12 to show school videos
  • Use "Points of Pride" (a return to Keith Imon's ways)
  • Begin BOE meetings with "Good News" items & school videos
  • Interact with the community (invite neighbors near schools to be part of the school community)
  • Build community partnerships (like w/Chamber of Commerce)
  • Develop an alumni association
Attendance Committee Recommends:
(O'Rourke recommends implementing for 2012-13 school year)
  • Eliminate open enrollment & signature school options for K-5 (schools may retain signatures)
  • Maintain the 10 paired K-2/3-5 elementary schools, plus Longridge
  • Maintain Pinebrook & West Ridge as schools-of-choice w/open enrollment
  • Create attendance areas around Pinebrook & West Ridge
  • Eliminate open enrollment & secondary options for grades 6-12
  • Maintain Odyssey as an open enrollment school of choice
  • Establish attendance zones around the high schools (Olympia, Arcadia, Athena)
  • Realign elementary schools around MS/HS zones (I think I heard this correctly?)
  • Transport between homes and babysitters/day cares only within K-12 attendance zones
Orourke's Personal Recommendations:
  • Develop policy on "EQUALITY OF PROGRAMMING" ~~ "Every Greece child can be assured the same quality of education no matter what school he/she attends." (Unless it happens to be Odyssey, right?)
  • Establish budgetary line item for added funds (say $100,000) to be parcelled out to schools based on free/reduced lunch enrollment figures.
  • For the 2012-13 school year only, eliminate science & Social Studies from the K-5 curriculum to focus only on ELA & Math skills. (HOW MANY WAIVERS WILL WE NEED?)
  • Allow Odyssey to become a true "School of Inquiry" ... encourage experimentation, use it as an R&D arm of the district
  • A blank charter to study the feasibility of moving Odyssey School to Apollo and closing Odyssey Academy on Hoover Dr (Does he know we're like "The Hoarders" when it comes to school buildings?) Redistribute Apollo students  ... (Mostly to Olympia? Was that what he said??)
Other BOE business ...
  • By a vote of 8-0 with NO DISCUSSION AT ALL, they voted to terminate the energy contract with Jupiter Environmental Services.
  • In a discussion about BoardDocs, the majority of the BOE prefers paper and will continue to use it, but will continue to WASTE OUR $$ ON BOARDDOCS too!
  • Julia is appalled that Albany (i.e. the Gov.) might mandate districts to hold a second vote if budgets are defeated on a first vote. She's worried about the added expense, even though it falls within the "chump change" range established by Oberg. This is despite the fact that she supports retaining BoardDocs (around $80K, I think) along with paper which clearly exceeds the "chump change" standard! Anyone else confused by this??

Items NOT discussed/dealt with include:
  • The lottery system
  • The sibling rule
  • Reducing transportation costs ASAP!
  • Closing undersubscribed schools to cut the budget
  • Pre-K wasn't mentioned at all ... can we assume it will be axed from the budget this year?
  • Will the new Odyssey @Apollo be larger to accomodate more Apollo students?
  • Will O'Rourke's ongoing health issues get in the way of him completing the school year? That cough has become disruptive.

Few NY State HS Grads Prepared For College

Board of Regents released a new set of graduation statistics on Monday that show less than half of students in the state are leaving high school prepared for college and well-paying careers. In Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers, less than 17 percent of students met the proposed standards, including just 5 percent in Rochester.


SCATS ~~ I'd love to see the stats on Greece, especially for the number of HS grads who don't/can't successfully complete college.

* This is BLOG #2400!


Baxter Wants To Cut Crime Rate;
Return Us To Rahn's/Auberger's "Safest Community" Status

“My goal is to take us back in the top ten of America." ~~ Chief Todd Baxter's Next Goal


SCATS ~~ With all of the $$ we've spent on the Greece PD in the past year, we should already be in the top 10 Safe Communities if it's an achievable goal ... and we should be there without having to fake it like was done under Rahn! Given what we've been told about the changed demographics in Greece, should we even think about going down this path knowing it was nothing but one of Auberger's phony political ruses before?

Monday, February 07, 2011

When Did Greece BOE Vote On Senior STAR Exemptions?

