Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Board of Education Candidates


Ballot Position #1     Lisa Christoffel
 
“My children have been in the Greece Schools for the past 14 years. I have one student who will still be in school next year as a ninth-grader. I am very concerned, having seen what’s happening across the state through my PTA work, that my youngest son has as good an education as my older two. With severe budget gaps and significant opposition to current educational direction in Albany, districts are challenged to deliver high quality education. I want to use my experience in business and PTA to help us make the right choices. I have financial and budgeting background, as well as an analytical mind and desire to use those skills to improve our schools. I have also attended dozens of state PTA trainings and feel I understand the issues facing the district very well.”

Ballot Position #2     Richard Cunningham

“Being a school board member provides the opportunity for community service in an area critical to all of our young people as they prepare for life and for citizenship.
My qualification for service is a mix of: my background (parent of four Olympia graduates, community service, professional experiences, tax payer, etc.), the educational opportunities I was afforded, and my personal interest in education. This mix will provide the necessary focus on our youth and for providing them the necessary educational opportunities whether they are adapting to special challenges, are preparing for a career, or are preparing for an advanced education.

Today the value of education is recognized by people the world over, regardless of their financial situation or geographical location. We must maintain this same attitude, for the benefit of our young people and for our country."

Ballot Position #3  Bill Maloney

“As a Greece resident, I have both a personal and professional commitment to our schools. All three of my children are graduates of the Greece schools and I currently have three grandchildren in the district.
In my 40-years as a Greece employee, I have had the opportunity to work with people in many job titles. My experience provides me with a unique perspective on the inner working of the district that would be a benefit to the Board and the Greece community.
If elected, I will work to ensure that my grandchildren and all Greece students continue to receive the same quality of education my children received. I would appreciate your vote on May 20.”
 

Ballot Position #4  Sean McCabe

“I am running for re-election to the Board to continue the progress we have made in the last few years under Superintendent Deane-Williams. The Board and Superintendent have collaborated to formulate a vision for Greece Schools in 2017. This plan contains lofty and achievable goals for improving student academics and ultimately graduation rates, while being fiscally responsible. We have worked well with the Greece Teachers Association on a performance evaluation that is a model for the state. This was impossible four years ago due to all the strife in the district. During my time on the Board of Education there have been some difficult years, at times it seemed we were spinning our wheels. We are now headed down the right path. I would like to stay on the board for another term to see this plan to fruition and continue to serve the community I grew up in.” 
 
 
 











Ballot Position #5  Kristo Miettinen

“I bring over 20 years of experience in operations, command, supervision, and management to GSCD. In academic assignments I have developed curricula, taught, and secured institutional accreditation in positions at the vocational, undergraduate, and graduate levels. I want to drive excellence in GCSD through prudent change management with awareness of organizational behaviors, broad-based leader development, discipline in application of administrative processes, and conscientious resource management. I am skilled at developing and managing budgets, and experienced in recruitment, retention, professional development, evaluation, and when necessary, reduction of professional staff. I will emphasize developing communication, reasoning, and research/studying skills at the middle school level in order to prepare students to learn autonomously and perform exceptionally in high school and beyond. For me, the relentless pursuit of adequacy is unacceptable. Excellence is the only standard in ethics, academics, personal conduct, consideration of others, inclusion, and cohesion.” 
SCATS ~~ # 1 - PTA; # 2-4 - UNION; #5 - The ONLY sane vote!

 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Suggestion, a bullet vote for #5 would work seeing as how less than 3,000 will vote this year.

SCATS said...

To 1:55PM ~~ Given today's headlines, maybe we should call it a SINGULAR VOTE, instead ...

Charlie Hubbard said...

Make no mistake THE biggest item for this and all school boards are the contracts - worthless, do/nothing, give/away contracts. This is where the money IS and the incentive for educational improvement IS NOT. What has been prominent for school boards is copy cat with other districts - THAT is incompetence.
Any school board candidate that does not acknowledge this problem is NOT worthy of your vote.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, given the fact that you are a former board member, how would you suggest that a future board member handle the problem that you were not able to deal with when there.
I'm sorry but until Albany abolishes or makes changes in the Taylor Law, contracts are here to stay.There is no way in Hell the board can effectively deal with it other than to approve or disapprove a proposed agreement by the Superintendant and the employees. As it took five votes to say no, you know how next to impossible that can be.
The fact that the teachers have not had a contract in all most eight years, tells me that the district is trying to gain concessions to the existing contract without success.So how does the board have better success ?
For any perspective board member to say that he can have an impact in this area is nonsense as you well know. It sounds good but in reality it is a hollow statement to make
.Until Albany levels the playing field, the district will continue to hold the the low hand in their ability to reclaim what other administrations gave away.
.

