Sunday, July 31, 2011

How The Tax Cap Will Crush GCSD's Budget

  
Pay raises for union staff, benefits cost increases, and higher prices for fuel and for special education services next year will tack at least $7.5 million on Greece's current $197.6 million budget.

That's without adding a single program or service for students.

Under the tax cap, the district won't be able to raise taxes by more than about $1.9 million — an amount roughly equivalent to the state-mandated increase in Greece's contributions to its employee pension system.

"We need to look at ways to do all of our programs well, but more strategically and creatively. It's important for people not to just give up and say, 'We don't have the money, so we can't do that.' We will have to look at what creative ways we can use to get the best programs we can for our kids." ~~ Supt. Deane-Williams ( D&C )
  

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dear Babs ...

  
You've barely gotten your feet wet, yet those you must work with inside Greece Central are already showing that they do NOT want change! From the Board of Education, to District Office staff, they are already resisting your efforts to accomplish what you know needs to be done to get the Greece Central School District back on track. The evidence is absolutely oozing from the documents produced after the July 26th study session. How else can you explain that "We need to move more aggressively on closing a school." gets translated as: "Contemplate closing a school" in a PR piece? Or that "As a board we need to pull together as a team" morphs into a manipulative statement like: "Establish a strong governance team with the Superintendent, Cabinet, and District"?

You must realize quickly that the people you work with are DYSFUNCTIONAL! They insist on retaining control! They do NOT WANT CHANGE! They fear change! That's why they left the school-of-choice, transportation, school boundary and school configuration mess alone following committees, studies and O'Rourke's year of devising a plan! They don't want you to make any changes either.

With all of that in mind, I'm sharing a few ideas on how to operate as you travel down this murky path you've put yourself on and survive. It won't be easy, but it can be done.

First of all, you must stay strong and insist that your vision, ideas and plans for change are the reasons we brought you to Greece. We hired YOU after two nationwide searches, so this is no small matter! Your sense of what needs to be accomplished is what landed you the job. You must stay the course. To do so, your message to board members, staffers, etc. must be "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!"

In other words, be ready to dig in your heels on issues where you know what needs to be done and then insist that those you must work with get on board to do it. If you fail to do this, you may as well throw your hands into the air and surrender now. Your peers will eat you alive if they sense any weakness. Don't believe me? Ask Steve Achramovitch, your predecessor. The two times he ever tried to do his job as Superintendent, keeping the best interests of the whole district in mind, the BOE turned against him! They reversed his decisions and left him neutered and powerless. (Firing the hockey coaches, dispersing West Ridge's under-subscribed kindergarten to other district schools.)

Second of all, you must refrain from attempting to become friends with the people you work with. Keep business as business, period. You can not go golfing in the afternoon and then try to go against that person you golfed with in a meeting 5 hrs. later. It doesn't work! No eating out with employees or board members or Chamber of Commerce or Rotary members unless it's a business/working meal and everything is kept on a professional footing. No drinking after meetings with the BOE at Applebee's, the Lamplighter, The Distillery or anywhere else. No tennis games, no visits to Pineapple Jack's or other "clubs", no road trips ... you must remain the consummate professional at all times, or they will expose any Achille's heel you may have and use it against you.

Lastly, these people are expert manipulators of issues, words and people, thus half a dozen Superintendents in about as many years and a pile of problems steeping on the backburner waiting for your attention. If you wish to stay the duration of your contract, you must remain professional at all times. Don't let them distract you with personal attacks while trying to deal with a difficult issue requiring change. Diversion is one of the behaviors they are masters at. This is the game of Survivor. You must outwit, outlast and outplay your colleagues to win. You CAN do it, but it won't be easy.

Best of Luck,

SCATS
  

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Supt, Same Old District Office Spin ...

  
GCSD's District Office has revamped their old "Board Briefs" PR document following the Tuesday night study session on the impact of the 2% Tax Cap and on District & BOE goals.

