Sunday, May 12, 2013

George Hubbard: Debt Service & Frank Oberg

Greece Central has accumulated over $4 million in SURPLUS sitting untouched in GCSD's  Debt Service Fund. Below, George Hubbard asks some great questions!

1. How should GCSD unwind the $4M surplus in DEBT SERVICE FUND (DS Fund)?
2. This balance shouldn’t exist... should be very small – near zero.
3. The surpluses result annually from budgeting more money than needed to make required payments on long-term bonds. Payments have been declining because some bonds have been refinanced.
4. The surpluses accrued over a few years... unknown which years, but probably 4 or 5yrs. Typical appropriations have run $14.5M+/- per year and haven’t varied much.
5. The surpluses sit in the Debt Service Fund separate from the General Fund.
6. Why did GCSD budget more than needed... payments are predictable?
7. How should $4M surplus be used?
Geo Hubbard Editorial submitted to Greece Post:
I urge voters in the Greece Central School District to consider the name of Mr. Frank Oberg as a write-in candidate for the upcoming school board election May 21.
For residents who may not be aware, the Board of Education will have only two official candidates on the ballot to fill three seats that become vacant on June 30. While write-in votes are always permitted in any election year, the write-in option becomes especially important this year. So be prepared; plan ahead before entering the voting booth. 
Frank Oberg is eminently well qualified. Many voters will recognize his name from within the community, and recall his prior years of dedicated service on the Greece board from 2005 to 2011 — two as Board President. Also, he brings experience from a professional career in engineering and production management before retiring from Harris RF, Inc.
After learning of the shortfall for school board candidates this year, Frank has expressed to me a willingness to serve again if “it were to be the wishes of voters.” In my opinion, GCSD would be fortunate indeed to have Frank’s knowledge, experience and unambiguous approach to setting district goals and policies back in action.
Please consider Frank’s name when you vote. And above all else, be sure to vote May 21!

SCATS ~~ Well George, while I do agree that the $4 million surplus needs to be applied to this years budget (i.e. spent), I can not disagree more about supporting Frank Oberg for another stint on the Greece School Board! So quickly people have forgotten the chaos & turmoil he created in the past. Here's a list of several important reminders of what Frank Oberg is all about:

10. - Frank Oberg likened this BLOG to the KKK!

9. - Frank Oberg supported increasing senior exemptions for school taxes which means everyone else (non-seniors) got to pay more to offset it!

8.-6. - Frank Oberg underwent some sort of philosophical metamorphosis during his last years on the BOE making him part of the problem (AKA Boily groupie), instead of part of the solution (HMO). This is of such huge importance, it gets THREE slots of the 10 posted!

5 - Frank Oberg reaped the reward of selling out to the BOE insiders group to become BOE Prez.

4 - Frank Oberg called $30,000 - $50,000 (depends on which reference we cite) in additional pay for a new superintendent "Chump change!!"

3 - Frank Oberg showed us he could make us eat a 5% tax hike without a revote after 2 out of 3 voters screamed a resounding "NO!" in May of 2010.

2 - Frank Oberg stated after the budget vote in May of 2011: "I'm disappointed at the turnout, but pleased that people felt it was a reasonable budget ... But I think we worked hard to put a reasonable budget forward this year under very difficult circumstances and I'm very happy that it passed."

1 - Frank Oberg can't see cause and effect ... or understand and clearly see the impact that making people eat the budget in 2010 had on voter turnout the next year! He no longer stands for common sense, frugality or any of the other phil  osophies HMO ran for board on!!      


Anonymous said...

I disagree with SCATS. If you look at the 6 board members who will still be on the board, plus Gail O'Toole I feel that Frank Oberg is a excellent write-in. Frank does not speak at the board meeting just to hear himself talk. I am going to vote for Frank Oberg and ONLY Frank. I encourage all voters to do the same.

SCATS said...

To 2:38PM ~~ Lotsa luck with that! By your own admission, there will be at least 6 votes against him, if he actually had the spine to stand-up the way he once did when he first ran with H&M. More of the same will be coming to the board room.

george hubbard said...

please disregard if duplicate transmission.


