Wednesday, January 28, 2015

OPEN LETTER TO GREECE BOARD OF ED



Ref:
A) A public vote is scheduled March 24, 2015 seeking approval for a $35 million Capital Improvements Project, and an $8.5 million District Athletic Stadium.

I am writing to ask for answers to two questions Re: a scheduled March vote (Ref A):

Q#1: Does the Board of Education have a documented position/policy stating reasons why a special vote is necessary/preferable for the CIP and Stadium projects in March vis-à-vis voting in May at the regularly scheduled school district vote?  If there is, how can I obtain a copy?

Q#2: If the Board does not have such a documented position, for what reason(s) did the Board chose to schedule or otherwise approve a special vote in March?

I look forward to your reply... and thank you for your attention.

George R. Hubbard
Resident of GCSD

SCATS ~~ Expect to hear the crickets chirp!
   

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not go to meeting and ask items in person

SCATS said...

To 4:35PM ~~ Surely you must jest!! They do NOT respond to questions. On a good day, they might tell you they will look into it and get back to you. Usually they don't ... or don't respond with the info requested.

Anonymous said...

That's maybe true but I think letter to them will have the same result.

SCATS said...

To 6:21PM ~~ Letters to the Editor are usually intended to bring community attention to an issue. If they result in a response, I'd say it's a bonus. Sometimes, they embarrass the target into responding, something that happens quite a bit, based upon personal experiences.

Anonymous said...

I got a HappyMeal coupon says ain't anybody on the Board of Entertainment knows what that vis-a-vis talk means.

They ain't real smart unless it's talking dirty talk or stealing money from children.

Anonymous said...

George has asked 2 serious questions.

What are some possibilities for serious answers?

Anonymous said...

To: 4:35PM

If Hubbard wanted an answer just for himself, why would he write an "open letter"?

SCATS 6:21PM - your experience shows through!

The letter should be is a wakeup call for the Board and the community.

Anonymous said...

LOL Who reads that fish wrapper. Did it go in the Dand C.
might get a few more looks.

SCATS said...

To 10:04PM ~~ You won't like the REAL answers. Q. 1 - There is NO such policy.
Q. 2 - It has been stated previously that having a separate vote helps to ensure a yes vote for ALL items.

That's the truth.

To 10:17AM ~~ I didn't post at 6:21PM. You are correct that it should be a wake up call, but the Sheeple of Greece are in a deep, deep coma.

Anonymous said...

Answers Because they legally can 2 voter confusion over the new 2% cap and that bond issues that are separate from the budget cap restriction and don't count against cap

Anonymous said...

To: SCATS 12:45PM

"Stated previously" by who, where and when?

In writing by BOE?

SCATS said...

To 11:19PM ~~ By me on various threads. Originally, by Lou Alaimo back when he worked here.

Anonymous said...

GCSD sells the accessory package in March... taxpayers buy the car in May... and pay with 15 yr time payment!!

SCATS said...

To 7:58AM ~~ Actually, it's more like an OPTIONAL package in March. Much of what is on the Cap. Improvements list are noncritical/nonessential items. In addition to a lighted stadium with turf, there's a bus wash, storage bldgs at ten schools, new playgrounds and a bunch of other such projects including lots and lots of paving jobs. They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel of their projects list to fill them with this sort of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Bus wash has been eliminated from the proposal

Tom Kackmeister said...

After George's letter appeared, I rewrote my letter and submitted the following to the Post:

Last week a writer sent an open letter to the Greece School Board. The writer sought the school board's reasoning for selecting March 25 to vote on a proposed capital spending budget.

In case the school board does not answer publicly, I will speculate on their reasoning. Maybe, just maybe, the board is aware that many Greece residents fly off to warmer climates for the months of February and March. And the board may just be aware that many of those residents are regular voters who like to scrutinize how their school tax dollars are being spent. Maybe, just maybe the
board may want to avoid that scrutiny.

Please don't call me cynical. Be aware however, that I do have a keen sense of the obvious!

I am personally agnostic on most of the capital projects. However if we are asked to vote in March, I will certainly vote no and urge others to do the
same.

Tom Kackmeister

Anonymous said...

To: SCATS 11:25AM

Sounds like admin has lack of trust for voters... taxpayers/owners who pay the bills will make decisions in best interest of district.

SCATS said...

To 11:12AM ~~ As of when?