While I give Babs credit for trying to get the word out on what was discussed, I'm discouraged by the fact that what was really said during that meeting and how it was summarized in this document are two different things! With that in mind, I'll give you what the PR piece says first , then tell you what my notes say was actually discussed/said. Here goes:

1 ~ Contemplate closing a school vs. "We need to move more aggressively on closing a school." (Lou Alaimo)

2 ~ Study transportation services and effectiveness vs. Take another look at babysitter locations, walk distances, etc.

3 ~ Consider offering employee retirement incentives (I didn't get any notes on this item.)

4 `~ Evaluate the need for course offerings that extend beyond what is mandated vs. Evaluate course offerings in light of staffing allocations.

5 ~ Negotiate labor contracts that reflect current economic conditions vs. "We must structure contracts differently to change the slope of increases given." (Lou Alaimo)
 
Bottom Line ~~ Be careful with what you believe from DO's PR spin doctors! We're back to the same problems we had when Meg was here.
 

WOULD YOU SWIM HERE, EVER??

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Greece Town Board, Justice Candidates ...

  
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

Charles Schiano ~~ Town Justice

Shannon O'Keefe ~~ Ward 1

Brett Granville ~~ Ward 2

Andrew Conlon ~~ Ward 3

Kirk Morris ~~ Ward 4


DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES

William King ~~ Town Justice

Donn Rice ~~ Ward 1

Wendy Wright ~~ Ward 2

Rita Garretson ~~ Ward 3

Norma Cummings ~~ Ward 4
    

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let's Help Mother Nature

  
We Need Rain!!! With a 60% chance of showers in the forecast, help Mother Nature make rain a reality.

EVERYONE: WASH YOUR CAR TONIGHT :)

  Your lawn, trees & flowers will thank you tomorrow!
  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

As The Tax Cap Time Bomb Ticks ...

  
"We need to move more aggressively on closing a school ..." ~ Lou Alaimo

"I really don't know if now is the prudent time to continue down the path with the Attendance Committee's recommendations." ~ BOE Prez. Julia VanOrman

"There is no way we can maintain the level of choice and level of transportation options ... I don't think we have a choice to do nothing ... Change isn't an event, it's a process." ~ Babs

SCATS ~~ It appears that SCATS'  call to close one or more schools to get the budget under control was on target after all! How wishy-washy can Julia get? I hate to say it but Babs sounds like she "gets it"!! There MAY be hope for Greece Central after all ... time will tell ... tick, tick, tick ...
  

REMINDER: BOE Study Session Tonight, 6:30PM

   
Discussion of Financial Planning, Forecasting/Tax Cap & Budget Outlook 2012-13

District Goal Setting/District Goals

GOAL #1 FOR BOTH DO & THE BOE ~~ TO FOLLOW ALL LAWS, POLICIES, REGULATIONS & ROBERT'S RULES of ORDER EVERY TIME!!

SCATS ~~ Will Babs be able to help them decide whether raising graduation rates, test scores, etc. is a district goal or  a board goal this year?
  
   

Will Greece Dems Run A Full Slate For Town Board?

 
Anonymous said...

◦Town Council (Ward 1) - Donn Rice

◦Town Council (Ward 2) - Wendy Wright

◦Town Council (Ward 3) - Rita Garretson

◦Town Council (Ward 4) - Norma Cummings

◦Town Justice - William King

Another year of no bodies from Greece Democrats. With the exception of Mr. Rice.   7/25/2011 10:13 AM
  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Greece Police Arrest Frank Sterling

  
Charged With Child Sex Abuse

Greece Post Reports: The Greece Police Department has charged a 47-year-old Greece man with seven counts of second-degree sexual abuse for allegedly having sexual contact with young boy — the same man who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

In May 2010, Frank W. Sterling was cleared of the 1988 murder of 74-year-old Viola Manville after another man, Mark Christie, confessed to the killing.

Then, this summer, the department's criminal investigation division charged Sterling of Pond View Heights on July 20. Police say Sterling is accused of having sexual contact with a male child less than 14 years old during the summer of 2010.

"As in all sexual abuse type cases, the Greece Police Department is careful to protect the identity of the victim," read a statement from the department. "The suspect was an acquaintance of the victim but the exact relationship will not be disclosed."

