Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Town & School District Still Wa$ting Our $$ ...

... Despite 2% Property Tax Cap!

In the past week, I received mailings in the form of multi-color "newsletters" from both the Town of Greece, as well as the Greece Central School District. Both groups sent out nice glossy multi-page publications/propaganda pieces aimed at spinning our views of what they are doing, how they are doing it, etc. Once again, both newsletters wasted our tax money!

In Greece Reports, The Town of Greece wasted one page advertising an event (Family Fun Night At Barnard Park) that ended BEFORE the newsletter was received! This was not a one time mistake, it's been habitual. Then, they wasted another page providing free advertising for the "Tastings" event held by the Greece Chamber of Commerce. Let the Chamber buy their own ad space elsewhere. It doesn't belong in this kind of mailing, period. The Town has no business giving away ad space anyway. Neither you, nor I could get our business promoted by the Town and they shouldn't either.

In The Connection, The Greece Central School District chose to print six pages listing the names of all students who graduated in June, plus another page listing all employees who retired at the end of June. Out of a 12 page publication, seven pages of old news would have been more appropriately posted on their website than printed and mailed saving some +/- 40,000 of us from having to haul it to the curb in our recycling bins! A check of the GCSD website shows that The Connection no longer appears to be posted online at all! Why not??

I'll bet that both of these institutions will be loudly belly-aching about the 2% tax cap when it comes budget time. In fact, the school district didn't quit complaining after the budget was approved in May.

These newsletters are just one more way our tax dollars are wasted. The cost of the postage, labor and materials needed to mass produce something that is meaningful to a minority of the residents might be better spent on providing educational services. I'm sure we could come up with many more examples (like the PO Box GCSD rents and then must pay couriers to retrieve their mail from North Greece), despite the claim of being on bare-bones budgets. It's time to really tighten the belts, not just give the idea lip-service.


Anonymous said...

Thinly disguised campaign advertsing, courtesy of us saps the taxpayers. The lame story about "I was at the ribbon cutting for police station" has a different board member's photo on it depending on where you live. How much you want to bet there will be another edition of this important newsletter a few weeks from now just before elction day.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the fact that when paid a visit to Town Hall a couple weeks ago, they had six or 7 town employees over by the permit desk standing around doing absolutely NOTHING.

SCATS said...

To 9:07AM ~~ That's status quo. Don't try to get one of them to go inspect anything unusual in your neighborhood either. It took me four phone calls plus A VISIT TO THE COUNTER, to get them to check into why a new neighbor was able to teardown an addition and erect a larger one in its place without ANY permits aside from one to remodel the basement. They did make him stop work for a few days but there's no way they inspected all that they should have. Too much was already finished.

Anonymous said...

The Town needs a balance of power on Town Board. Unless one or more Dems are elected, expect more of the same.

Greece Central needs a total culture change. With so many leaving administrative positions, NOW is that time.

Anonymous said...

Here's a heads up for any candidates wanting to win an election this next time around:
Promise a line by line audit of the budget to find and eliminate the non-productive expenses. Items that don't add vale, items that actually waste money, etc are out!
We probably won't get such an audit from the current bunch running Greece; they are too busy trying to help cronies get jobs, keep jobs, or raise their income in time for pensions to be computed.

GreeceInquirer said...

How do you know money was wasted?
How much money did it cost?
How could the information have been conveyed differently and at lower expense?

Anonymous said...

There should have been no doubt in my mind that you would be one of those neighbors that would go to the town and check or blow someone in for not having a permit.

SCATS said...

To 12:07PM ~~ AGREED!

To GreeceInquirer ~~
Q: How do you know money was wasted?
Q: How could the information have been conveyed differently and at lower expense?

To 12:31PM ~~ After several MONTHS (Aug - Jan) of ongoing construction, destruction, outdoor burning of debris on a regular basis, etc. I made a call to inquire as to WHAT he was doing. They had record of a basement remodel only. That was when I decided to take action. More people should ;)

Anonymous said...


Town inspectors don't do their job and its been like that for years and everyone pays for it. A new addition should raise your taxes. It needs inspecting to make sure its safe for the owners, the neighbors and future buyer. What's wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

New Skrewel year is almost here.