Anonymous said...

Don't vote for #1 unless you want another Gale O'toole. She being groomed by Julia & Gale. Odyssey's parent, PTA, and chosen parent to be the voice of Odyssey. We certainlly don't need that. Vote 3, 4, and 5. They are the best of the worse.

Anonymous said...

Mr Charlie, your continued harping on Unions, contracts public employees, to be honest , is getting old,
While I share your concerns from a taxpayer point if view, I do not believe the needed fixes can be solved at the BOE level.
Reform in this area starts and ends with our State Legislature. For grins and giggles might I suggest a visit with Senator Robach and ask him to sponsor a bill that replaces the Triborough Amendment with the Triborough doctrine . Sit there and watch him dance around that subject which is viewed by state pols as the equivalent of political suicide. If they did it would bring about meaningful reform that will force public union to return to good faith interest negotiations enhancing the District's ability to modify existing agreements,








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SCATS said...

To 6:25 & 10:03AM ~~ There is NOTHING worse than watching our BOE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVE CONTRACTS without asking ANY questions! And don't try to tell me the questions are asked, but done "privately." If a BOE member is DOING THEIR JOB, THEN THEY ARE NOT "GOING ALONG TO GET ALONG!"

SCATS said...

To 8:35AM ~~ Our "choices" suck! PTA (#1) is but the right hand shill for the GTA. Just look at what Julia spews! #2 is appropriately numbered. #3-4 are UNION, period.

That leaves us with only one actual "choice" ... #5 Miettinen. Vote for him & ONLY him. Otherwise you might not get him elected either.

Anonymous said...

So how are these five connected to the other six (Van Orman, Crandall, Grinnan, Melore, Oberg, O'Toole)? We see a few hints here in the comments, but what about the rest?

And who, other than McCabe, is running for president?

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 6:25
Let me challenge your posting this way. You mention the Taylor law - what is the boards position on the Taylor law? When have you ANY discussion of this by the board. People known nothing about it because our elected officials don't 'say anything' - it's the taxpayers money being effected AND it's the quality of education being effected. SPEAK UP - show the community you are working in their interest. This item is too important for perspective board members not to be aware of IF they care.

Anonymous said...

Scats, I agree. The past several boards have been and still are SUPERINTENDENT. BOARDS, Since the contract is actually a contract between her and the employees, they simply take the easy road by agreeing with her recommendation in public.
One thing we will never know for sure is if any board members raise questions during executive sessions which is permissible under the law. I would like to believe they do because if they do not, they have no business being in that room let alone a member of the BOE.
In my opinion, these members have been brain washed by the likes of Jody Siegel who has convinced them that to question the Super is a form of Micro Management, which is utter BS. It's their job. It's called oversight and as our elected representatives and guardians of the"public purse" their obligation to this community,

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 10:03
I can assure you I have talking to Mr. Roebach about this item more than once - the biggest problem? - I was alone.
So I'll say it again - show me the concern voiced by the board - show me the concern voiced by administration (who do they work for?) show me the voiced concern by superintendent(s).
Let me make one more point - I never had a problem with the unions. Although the entitlement mindset is prevalent they are just doing their job. It is the BOARD who approves these contracts. It has been so bad prior boards didn't even know the cost.

SCATS said...

To 1:10PM ~~ The purpose of Exec. Sessions is NOT to raise questions! Their purpose is to discuss legal proceedings, personnel matters that must be kept confidential!

ANY ITEM DISCUSSED IN EXEC. SESSION MUST FALL UNDER VERY SPECIFIC TYPES OF THINGS!! Otherwise it should be discussed in OPEN.

Anonymous said...