It's long been my understanding that the Greece Central School District's Board of Education is expected to decide each year what, if any, changes they might make to the Senior Tax Exemptions, income ceilings, etc. related to enhanced STAR reductions. I also have held the belief that they are expected to hold a public hearing on this topic each year, as well.

In Dec. of 2008, I made note in the BLOG that they left things unchanged for 2009.

In Jan. of 2010, I made note that the district's public hearing on the subject was scheduled to occur before a BOE meeting. They just barely finished things up before a deadline for 2010 (in Feb. as I recall).

Strangely, I find NO REFERENCE TO ANY HEARING, DISCUSSION, or VOTE on the Senior STAR Exemption (enhanced) for the 2011 year!! I've listened to most BOE meetings, checked through this BLOG, posted meeting agendas & minutes on the GCSD website, and find NO REFERENCE AT ALL.


6 Supt. Semi-Finalists Chosen

Six semi-finalists have been chosen from a pool of 21 candidates for the superintendent's position in the Greece Central School District.

GCSD announced: "The Board has also accelerated the process with a goal of announcing finalists by the end of March. Semi-finalists will not be named publicly, but the pool does include applicants from outside New York."

SCATS ~~ What does that mean "accelerated the process?" Is this a new way to screw up the search?

BOE Meeting Tuesday @6:30PM

It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec. Session at 5:30PM to discuss collective bargaining, pending litigation & the employment history of particular person(s).


Budget - Fund Balance Update

Communication Committee Recommendations
School Attendence Committee Recommendations

GESS Cabinet Retirement Incentive MOA (W/A) ~~ WHO THE HECK IS GESS?
GASA Retirement Incentive MOA (W/A)

Approval - Minutes February 1, 2011 (W/A)

SCATS ~~ It appears our out-of-control school board has taken to holding secret meetings, meetings they fail to post notice for, meetings for which there is NO AGENDA, not even for approval!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Greece Police Department Plans Awards Dinner


WHEC reports: The Greece Police Department will be holding an awards dinner on Monday February 7 at 7:00pm. The dinner will be at the Brook House on West Ridge Road. More than 200 people are expected to attend.

The dinner will honor officers who received awards in 2010 from the Greece Police Department and other agencies throughout Monroe County. It will also recognize the "Officer of the Year" for 2010, the "Civilian Employee of the Year" and the "Citizen of the Year".

Because there was no formal recognition given, the "Officers of the Year for 2007, 2008 and 2009" will be given to those officers as well.

SCATS ~~ Let's see ... 200 attendees at $25/person (conservative estimate) is another $5000 of wasted taxpayer money on a dog and pony show. I'm not against honoring the "Officer of the Year" but there are other ways at less expense. I am opposed to trying to make up for Rahn's oversights several years after the fact.  And how did it become the PD's domain to choose "Citizen of the Year?" What's the criteria? Shouldn't that be Auberger's job?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chief Todd Baxter To Attend NGN Meeting

Wednesday, February 9th,  7:00 - 8:30pm
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
4115 Dewey Ave

Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter will be the speaker/guest as NGN celebrates his first year as Chief. He will talk about his first year, as well as terrorism.

SCATS ~~ I'd like Chief Todd to tell us how much extra $$ GPD is spending under his first year as chief for new recruits, extra officers, new cars, new equipment, new promotions, added training etc. So far, Uncle Auggie hasn't said no to anything.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Deja Vu ... Then & Now

THEN ...  
One year ago, former Supt. Steve Achramovitch was told to craft a budget proposal bringing the anticipated deficits under control. He told the press that "everything was on the table" for consideration, for possible reductions and/or elimination. That lasted only a few days until the parents of West Ridge caught wind of his idea to eliminate kindergarten at their school. That's when Holy Hell broke loose in the Greece Central School District. Our Board of Education took their positions at a meeting at West Ridge School a few nights later and listened to children wail into the mic about losing their school, their teachers, yada, yada, yada.

NOW ...
We have another lame duck, interim Supt. O'Rourke, at the helm and an even bigger budget mess is brewing. With a new Governor sounding as if he's willing to go against the unions, our BOE is up a raging creek without a paddle once again. Tonight, the Supt. told 13WHAM news: “I have to say that everything is on the table. It’s been made very clear to me that I have a free hand to look at everything…There are no sacred cows, nothing is off limits.”

