Thursday, June 19, 2014

GCSD Change Defies Common Sense



At the April 8th Greece School Board meeting, the Board of Education voted to change Greece Central's "official newspaper" to the Rochester Business Journal. The Daily Record was designated for instances where a second publication needs to be used. These new publication choices replaced the Greece Post and the Democrat & Chronicle for announcing the district's business.

When the recent election and budget vote was held, the new publications were used for the first time. Afterwards, many people remarked they didn't even know Greece Central was having a vote. Turnout was ridiculously low. This was but one of many changes, but it was mentioned by some who noticed there was NO notice in the usual places.

Of course, it's doubtful that many of this school district's residents either subscribe to or read either of the two newly designated "official newspapers." In light of the growing number of families with children receiving free/reduced lunches, it seems odd that a free newspaper like the Greece Post would be replaced by the less readily available and/or known Rochester Business Journal. The same is true of the Democrat & Chronicle which is sold in stores all over town and found in waiting rooms everywhere.

With all of this in mind, how does it make sense that the Greece Central School District chose to print the most recent Honor Roll lists in the Greece Post? If you are going to say it's because that's where district families would find and read them, then why isn't the Greece Post still used to announce something as important as a school district budget vote and Board of Education elections?

Once again, Greece Central decision-making under the current administration and school board leadership defies common sense. I believe they wanted people to stay away from the polls

 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I agree with your argument, it's shear speculation as to their motivation. Is it as you suggest, an attempt to keep voter turn out low? Or were there other factors involved.
While they have an obligation under the law, to publish notice of a budget vote, the manner in which they choose to do it is the responsibility of the Board itself. As once they approve it, they own it as it now becomes their budget.
However I disagree with your thinking that use of more visible forms of such notification , would ultimately lead to a much larger turn out.
I'm of the opinion that you could place notices In , ipublic places, hang banners from our bridge overpasses ,even fly the Goodyear blimp overhead and it wouldnt make much of a difference. People in Greece just don't care enough to get off their butts and vote. Preaching to the choir won't change a damn thing. Not in this town.

Anonymous said...

Where's the school names? It's just one big district list.

SCATS said...

To 7:07AM ~~ I'm sorry to inform you, but you are WRONG! "The manner in which they choose to do it is the responsibility of the Board itself" is NOT what the law dictates in NY. In fact, it appears to me that a very good argument can be made that they violated the law with the change they made.

According to NYSED: "The clerk of each school district shall give notice of the time and place of the public hearing and annual meeting as required by §§1608, 1716, and 2022 of the Education Law. The published notice shall appear four times within the seven weeks preceding the district meeting. The first publication shall be at least forty-five days before said meeting. The announcement shall appear in two newspapers, if there are two, having general circulation within the district. When no newspaper has general circulation therein, the notice shall be posted in at least twenty of the most public places in the district forty-five days before the time of such meeting. (Education Law, §2004)"

Even Irondequoit got 6000 people to vote. Greece CAN do better ... but the powers that be have to want it.

To 10:14AM ~~ Perhaps things have sunk so low it would be an embarassment if we were to see how few kids made the list at certain schools ... like Odyssey maybe.

Anonymous said...

Scats, your missing my point entirely. IT DOESNT MATTER HOW MANY FORMS OF PUBLIC NOTICE THEY PROVIDE, IT DOESNT MATTER AND WOULDNT MAKE ONE BIT OF DIFFERENCE, This is Greece for God's sake. NOBODY GIVES A CRAP,!!
Voters and taxpayers in other towns make it their business to be better informed and vote accordingly. Sad but true. Add to this fact, that there now is a 2% tax cap! more reason to stay home. Irondeqouit tried to beat the cap and had their heads handed to them not once but twice.

SCATS said...

To 4:33PM ~~ Why do you think it is that no one cares in Greece?

Anonymous said...

Look at the very low percentage of Greece residents who read and post here. Or care to advocate for reform in Town or School changes elsewhere.
You advocate that you have a huge? readership, but reality is that you don't! Percentages don't lie.
4:33 hit the nail on the head.