So are you all willing to let PD, FD, and school district employees strike to resolve contract disputes? How about if we all got together and quit doing our jobs while all you idiots got together and debated whether we should be paid, have benefits, or any job security?

Anonymous said...

The status of ongoing contractural negotiations has been ruled as " confidential" by PERB. Therefore, this is one of those VERY SPECIFIC TYPES IF THINGS, that is a proper subject for exec session.

SCATS said...

To 6:04PM ~~ Why should unions get "job security" that no one else gets???

To 6:18PM ~~ I never said it wasn't. However, our BOE discusses NOTHING in public any more. It doesn't mean there's nothing for them to discuss, either. They just fear being quoted here, like Mr. Chump Change was.

Anonymous said...

Scats, the answer to that question is obvious. One of the purposes of being in a LAWFUL UNION. is job security.
Even that comes about as a result of the collective bargaining process between labor and management, That's why. You act as though unions are illegal. Actually I really think you and Charlie think they are,
6:04 us right. Let's abolish the Taylor Law and give public employees the right to Strike as provided by Federal Law.
" What a fine mess that would be, Stanley".





right to strike under a Federal Law.
"What a fine mess that would be , Stanley"

Anonymous said...

6:04 Do it and the rest of us that have applied for the police jobs and were blackballed can have a chance.
For every job in Greece there are 40 applicants that were screened out. You can all be replaced. And you can't strike because you would be fined and lose your jobs. It's not like the inconvenience of garbage not being collected. There you would get a backlash of protest from the community. My trash collector is private and I don't mind paying that bill. It stands the test of what the "market will stand".
Unions have outlived their original purpose to avoid sweat shop conditions and extremely low pay. Ask any waitress how the community protects her job. And don't go on about college degrees. There are many of the public union protected jobs that do not have a college degree as a requirement, nor should they. Custodian or clerk or bus drivers for example. We are obliged to continue to pay high taxes for public employee unions while the private sector unions have caused companies to challenge them or go out of business or be bailed out by the government. We are obliged to pay into public employee defined benefit pensions that increase year after year. Look at Seethroughny.com for evidence of that. How many Kodak retirees saw their pension from 20 years ago go up at all. None. But the NY state public employees see an increase each year. And while the money from the taxes funds these forever wage increases in the triborough steps and the pension contributions the students get less and less each year.

SCATS said...

To 6:39AM ~~ Since 7:02AM did an outstanding job summing up how unions have become anachronisms, I'll refer you to their comments.

To 7:02AM ~~ Good job!

Anonymous said...

11:34 Sour Grapes pal. Prior to 1967 nobody wanted a job that paid $5,000 / yr or less with no benefits other than a pension that required a 3% contribution and paid a 2,500 yearly pension at retirement.
.Applicants for county wide openings prior to 1967 numbered less than ten. After 1967 and to the present, candidates number
in the hundreds, Why do you think that happened? The answer should be obvious even to you.
Regarding the claim of 40 that where screened out is ludicrous . They simply didn't qualify in one way or another. For the open positions due to the numbers on the current list.
Even before 1967, going on strike was never an option in this job.After that date, any public employee going in strike was subjected to the lose of two days pay for every day out. Union leaders immediately were jailed. It was and still is the law.
Your comments about Kodak is an example of my opening statement. If not for public employee unions and private sector unions, zKodak employees would have never received the benefit packages they received. Kodak was committed to not being unionized.so the best way was to offer their employees the same wages and benefits negotiated by unionized workers, The other strategy was tying the generous annual bonus to any effort to unionize was a powerful deterrent as it would find itself on the bargaining table.
Associates of mine who worked at Kodak in its hay day, would laugh at me for paying dues for the same benefits they had without dues.
I in turn would reply, I have one thing you do not have that being job security contained in seniority language in a contract and some day you will live to regret it. As it would turn out, I was sort of a prophet as we all know what happened to Kodak people over the past few years. Instead of a fair process of "last hired, first laid off", those with 25-30 yrs of service went out the door while a six month employee remained. Why? Because they could.
You continue to believe what you want but unions are as necessary today as they were during sweat shop conditions of the past I case you haven't noticed the erosion of the middle class into the poor and the ever widening wealth gap between the middle and upper class.
Your contentions that companies were forced out of business and had to be bailed out because if unions is beyond belief, when the real culprit in reality is one of the seven deadly sins GREED, IN THIS CASE CORPORATE GREED!!! Shipping living wage jobs all over the world , using slave 50 cent an hour labor to produce their products and then selling them here for costs reflecting former $20/ hr labor costs resulting in obscene profits at our expense in both quality and most importantly, jobs.