I suggest someone with a student under mind manipulation er I mean matriculation start saving all those important papers sent home with the love trophy and posting the count here.

Way too many trees die and become paper to forward the Union Agenda!

Exposure, the thing politicians FEAR!

GreeceInquirer said...

I read the blog but other than thinly supported opinion, I couldn't find a quantitative analysis of what "wasted" means. However, I now understand that it is an opinion. Got it.

As for web sites used to communicate the information, how do families without Internet get the information?

Btw, has anyone else noticed how poorly populated the greece csd website is? It is "under construction".

SCATS said...

To 9:19AM ~~ Go to the library.

Where's the quantitative analysis of your observation? Oh, I get it. It's your opinion, not even thinly supported ;)

GreeceInquirer said...

"Where's the quantitative analysis of your observation? Oh, I get it. It's your opinion, not even thinly supported ;)"

Huh? What observation? All I did was ask questions. I'm at a loss as to the offense you apparently took.

Oh well, you're the blogger. I'll come back later to try to understand your statements.

Thanks anyway.

SCATS said...

To 7:18PM ~~ Re: "All I did was ask questions."

Oh puh-leeze!! Hardly! You rendered your judgment that it was only "opinion" without providing anything to support it. I told you some concrete items in my comment posted on 8/31/2011 12:57 PM. It's fine if you don't like it & want to dismiss it, but that doesn't make the FACTS "opinion."

Anonymous said...

1:07 "A new addition should raise your taxes." Yes it should if it raises the value of your property. But just because you add to a house there is no guarantee it will raise the value of your house.
It used to be there was a formula that if you added square footage there was a percent increase on the assessment and taxes. Since 1996 that has changed. You could add a 300 sf addition and if your house already was the highest price on the block it would get only a fraction of the cost of the addition increase in value.
And sometimes our houses seem to increase in assessment by just sitting there.
Does anyone know if any homes have received decreased assessments without protesting?

SCATS said...

To 10:43PM ~~ I challenge your statement: "It used to be there was a formula that if you added square footage there was a percent increase on the assessment and taxes. Since 1996 that has changed."

When I've called about my own property, they ALWAYS resort to square footage comparisons. They even gave me a print out showing me the $$/sq ft for all similar houses on my street when I challenged my last assessment increase.

Anonymous said...

You could double the size of a house and it would not double the assessment depending on the location and how close your house is to the top price of other houses on your street and in your area. Square footage is part of the formula.
If you are located in a neighborhood that has $400,000 houses and you pay $50,000 for an addition of 400 sf you might raise your assessment to $450,000. If you are on a street that has assessments of $90,000 and you (foolishly maybe) pay for a 50,000 dollar addition you will not raise your assessment to 140,000 necessarily. And there are many houses in Greece in the 75,000 to 130,000 category.
Conversely if you are in the smallest house on a street and get an addition that raises your square footage to the other houses on the street , that probably will raise you to the other houses values. There is not now an exact sf adjustment for any addition or deck or improvement. There was before 1996 though.

SCATS said...

To 12:46AM ~~ And if I make a gennerous donation to the right campaign fund, my assessment will go down no matter how I improve my property.

Assesments in Greece MAKE NO SENSE. You could go insane trying to figure out what they base any of it on. I know. I've fought my increases. I've watched neighbors get rollbacks to less than what others pay for similar houses. Who you know matters ;)

Anonymous said...

If the Democrats won in 2009 we'd have a new multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded aquarium and the richie-rich yacht owners would be able to dock their high-end toys at Braddocks at our expense.

Darn, wish the Demmies had won.

SCATS said...

To 11:18PM ~~ If you had any clue at all, you'd realize no yacht could ever dock at Braddock's Bay ;)

As I recall, there was some bipartisan interest in the aquarium idea.

Rochester misses the boat again! We waste our lakeshore, instead of capitalizing on it! When I take visitors there, they're amazed at how we've managed to make what should be one of our finest assests into an uninviting hodgepodge along the lakeshore.

Anonymous said...

Who on the Reps side wanted a big fish bowl in town?