During the initial investigation the Greece Police Department worked with the assistance of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center, according to a press release.

Sterling was arraigned by Greece Town Justice Vince Campbell and remanded to the Monroe County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

He's due back in Greece Town Court on July 28 at 1 p.m.


How Do YOU Say "Rah-chester"?

Friday, July 22, 2011

You Are Here ...


















(Created & shared by a reader)
  

Col. Mustard With A Knife On the Sidewalk?

  
Graffiti: A Leerie Drive resident reported to police on July 13 that someone created graffiti with mustard on the sidewalk.

Criminal mischief: A Ridgewood Road resident reported that a neighbor entered the yard on July 11 and cut down plants that he considered unkempt.

Gun discharged: A 57-year-old man was charged after he fired three rounds from a .22-caliber pistol at a woodchuck on July 11.
  

BOE Plans Study Session Tuesday @6:30PM

  
It is anticipated that the Board will go into an Exec. Session @5:30PM to discuss collective bargaining.

  • Discussion of Financial Planning, Forecasting/Tax Cap & Budget Outlook 2012-13
  • District Goal Setting/District Goals
SCATS ~~ WHICH CONTRACT are they negotiating? GTA's again??
  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Hot Is It?

  
Sign In Front Of Church:
The Devil Wants His Weather Back!

  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Debt ... How Much Do YOU Owe?

  
NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK


NY STATE DEBT CLOCK

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Greece Cops Seek Home Invasion Suspect

  
95-year-old Shorecliff Dr. woman was choked and robbed

STORY
  

Wambach Fever?

   
Watch The World Cup Finals today at 2:45PM on ESPN.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Does The Public Record Include Facebook, Twitter?

   
Are Comments Posted To A Politician's Social
Media Account Part Of The Public Record?

When some of state Sen. Joseph Robach's constituents were upset with his vote against gay marriage, they took to his Facebook page to register their complaints.

A short time later, their comments were removed.

Actually, all comments from other Facebook users, regardless of the topic, were removed from Robach's page.

The practice of removing comments from public view once the legislative session ends is something Robach's office has done in prior years, a spokesman said, but it raises wider questions regarding the intersection of social media and its use by elected officials. (Read more ... )


SCATS ~~ Robach runs from controversy again!
  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 National Night Out Against Crime

 
Tuesday Aug. 2
5-8PM

FREE ADMISSION
  

HEADLINES FROM THE YEAR 2029

  • Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia, formerly known as California.
  • White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.
  • Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.
  • Baby conceived naturally! Scientists stumped.
  • Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
  • Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
  • France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica. No other country comes forward to help the beleaguered nation!
  • Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
  • George Z.H.W. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
  • Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Tue. Wed. Thursday only.
  • 85-year $75.8 billion study: Diet and exercise is the key to weight loss.
  • Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.
  • Global cooling blamed for citrus crop failure for third consecutive year in Mexifornia and Floruba.
  • Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.
  • Abortion clinics now available in every High School in United States.
  • Senate still blocking drilling in ANWR even though gas is selling for 4532 Pesos per liter and gas stations are only open on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
  • Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.
  • Average height of NBA players is now nine feet, seven inches.
  • NFL lineman are the size of a Cat bulldozer.
  • New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2030.
  • IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.
  • Floruba voters still having trouble with voting machines.

Monday, July 11, 2011

O'Rourke's Last Act ...

  
"Elimination Of Sibling Rule"
Removed From
School Choice Proposal

According to Julia VanOrman (the new Greece BOE Prez.), Interim Supt. John O'Rourke's last act on his School Choice Proposal was to remove the idea to "eliminate the sibling rule" from the other resolutions in the proposal.

Board member questions about the School Choice plan are to be forwarded to Babs so that the BOE can discuss the plan at the August BOE meeting.

OTHER BOE MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Julia VanOrman ~ BOE Pres.
Dave Ferington ~ BOE VP

Meeting openings will now have the Pledge to the Flag and the Moment of Silence after the Executive Sessions end and at the start of the Business Meeting.