SCATS said...

To 5:33PM ~~ There you go, putting words in my mouth again. I never said "huge" but it is LOTS MORE THAN MOST OF YOU CARE TO ACKNOWLEDGE :D

Anonymous said...

Scats, perhaps my comment about people in Greece was a little too harsh
There are varying degrees of caring and not caring about what goes on in the town you choose to live and raise your children.Not caring is one thing but I think the real problem comes in the form of a general conception of lack of empowerment . The feeling of being frustrated along with sense of hopelessness Hopelessness in terms of general feeing of nothing I do or say is going to make a difference., so why try.
As a long time resident of Greece, I have observed this disturbing trend grow year after year.
Our current leaders recognize this fact and take full advantage of this general malaise to keep power and control of everything that takes place in Greece.
In the not too distant past, you could always count on our large senior population to show up at polling
places regardless their physical disabilities However with passage of time, most have passed and been replaced by people with a different mindset caught up in today's
Busy lifestyle leaving little or no time to get involved in the democratic process called voting. Thus the low turn out as voting is just not on their radar screens.
In my opinion, what is needed is the emergence of a strong voice belonging to a strong personallity , someone you can trust and believe in to lead the way.A Messiah of sorts. The question is does this person exist and will he or she make their presence known. Maybe this person has yet to come to Greece.
Personnally I feel someone new to Greece is just what would be needed. Someone from the outside who would be more objective in his approach to bring about positive change.Someone not tainted by the closed door corrupt political system hell bent on keeping power and resisting a possible change in the attitude of Greece residents armed with new hope and ideas for our future. This scares the living hell out of our local leaders that inspite if their best effort to thwart such a movement, it could become a reality and put an end to the backward thinking that keeps thing the way they like it.

SCATS said...

To 7:01AM ~~ I agree with you partially. I believe our leaders are the ones who have honed this attitude! Here's an example. When one of my kids was young, I went to the school to complain about a so-called "reading incentive program." In reality, it was a fundraiser that benefitted the teachers more than the kids. Without going into all of the sordid details, we offered to buy medals to give to EVERY child who read a book (instead of just the "top readers" who raised the most $$). In so many words, we were told to butt out, that we are not allowed to "advocate" for anyone but our own child! It only takes a couple of those types of situations for parents to realize the school district isn't worried about putting education first!

IMHO, nobody from the outside will ever be able to do what you suggest needs to be done. Because they don't know or understand how things work, they will be quickly chewed up & spit out as the bureaucrats move onto their next hurdle.

As for seniors voting, I see it differently. The complex system of tax exemptions including STAR combined with the 2% cap, the inability to vote "no" on sports & busing, added to the frequent DISRUPTION to the voting locations & process has kept them at home. I asked a few of my elderly neighbors since the May 20th vote if they know when/where to vote on the school district budget. Only one was aware the vote had come and gone. NONE of them knew where to go to vote on school budgets. They stated they received no postcard telling them when/where to go vote (GCSD stopped sending them this year!) and asked why there were no signs for candidates scattered about town.

Anonymous said...

No signs, or few?? I rememeber clearly in another thread u posted on voting, u ripped someone a new one when they corrected u that there were in fact signs.

SCATS said...

To 2:21PM ~~ Since we're talking senior citizens, I can only tell you what they reported to me. I know there were a few ... very few compared to past elections.

Anonymous said...

I inquired why the paper publication was switched as I certainly don't subscribe to the business journal. It was the board clerks decision to switch papers. Even though it is perfectly acceptable for other districts to still advertise in the post apparently she felt it wasn't. Maybe next year the results will come in before 11:30 at night.

SCATS said...

To 10:51PM ~~ Since the BOE began allowing their clerk to run so many district functions, things have gone steadily downhill ... except for her salary. We can thank Julia for that, since she hired her buddy for the job.

I wonder if/when the BOE will grow a pair & use their power to get things back on track? I'm not holding my breath. I still think this change puts GCSD at odds with the requirements under the law.