SCATS said...

To 4:13PM ~~ I plan to continue to believe what I know and have seen about unions. I worked for a company where there was a call to unionize. I went to the initial meetings. My impression: GANG WARFARE WAS PLANNED, not only against the corporate big shots, but to try to get more peons onboard. I wanted no part of it then, or now.

I'll say it again: unions are an anachronism whose time has come for permanent retirement.

Anonymous said...

Ask those same Kodak people (in the 60's at that time) how they compared to the union people that worked at Rochester Products and Delco. People didn't want union at Kodak because they had it so good in those days. Delco and Products were in a union and they were laid off constantly. You are talking about the 60's and 70's. Many of the people at those companies were making $20 an hour to screw in a widget. They could not sweep near their station because that would have been against union rules. The union bosses ran the place. Those 2 companies sold and those companies are now gone. Lots of job security there. And there are many people applying for jobs at the schools and the police dept and they are screened out in favor of people with connections. Look at the hiring of Pignato for example. Even Rahn and his lawyer swear that he was in because of strong arm tactics. So yes all of you quit and we will fill the ranks immediately. Heck the teachers say they have to teach according to the Core dictates which are spelled out in a book. So if you don't like it there are others who would love your jobs. And anyone in New York State can be fired at will not just at Kodak. Only the union of the educators has tenure to prevent that without lots of expense from the public. Directed at 4:13 and 6:04.

Anonymous said...

6:20 you obviously date back to the time line you refer to in your post. My guess is that you are a former yellow boxer who enjoyed Kodaks " cradle to grave "ENTITLEMENT of that period . Intuition tells me that you retired with a generous pension benefit only to see it evaporate under the New thinner , leaner Kodak mentality.
Case in point if you are as I describe or for that matter anyone anyone on this site that fits that profile, is just this.If you retired with pension and health care benefits protected by a contractual agreement, things might be different. I say might because once they filed bankruptcy, they could ask the judge to void the agreement . However, as some if you attempted to do, take legal action to preserve them, having something in writing that quanteed those benefits would have added weight to your argument,
As for walking into a law enforcement job today please don't make me laugh as you have no concept of what it takes these days. On the other hand, why wouldn't you now that the job pays 80,000 plus with hard fought benefits .?
This now begs the question. Would you have considered the same job back In your time frame that didn't pay $ 20.000 / hr worked a 48 hour week with no overtime and no benefits other than a pension
What it boils down to my friend is the career choices we made back then. You took your choosen path, we took ours. Now we got ours and you, well, you have my sympathy.

Anonymous said...

To 6:20
For what wages and benefits are you willing to take these jobs? Would it be for today's starting wages and benefits that Unionized Labor has fought so hard to achieve or are you all willing to go back to the wages and benefits of the 70's?
And what method of productivity and effectiveness would you use to measure a PD, FD, or School employees performance?

Anonymous said...

Thank you 11:34, the ignorance of the private sector on what unions gained them in their jobs astonishes me. I also like to remind my kodak friends that when their bonuses and benefits were high they didn't offer to share with the public employees (fire, police and teachers). Now that their "hey day" is over they want us to give them $$ back. I guess you should have invested your bonus instead of going on vacation. My family didn't go on vacation, but now, I have a retirement to live off of. You made a choice and so did I when we chose our jobs. You trusted the private corporation, I did not. Stop bashing me and all other public workers for taking less up front for the guarantee down the road. As for stating that the unions are "bullies", maybe they are but I had a choice to join or not, no one "broke my legs" and no one broke yours, Kodak and other companies waved the cash in your face and you grabbed it. Choices, choices, choices.

SCATS said...

To 6:56AM ~~ I actually had to laugh reading through your diatribe, especially when we get to the part about "walking into a law enforcement job today." I know some who recently took that path. One HUGE factor you conveniently "forget" to mention is the lure of OT, or the "security job" sideline. Look at GPD. How many cops do NOT pull in $100,000+ per year when all is said & done??