SCATS ~~ How neat and tidy it is to have O'Rourke gone and no explanation provided for this SUDDEN and SIGNIFICANT CHANGE to the School Choice Proposal. Closed, clubby & corrupt continues!
  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bab's First BOE Meeting Monday @6:30PM

   
5:30PM ~~ Executive Session to discuss the employment history of particular person(s) .

6:30PM ~~ Re-Organizational Meeting

Regular monthly BOE meeting follows Re-Org. meeting

AGENDA ITEMS of NOTE
  • School Attendance Advisory Committee Recommendations Discussion
  • LiDestri Foods Pilot Revision
"I told her I think she's crazy for going to Greece." ~~ Tom Klotzbach, former Lyndonville BOE member regarding Bab's decision to come to Greece

SCATS ~~ We agree, Tom!
  

Saturday, July 09, 2011

School Choice Vote: Gone Without A Trace

  
Remember the June 14th BOE meeting, the one where the Greece Board of Education was supposed to vote on a School Choice plan? Well, the BOE decided to remove that item from their agenda that night. The proposed minutes from that meeting which will be adopted at Monday night's BOE meeting DO NOT EVEN MENTION BY NAME THAT SCHOOL CHOICE WAS ON THE AGENDA FOR A VOTE!

Yes, you read that correctly. The proposed minutes merely say: Motion: Remove item 3.01 from the agenda for the Board to have further discussion and to receive additional data before considering the resolutions for a vote.

So the bottom line appears to be that BY NOT DECIDING, THE BOE DECIDED ON SCHOOL CHOICE that night in June. They PLAN TO DO NOTHING and the official record shows exactly that: NOTHING WAS DONE. And in the future, someone searching for action on this item won't even find the reference to it in the proposed minutes, because it is only referenced by a number.

SO MUCH TIME WASTED.

SO LITTLE DONE.

YOUR TAX $$ THROWN AWAY!!
     

Friday, July 08, 2011

Why Doesn't Anyone Follow GCSD Policy?

   
Charlie Hubbard said...

I see by the picture in todays 'our town' that the 'hats' are back on at Olympia (backwards of course) telling us all 'who' is running the schools.

Check it out taxpayers, it'll make you feel so proud.  
7/08/2011 6:58 AM

SCATS ~~ We already know that the Greece Board of Education passes policies that they themselves ignore, even when it was supported by the BOE Prez (policy 6431). Do principals, VPs and teachers ever bother to acquaint themselves with district policy? It seems not. Does anyone EVER enforce these policies? After the drinking hockey coach scandal, we learned we'd rather take the superintendent's powers away than do the right thing by enforcing policy. HEADS UP, BABS!! Policies are a waste of time in GCSD, but the BOE will still vote to adopt them at the reorganizational meeting Monday night.  This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to NOT saying what they mean and meaning what they say in the Dysfunction Junction of GCSD. Just watch as they all sign the Code of Ethics after adopting ploicies they know they will ignore!
   

Thursday, July 07, 2011

DOT: Raising Speed Will Improve Safety

  
After Nine Accidents in 4.5 Years, DOT Installs New Signs;

Raises Advisory Speed For Stone Rd Curve

STORY

SCATS ~~ Call me skeptical, but reverse psychology won't resolve this problem ;)
  

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

How Many "Graduates" Received Phony Diplomas?

   
Anonymous said...
To 11:39 - I only wish the GCSD was "pushing" the kids to graduation!   7/04/2011 3:43 PM

Anonymous said...

3:43
 
Well they are doing that too! I know my nephew only graduated from Arcadia by mistake this year. He was told he graduated along with his parents and two days later, his final test scores brought him down to a failing 61% instead of the passing 66% they were told.
 
The school and parents didn't have the heart to tell him and let him graduate anyways. He did not receive his diploma on stage like everyone else but he got up on stage and it appreared he received his diploma like everyone else, he is receiving it in the mail instead.
 
So even if they fail, they will receive something that says they went to school and graduated with their class. 7/05/2011 1:33 AM

SCATS ~~ What the heck are we doing here? What message are we sending by doing it? Isn't it the responsibility of the school district to make sure that those who cross the stage QUALIFY TO GRADUATE?
  

