Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Future School Budget/s Unbalanced ...

To SCATS:

1. BOE has approved a $197.6M for next year (+2.05%)... to be placed before voters May 18th.

2. A 2% increase looks good you say, but what looks good now... may not feel so good later on!

3. It appears this budget is not balanced with costs on a forward looking basis.

4. Most notable are appropriations for:

4a. Bus replacement... $1.5M last year vs. $0 next year... and

4b. capital improvements... $3.9M last year vs. $0.1M next year.

5. Exclusions in the budget... do not make ongoing costs disappear.

Do voters deserve an explanation?
What should they be told?

Comment/question postings invited.
George Hubbard

SCATS ~~ George, I'm sure you realize by now that this is just another part of the budget game the BOE plays every year. Of course we deserve an explanation & we should be told the WHOLE TRUTH, not just the part they want us to hear.

The only thing that changes from one year to the next are the numbers & which things they decide "to hide" from taxpayers for the moment. It's why I do NOT support and have NOT supported any GCSD budget in a number of years.
  

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scats; so no building improvements are included this year? Not needed? Sorry but I am not understanding.

Last year we were told we needed busses to be replaced but it did not pass. A year later and we are told we no longer have a need for bus replacement?

SCATS said...

To 2:27PM ~~ Although the BOE hasn't had much public discussion of it, they were told by administration that haveing a vote on bussing & capital improvements plans in the fall ... i.e. Dec. when they have the best chance for passage ... was an option worth considering.

So the budget going before voters in May is certainly not inclusive of meeting the district's needs for the next year!

Anonymous said...

Budget Directors who fail to plan for NEXT year now, are incompetent.

SCATS said...

To 6:22PM ~~ They have no reason to plan to do anything. No one is accountable. If they fail to plan, they still get their salary increases.

Anonymous said...

George served 3 years on the board and accomplished nothing. He presented the findings of a budget review committee and never answered these same questions. Accomplished nothing. It is nothing but a #%$&@*_& parlor game to see George play with numbers and have absolutely nothing productive resulting from it.
How about somebody actually doing something useful with the data and make something positive happen for the kids. Just don't wait for George to do it. He has another 250 pages of data to analyze before he emerges from his digital stupor.

SCATS said...

To 7:45PM ~~ As anyone who has observed the Greece BOE for any period of time has come to realize, NO INDIVIDUAL CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING, BECAUSE IT TAKES 5 VOTES TO DO ANYTHING ON THE GREECE BOE.

You can get off your soapbox any time now ;)

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you one thing he accomplished, he's one of the few thar served and can look back knowing he or she WASN'T part of the problem. There weren't too many that served during the scandalous Walts years that we can say that about. In fact you could probably count such people on one hand. Perhaps 7:45 would prefer everyone feels as guilty as they do.

Anonymous said...

One more reason to vote no!

SCATS said...

To 9:31AM ~~ I've yet to hear ONE GOOD REASON to vote yes, have you?

Anonymous said...

George makes a good point. We know that a buildings need to be maintained or torn down. We cannot just "kick them can down the street" and defer repairs hoping they won't be needed. It would be like not changing the oil in your can and hoping that it won't matter. Then the engine freezes and you have a much bigger bill to pay. Not including school maintenance is irresponsible.
The budget needs to be reviewed critically for total expenses, total tax cost to the residents and HOW the money is spent.

SCATS said...

To 4:20PM ~~ Building repairs have been largely delayed and/or ignored in GCSD budgets since the mid- 1990s. At this point, we need to be CLOSING SEVERAL SCHOOLS. It would be a shame to spend money on repairs for buildings we might be tearing down or selling. Sadly, our BOE has NO CLUE about what they are doing. They have no plan. They do NOT know WHAT they want. The one thing they always agree on is time to adjourn the meeting & head to the bar for social hour.

Anonymous said...

I think we have had two major building activities since the mid 90"s - one for over $100 Million and another for $20+ Million. The problem is we wait until major work is needed instead of fixing it along the way. I agree we could close 2,3,4 buildings, but until the BOE makes that decision, do we just let them all fall down around us? I suspect turning down budgets and letting the BOE impose one on us won't get their attention. It hasn't worked so far. Your blog and keeping the issue front and center is our best chance to get the excess space closed.

SCATS said...

To 9:52PM ~~ I disagree. The best chance is to get 400 angry taxpayers out to a BOE meeting. Look at how they respond when that many angry parents showed up ;)

I know, it's only a fantasy ...

george hubbard said...

To: SCATS

1. The SCHOOL LAW handbook states, “The proposed budget must be written in plain language, in other words, easy to read and understand. It must include a complete, accurate...”

2. The GCSD Proposed Budget 2011-12, Page 45 states:

"Transfers to the Capital Fund

Due to funding decreases and demand for resources for ongoing operations, the district will be forced to adopt a financing strategy to stay current on its capital demands. The 2011-12 budget is recommending that the district transfer $100,000 to the already established Building Reserve. In addition, the district will be recommending to the Board of Education that $1.5 million in estimated year-end fund balance be transferred to the Capital Reserve. This will allow the district to leverage current building aid ratios to reduce the impact on the local tax burden. However, this will require a second referendum sometime in the late Fall or early Winter of 2011."

3. When BOE places the budget before voters, accountability for budget content/message passes from GCSD staff to BOE. BOE owns it!
.
.
Q#1: Is Par. #2 easy to read and understand?

Q#2: How many voters does BOE expect will find and read Page 45 in the Budget Book (Par. #2 above)?

Q#3: If voters read Par. #2, will they understand it?

Comment/question postings invited.
.
George Hubbard

SCATS said...

To George ~~ I don't understand why it's being done this way. Why not just include the money in the budget & save the cost of a second vote? I do realize that they can have that second vote even if they go to contingency, correct?

Anonymous said...

A second vote? Is this to make the tax increase look better?

Anonymous said...

George, some of it is clear to me.

1. There is (once again) a surplus like every other year that they find a place to "keep".

2. There will be a vote after all the snowbirds have left for Florida to reduce the chance of "no" votes.
Other than that, i don't understand what ratios they are talking about or why this isn't part of the budget vote.

SCATS may be right. We need to show up and have a look of doubt and disbelief in our faces.

george hubbard said...

To: 10:08AM

1. I believe the “ratios” cited is the “20/80” ratio (singular) of “20% local funds to 80% state aid” for capital expenditures.

2. My figures are nominal numbers... they vary slightly over time... more precise figures would be available from district staff.

3. There could possibly be more than one ratio involved at the detail level, but "20/80" is as far as I try to track it.

Does this help?

Comment/question postings invited.
.
George Hubbard

george hubbard said...

To: SCATS 11:26PM 4/21/2011

One reason “Why not just include the money in the budget...” for capital spending has to do with cash flow... “up front” money comes from tax levy and state aid reimbursement stretched over 5yrs.

Local money already in short supply gets tied up for a long period of time.

Does this help?

Comment/question postings invited.
.
George Hubbard

SCATS said...

Thanks George.

george hubbard said...

To: SCATS

Your welcome.

1. So much for CAPTIAL IMPROVEMENTS... have you seen any mention of REPLACEMENT BUSES in the budget book?

2. No announced plan for a supplemental budget proposition in May... to get voter approval to spend from existing reserve fund... and/or authorization for lease purchase financing.

3. And no mention in plans for Fall/Winter vote (see my Par. #2, post 11:09AM on 4/21).

4. Initiative by BOE to revise policy on SOC (Schools of Choice) during summer months... could reduce number of replacement buses to be purchased in a Fall/Winter vote.

Comment/question postings invited.
.
George Hubbard