1. Thanks for creating new “BLOG” for this topic – is it a new BLOG, or a new THREAD? I’m uncertain on definitions.

2. As for supporting Frank Oberg for BOE, consider:

2a. Remember, 2 candidates running, 3 seats open.

2b. A lesser known person (no one is campaigning) could easily win a write-in. Frank is a known quantity – so let voters decide.

2c. A two-step process was needed: First, Frank to decide whether he would serve if elected (big personal commitment).

2d. Second, voters needed to be informed of Frank’s willingness to serve.

2e. Consider the alternatives as random combinations of binary (yes/no) events! An easy decision to move ahead.

3. The work of GOOD board members can be likened to an iceberg: There is the small part that’s visible... and the large part that goes unseen.

More on this later.

George Hubbard

SCATS said...

George ~~ A new thread is a new BLOG entry. I use the words as the same.

Regarding Oberg, there is another person running as a write-in and I'm told she has made herself available at some budget meetings.

Just because someone is "lesser known" doesn't make them less worthy. I'm not the type who usually buys into the old idea that "the devil you know is better ..." Oberg is definitely "a devil" and should be treated as such!!

He is NOT the master of frugality that many will likely think of as from his run on the HMO ticket! In fact, after his last stint as BOE Prez. I want to know where the real Frank Oberg went??


I pointed out several things on his record that make him a poor choice, in my opinion.

Roberto Bertoni / North Greece said...

Oberg freaked out during the public sessions on consolidation. He couldn't take parents clapping. His tenure is done. We need new blood.

george hubbard said...


Re: Oberg a good choice?

1. My shorthand may have been too efficient... may have moved too fast to keep up. Let me clarify.

2. By ‘lesser known’ was meant ‘lesser known ABOUT’ vis-à-vis ‘lesser known BY’.

3. Therefore applying information theory to your words, a candidate ‘lesser known about’ remains ‘less worthy’, until ‘better known about’ proves them to be ‘more worthy’. The burden of proof falls on the null candidate.

4. Frank's position on issues makes him a good choice for many voters.

5. For voters who don't always agree with him, he may be the best choice because they like his PROCESS for resolving issues - such as:

5a. Frank will contribute to a more open Board – bringing issues into public view and debate.

5b. Frank has an inquiring approach to business and will push for identifying alternatives/options before reaching a decision.

5c. Frank strives for data driven decisions where everyone has the same data.

6. Likely not to be Board President relieves his past desire to be an impartial leader. Frank is skilled at leading logical debate. He will multiply the influence of his one vote on BOE decisions.

SCATS, it's your move.

George Hubbard

SCATS said...

To George ~~ Again, I pointed out on the BLOG out front several very specific things from OBERG'S RECORD on past BOEs that make him a bad choice in my mind.

Again, I ask you, WHAT SPECIFIC ACTIONS DID HE TAKE as a BOE member that makes him a good choice now? I'm not talking about personality or style. I'm talking about WHAT HE DID/DID NOT DO!

As far as I'm concerned, he lost my trust entirely when he chose to ignore the will of the community & made us eat a budget that 2/3 said NO to. THAT'S THE SORT OF ACTION I'm looking for, George.

Regarding a more "open board" ... I could not disagree more! In fact, it was during his last stint on the BOE that things began to be done in Exec. Session more than in open session. For God's sake, we hired a cancer patient who was absent almost as much as he was present to be an Interim Supt. which pretty much left the district in Nadolinski's hands. Sadly, no one had the SPINE TO TELL THE COMMUNITY THAT!

SCATS said...

By the way George, are you aware that Frank Oberg has been widely quoted as saying: "“You could throw 500 million dollars at this district and it wouldn’t change a thing.”

With that kind of mindset, I don't think there is anything positive he can do for the schools unless it centers on separating taxpayers from the contents of their wallets. He no longer stands for the same convictions that originally got him elected to the BOE.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, if there is extra money in a debt service fund then the solution is fairly straightforward: it should be applied to retire debt.

It would be improper to use it for the current budget. It is impractical to return it to taxpayers.

The only other alternative is to budget less in the coming year for debt service to "make up" for the excess. The problem with that approach is that then the new lower level of budget becomes the baseline for the following year.

SCATS said...