To 9:13AM ~~ As with any other field, factors like bothering to show up for work when expected, arriving on time, being appropriately attired, working well with peers/superiors/etc., performing the DUTIES SPELLED OUT IN YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION, willingness to to keep current in your field (go for training, etc.), documenting what you've done as expected ...

It's NOT rocket science ... to anyone who is NOT in a union.

SCATS said...

To 12:30PM ~~ Since when did this become a matter of "sharing" anything? It's not & never was. It's becoming (rapidly) a matter of BRINGING CERTAIN COMPANIES/COMMUNITIES/SERVICE SECTORS TO THEIR KNEES! Look at Detroit!! Speaking of which, the number of UNION PRODUCED CARS JUST RECALLED SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT WHAT UNIONS DO: They punch clocks, collect paychecks, head to the bar for a drink ... the rest of us deal with cleaning up the problems they create. Sadly, when it comes to school districts, it takes a toll on the spirit of those left in the chaos.

Anonymous said...

Scats this is an example of your ignorance of the collapse of GM And Chrysler, It had everything to do with poor management, lack of quality control and the reluctance of Kodak workers to buy American opting instead to buy the " rice burners". The result , you paid for their incompetence by way of the bail out. And exactly what's wrong with stopping for a drink after putting in a hard days work.? Something I wonder if you ever did.

Anonymous said...

SCAT's,
So the job requirements you propose are to meet the same minimal standards that you are so fond of beating up union employees about receiving?
The private sector worked for a long time on a slightly different plan and look what it got all those non union employers and employees? The top tier were handsomely paid thieves who skimmed millions into their own pockets and caused failures and bankruptcies to abound. Most companies that still exist 40 years later are mere shells of their former selves, barely employing a skeleton staff, manufacturing the same crap you allude to regarding union companies!
We only need to look to EK for our example. 63,000 local employees generously compensated, great benefits, future retirement in the 80's. And where do they stand now? Benefitted by bankruptcy(a government entitled bailout), 7,000 employees, retiree benefits gone, retirement gone!
Yeah, I'll take a union, protection, and whatever else I earn by putting my life on the line!

Anonymous said...

Having been a member of a public sector labor union for 38 plus years I can say with certainty,The international union does not give a sh-t about rank and file members. The local exists for one reason, to collect and pay Union dues to the international period. As far as having a choice of joining or not there is no choice you join or pay agency shop fee which is the same as dues but the local just takes your money and they could care less about representing you it is all about the bucks. Union membership is a de facto condition of employment. I was always amazed that the Union conferences were always in San Diego or Vegas and usually in January or February,Education conferences too and the only people that got to go were the union big shots not anyone who actually paid the bills and might have something useful to add to the conversation. Oh I forgot Union dues are tied to the hourly rate as a percentage that is why they always go for the step increases and are brain dead unless they are offered a percentage increase at contract time. One thing that the public sector unions are bellyaching about now is the fact that the guy that they supported for President is responsible for them being taxed on their health care plans the old double cross. In my opinion the only sane choice this election is to only vote for the military guy and no other candidate that way it compounds the effect of the single vote he knows how to assimilate and motivate analyze adapt and overcome. The rest of them collectively are dumber that a box or rocks.

SCATS said...

To 1:09PM ~~ I am missing the connection you are making between the collapse of Detroit & how Kodak workers were "reluctant to buy American."

As for my personal habits, MYOB.

To 4:51PM ~~ Same minimal standards? WHERE did you get that from? In the Greece schools, attendance is optional for a tenured teacher! In reality, they can be sick the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR and still have a job waiting. Of course, they get paid while we hire a replacement (sub) too. My list wasn't intended to be comprehensive, either.

Also, you are CLEARLY out-of-touch, as demonstrated by your belief that Kodak still employs anything close to 7,000 workers! That time passed long ago. If they have 3500 today, I'd be surprised.

To 9:40PM ~~ Well stated, TY.

Anonymous said...