Do As I Say, Not As I Do ...

  • Should The School District's Disciplinary Code Be Applied To Teachers/Staff?
  • Should Teachers Be Expected To Dress Like Professionals?
  • Should Union T-Shirts Be Banned From Classrooms & District Activities?
  • Should Teachers Be Permitted To Talk On Cell Phones During Class?
  • Should Such Policies Be Part Of The Terms Of Employment For ALL GCSD Employees?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Unity Relocates Main Entrance During Expansion

  
The main entrance to Unity Hospital has been temporarily relocated just to the west of the main entrance location. Visitor parking has also been relocated to the western end of the parking lot directly across from the temporary entrance.

Unity Health System began a multi-year $159 million modernization and expansion capital project in 2010. It's expected to be completed in 2014.

 The expansion is the largest in Unity Hospital’s history and will add a fourth floor, provides for as many as 50 additional beds and includes upgrades to medical equipment and technology hospital-wide.

Construction will include the installation of a helipad partly funded by the Greece Rotary Club, which will be used by Mercy Flight Central to bring patients suffering ailments such as stroke or heart attacks to the hospital. (SOURCE)
 
SCATS ~~ So we really will have helicopters to worry about ...
  

Monday, July 04, 2011

Do You Know American History?

  
According to a new Marist Poll, only 58% of Americans know that the United States declared its independence in 1776, while 26% are unsure, and 16% mentioned another date. There are age differences on this question. Younger Americans are the least likely to know the correct answer.

And, for the second year, about one in four Americans doesn’t know from which country the United States declared its independence. While 76% correctly cite Great Britain, 19% are unsure, and 5% mention another country. Again, older Americans were more likely to know the correct answer.

SCATS ~~ I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the failings of our public school system. It must be those free/reduced lunches ... or maybe the water ;)
  

Sunday, July 03, 2011

School's Out ... Are Your Kids Safe?

   
The Greece Post reports: A Greece man has been charged with public lewdness after allegedly pleasuring himself at his home and calling out comments to girls walking by.

John Nokes, 57, of Ridgedale Circle, was charged June 27. Police allege he was pleasuring himself  in or near his home. He's accused of yelling crude comments at three young girls walking by his home at that time.

He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and public lewdness. He was remanded to Monroe County Jail in lieu of $750 cash or bond.

SCATS ~~ Beyond creepy!
  

Property Tax Cap Explained

  
What is it?

The allowable tax levy growth will be the lesser of 2 percent a year or the rate of inflation.

What's covered?

Property tax levies of all counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts and special districts outside of New York City and outside the Big 5 schools, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York City and Yonkers.

What's excluded?

Any taxes to support voter-approved school capital expenditures, any legal settlements that exceed 5 percent of a prior-year tax levy, any growth above 2 percentage points for pension contributions and any major growth in a community.

Can the cap be exceeded?

For municipalities, it can be exceeded with a vote of at least 60 percent of the governing body. For schools, the cap can be overridden by 60 percent of voters. School tax levies will be frozen if a school budget fails twice.

Any other provisions?

If a government or school raises taxes lower than the capped amount, it can carry over up to 1.5 percent of a potential tax increase to the next year. The goal is to encourage them to spend less than the cap, then have the ability to spend more in a subsequent year if they choose.

When does this take effect?

It starts in January for governments and in July 2012 for schools. It expires June 2016, but it will remain in effect as long as rent-control regulations for New York City and its suburbs are on the books. And those have been in effect since the 1940s.
   
SOURCE
 

Saturday, July 02, 2011

30 Days Have September ...

   
But June Had 31 Days ...

According To The Greece Central School District's
Board of Education Approved Calendar!



















(Click To See Image More Clearly)

SCATS ~~ Given the chance, I wonder how badly they could screw up the alphabet!
   

Friday, July 01, 2011

Residents Appalled By Portrayal of B&S Students

  
Greece Post Editorials Say: "The Caliber" Of "Those People" Isn't The Issue


(Click to enlarge)

(Greece Post 6/30/11 pg 12A)