To 1:33AM ~~ I see yoir point about applying it to the debt load. As for budgeting less and facing a lower baseline budget the next year, why not? Enrollment is shrinking, continues to do so and percentage-wise, $4 million is negligible in a $200 million budget.

george hubbard said...

To 1:33 AM and SCATS

1. Hasn't the budget/baseline been inflated to have produced the surpluses totaling $4M in the Debt Service Fund, so why not deflate the budget back to where it belongs?

2. Perhaps the total $4M should be unwound in steps and not in one year.

SCATS said...

George ~~ It's OUR $$. It should be returned/spent appropiately ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Just a small point about the $4 M. If we look at the proposed spending plan versus the ACTUAL expenditures of the last year, wouldn't the increase violate the tax cap rules? Is that why we never get the actual expenditures in our mailings?

SCATS said...

To 7:15PM ~~ Just keep in mind that the "actuals" for the entire budget show a MUCH LARGER GAP between what will be spent ($191 million) and what they are telling the community they need for next year ($206 million).

Anonymous said...

Nice to have a cushion!

george hubbard said...

To: 7:15

1. Tax cap relates to yr-to-yr TAX LEVY increase, not budget/spending.

2. Also, TAX LEVY is on revenue side of budget... it is a component of revenue, not spenidng.

3. Total Spending must equal total revenue, but that is one and only place where the two sides of budget meet.

Anonymous said...

Well i am very happy to see Frank Oberg volunteer again, wait let me say that again, I am very happy to see Frank Oberg VOLUNTEER again. I think some of the problem people have with him is that he speaks his mind and says what needs and should be said. Im sure Mr. Oberg voluteers his time to help make a difference, not for political gain and sure in the heck not for financial gain. I think sites like this should appreciate what people actually do and if they have a problem with it.... get out from behind your computer and do something about it. Put yourself in the firing range, dont mix words to make your point seem valid. I am pretty sure Mr. Oberg does not have any children in the school district, so why would he care about what happens? Why? because he cares. Show some unity to the community, trust me Greece needs all the help it can get and a slandering blog does nothing for it. There is no hidden agenda, no conspiracy theory, Mr. Oberg is not some cyborg sent to take over the world. Stop for a moment and appreciate what the board actually does, what they go through. You cant please everyone but the job of the board is to do what is best for......wait....the CHILDREN. Mr. Oberg was right, no amount of $ can fix the district it has to be fixed from within 1st. Mr. Oberg Sir, if you read this Thank you. There are many that appreciate the good you do even if people dont agree with everything you say or do. I feel that you are for what is best for the children. We all know you have a spine because you stand up for what is right and say what has to be said, not to mention throwing yourself back into the line of fire with no personal gain. Again Thank you.

SCATS said...

To 7:36AM ~~ I'm so happy you are happy, but you better keep a TIGHT grip on your wallet! Mr. Chump Change wanted to pay the new Supt. $30,000+ MORE THAN SHE WOULD ACCEPT WHEN SHE TOOK THE JOB!! He also raised taxes on everyone else by promoting an increase in the STAR income exemption for seniors. Do you enjoy paying MORE so that some older couple living in a $$$ half-million lakefront property can pay less school tax (or possibly none)??

By the way, he may not have kids in Greece schools, but he did go to bat personally for his grand-daughter related to musical instruments! I find it pretty funny that musical instruments TRUMP textbooks FOR ALL, but this is the Greece Central Sports District ;)

As for his "volunteer" efforts, I've been there, done it, over & over & over again.

RYI: THIS BLOG IS MY PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE GREECE COMMUNITY. IT IS A VOLUNTEER EFFORT on my part. I receive MANY personal requests for info, help, suggestions DESPITE those who attempt to discredit its impact.

Here's a snippet from one of the many private messages sent to me earlier today: "I just wanted to send you a note. Thank you for talking to me about this stuff last month with my son and the school. It is hard for me because for the most part I am doing this all alone. I get frustrated and lost at times. It is a hard system to work within. You renewed my confidence and I am pushing ahead.
Thank you so much!!"

Comments like that SHOW ME I DO make a difference, more than any BOE member likely ever will :D

Regarding those "with a spine," WHERE IS YOUR SIGNATURE??