SCATS ~~ Is it just me, or do these  words sound really hollow? How can we believe they are true after the West Ridge kindergarten debacle from last year?

An Idea Whose Time HAS Come ...

Tom Kackmiester said...

I am a Cuomocrate:

What is a Cuomocrate?. Well this "Cuomocrate" is an independent voter who leans republican. I am also an independent voter whot has been unsatisfied with both the republican and democratic parties particularly in New York State.

Governor Cuomo has proposed the most common sense budget that has been proposed for New York state in at least 30 years. Furthermore the Governor has shown the courage it is going to take to fight this budget battle to the end. I wish him a lot of success as he battles the many lobbyists and special interest groups and his fellow democrats in the weeks ahead.

Cuomocrates are out here ready to support the Governor any way we can. I hope this new "party" expands rapidly so the full force of New York State residents will finally have a real say in the way Albany works.

If you agree, I hope you will send off a note to the Governor and let him know that you too are on board, ready to help him succeed .

Go Gov ,Go!

Tom Kackmeister

You can reach the gov. at    2/03/2011 10:37 AM

Anonymous said...
Thanks for the e-address Tom, I'm sending them a summary of how this district wastes money on bussing for our open enrollment-lottery schools, in addition to the demographics of those schools. Being a Dem., I got a feeling he's going to be floored. Anyone willing to help out, please do the same. It would be great to have him include our district's wastefulness in one of his future speeches, as a 'what not to do in school district'.

Your all done Oberg!   2/03/2011 12:06 PM

SCATS ~~ Yes, let's write to Cuomo and tell him Greece Central is a MESS and that the local BOE refuses to make ANY tough decisions. Let's help Cuomo fight against the special interests (unions!) and get his help in fighting against them in Greece, too. We MUST start closing schools, reduce transportation, eliminate discrimination via a privately held lottery, decrease spending on wages & benefits, but still ensure our kids get educated.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

$1.5 Billion NY State Aid Reduction Possible

Cuomo's budget recommends $19.4 billion in education aid for the 2011-12 school year, $1.5 billion less than the current year, or a 7.3 percent cut.

He calls the scheduled growth in education spending under existing law — 13 percent in 2010-11 and 11 percent in 2012-13 — is unsustainable.
Cuomo says schools have nearly $1.2 billion in undesignated reserve funds and unspent money from the $607 million in federal money the state received to support education jobs to help them avoid layoffs.

"I can't say that we share the (executive budget's) belief that a cut in state aid this significant — coming on top of a $1.9 billion decrease over the past two years — can be absorbed without teacher layoffs and the loss of other important education professionals." ~~ Richard Iannuzzi, NYSUT president

Cuomo maintains that schools have to focus on reducing their own costs, such as reducing superintendents' compensation, freezing the wages of management and teachers, consolidating small districts and increasing employee health-insurance contributions.

SCATS ~~ Offering $250,000 to attract a new Supt. is the WRONG MESSAGE! Do you hear Gov. Cuomo, Mr. Oberg?? It's time GTA take pay/benefits freezes, right Mr. Pallozzi?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


(OK, I know they already do, but c'mon!)

Are You Getting The Message Greece BOE?

Cuomo Finds State Budget Flaw ~~ it automatically increased Medicaid and education spending by 13 percent, so that even a 7-percent cut announced publicly would be a 6-percent increase in funding.

Property Tax Cap Passes State Senate ~~ "Let me explain to my colleagues in New York City, we do not have hundreds of thousands of people moving into our districts. People are voting with their feet, and are saying it's because of high property tax." ~~ Joe Robach

School Aid Cut 2-3% In Budget ~~ A state official with knowledge of a private meeting between Cuomo and legislative leaders Monday night said Cuomo is considering cuts of 2 percent to 3 percent in school aid and in Medicaid, while proposing as many as 10,000 state layoffs.

SCATS ~~ I'm sure Frank Oberg and his cronies will find a way to keep open all of our schools, leave school choice/options untouched, and retain sports and extra-curriculars no matter the cost while the BOE further decimates the curriculum. They'll do it "for the kids" and be proud, too. How sad!