I have the solution to fix the Taylor Law problem.
1 Repeal the Triborouh Amendment
2 reinstate the Triborough Doctrine with modifications
3 Modifications would include all or current provisions with addition of following language ALL PROVISIONS WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR PERIOD NOT EXCEEDING TWO YEARS FROM
THE EXPIRATION DATE OF CURRENT AGREEMENT. IN THE EVENT THE PARTIES INVOLVE ARE UNABLE TO REACH AGREEMENT ON A NEW CONTRACT IN THAT TIME FRAME, ALL PARTIES MUST SUBMIT TO BINDING ARBITRATION.ALL PARTIES WILL MUTUALLY AGREE TO THE SELECTION OF AN ARBITRATOR FROM A LIST OF THREE NAMES SUPPLIED BY THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RELATIONS BOARD. THE DECISION OF THIS ARBITRATOR WILL BE BINDING ON BOTH PARTIES TO THE ACTION. If this was to come to pass , it would get both parties to get serious about negotiations or risk a third party dictating terms and conditions on both.
This would of course take state legislative action to get done. Given this, I remain pessimistic that this would ever happen.

SCATS said...

To 10:59AM ~~ While I applaud you your creativity, I can't imagine our politicians evr thinking about touching it. They are COWARDS when it comes to the contempt of the unions.

Anonymous said...

Back in the early 60's, I decided to leave my job in industry for a job in law enforcement. It wasn't an easy decision as I had a young family and was making $7,200 a year and the new position paid $5,200. But I decided to do it because I was bored with the repediness of the present job day after day the same operation and wanted diversity and challenges. Also a factor was the pension plan that I did not have with my job. I took the gamble and for me and my family it paid off .
Prior to 67' we had little or no be benefits and were engaged in collective begging with the town just to get a lousy raise. Things changed with the advent of the Taylor Law and within 3 yrs, we caught up with the private sector thru negotiations.
I became the PBA president in 69' and would hold that position for the next 15 yrs. during that time, my team and I successfully negotiated 7 two year agreements with the town including generous health care plans and a shorter 4 day work week as appossed d to the former 6 day week. Some of these items, I'm proud to say, are still in effect today as times were much different than today's financial climate.
You can talk all you want about legislative changes out of Albany. It simply won't happen as the down state unions are too powerful and have the resources to keep it from happening, believe me.In some way, iespecially NYSUT, are the equivalent to the NRA in their ability to control key downstate law makers.
But we don't need changes to any laws to arrive at amicable solutions to the plight of local Governments and School districts. It comes down to basic common sense and the acceptance of TODAYS. economic challenges and meaningful compromise to reach a fair and equitable solution.
Not to long ago, I told my active Union colleagues that the old days of making and getting demands are over, it's now time to start to help the district deal with it's financial burdens by why of modest concessions in the area if healthcare costs These costs are now out of control " budget busters". After that conversation, I did see a modest attempt by them to do jus that but I think the district wanted more.
My point is this, As strong a union leader that I was back in the day, I remain a union advocate with one caveat.
It's time for unions to throttle back, end their strident attitude, and embrace the realities of today's economy and give a little. In so doing they will become contributors to the resolution of the problem instead if the problem. Add to that an acknowledgement of this gesture on their part, would go along way to change the publics perception and negativity attached to public employee unions. One can only hope.











Anonymous said...

Nicely stated in a video, do you have the guts to post it scats where someone might view it? I doubt it, if you do post this link, it will be at the bottom somewhere where no one can find it.....Enjoy.
What have American unions done for u?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iObqguaNDdA

SCATS said...

To 4:29PM ~~ To get top billing, you need to provide something worthy & related to Greece. Otherwise, your comment gets posted in the ORDER IN WHICH IT'S RECEIVED, just like all the others.

Anonymous said...

The video is worthy, you just don't want anyone to see it as it shows just how wrong you are.

SCATS said...

To 9:02PM ~~ That's YOUR opinion, nothing more. You got the same treatment as most on here. Be thankful, or get your own BLOG & promote whatever you want.

Anonymous said...

4:51 Unless you got a letter that started with "Greetings from the President of the United States" and report To AFEES Bflo or any other induction center your choice to put your "Life on the line" is your career choice. You do it for a pay check. You are not a conscript get over your self.

SCATS said...

To 8:49PM ~~ You make an excellent point, ty.