To Tom K. ~~ Just an FYI, the scheduled vote date is March 24th ... not the 25th. As for your theory, I'm sure that's part of it. Again, the in-school vote (resident employees, parents in the bldgs, etc) will carry the item given the pathetic turnout in recent times.

To 12:13PM ~~ That lack of trust is a TWO-WAY STREET!

Anonymous said...

Over a month ago.

SCATS said...

To 2:24PM ~~ SHOW ME A DATE! They continued posting it with papers on BoardDocs well into January.

Anonymous said...

Can't do that. U will have to wait until revised CIP is presented before the vote.

george hubbard said...

To: 11:46AM - Thanks Tom K.

1. Your point about'...voters who like to scrutinize how their school tax dollars are being spent...' leads into other important points.

2. The vote on Mar 24 is not to make two isolated yes/no decisions, but rather approving $43M in the context of a $200M+ budget and the purchase of buses 8 wks later.

3. For voters, these are matters of prioritizing their ongoing RATE of spending, not making isolated purchases. These are commitments in future years.

4. In the way of information in March, what will voters be told about measures of academic achievement (eg graduation rates), tax rate, enrollment, debt service, fund balance etc that should be made available prior to the May vote?

Comments from others invited.

SCATS said...

To 9:29AM ~~ TY for proving the point that what WE, the community, is given is NOT what they plan!

Just got my "save the date/s" card from GCSD in the mail. It tells people NOTHING they need to know.

Let's face it, until they decided to buy 4 acres on Latta Rd. they were going to squeeze a bus wash in. Now they are going to buy land first and hope they get approval later on. Wouldn't it be funny if the voters let them buy the property, but then make them keep it vacant? lol

SCATS said...

To George H. ~~ Look at your mailing (postcard). WHAT do they tell us??

Anonymous said...

What voters? You mean all 3,000 of them and that could be a bit of areach.

SCATS said...

To 3:23PM ~~ The number shouldn't matter when we are talking about the DUTY of the BOE & DO to inform us.

Anonymous said...

To: 10:56AM

George, what does voter approval of CIP and a stadium have to do with grad rates?

SCATS said...

To 10:28AM ~~ The CIP list at this point is largely for non-essentials, things like playgrounds, parking lot/bus loop reconfigurations, storage bldgs. etc. Also, for a turf field with lights & stadium. If GCSD isn't meeting the marks academically, MAYBE the $$ ought to be spent getting the kids educated first. The TRUTH is, Greece has cut all kinds of educational programs & services in the last 10 yrs. while trying to service poorer kids & kids with special needs. If they aren't graduating, doing well in their classes, then the FOCUS MUST BE CHANGED.

EDUCATION SHOULD TRUMP SPORTS!

george hubbard said...

To: 10:28AM

1. SCATS 11:02AM has made several good points... most specifically . ‘If GCSD isn't meeting the marks academically, MAYBE the $$ ought to be spent getting the kids educated first.’

2. Draw a circle around GCSD and voters should ask... how much money is going in... and what’s being delivered in return? Does BOE prioritize total spending (operating budget and capital) to get results?

3. Graduation rate is important measure of results, but not the only important measure. Think of it as symbolic of a basket of important academic measures.

4. Booklet, “ENVISION Greece 2017”, pg 34 shows:

Year_____Grad___Grad
_________Rate___Rate
________Acual__Target
2008-09__80%
2009-10__85%
2010-11__85%
2011-12__86%

2012-13____?____88%
2013-14____?____90%

4a. What are the actual Grad Rates for 2012-13 and 203-14 (last year)?
4b. Will March voters be told how effectively the money is being spent?
4c. What are the target values for 2014-15 and going forward?

Anonymous said...

The mechanism for separate voting making proposals pass is that is exaggerates the already too-large power of the in-school vote. By making out-of-school voters turn up multiple times on different days for different issues, it guarantees that they won't show up at all.

It would be a valuable contribution to democracy to have all school-related votes held at the ordinary political polling places. Make it just as hard for staff to vote as it is for the rest of us.

SCATS said...

To 9:15AM ~~ Based on the tiny postcard mailing, I don't think they really plan on telling us much info either. Don't blame it on locations. It's the COMMUNITY's fault.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, changing the location still makes a huge difference. By making voting just as inconvenient for staff as it is for the rest of us, it reduces if not eliminates the incentive to suppress voter turnout.

Today low turnout means that the party line is adopted, because mainly insiders vote. But change the location and low turnout would mean anyone who can organize a small group turnout can outvote the staff, and to prevent that the district would have an incentive to pump up turnout.

SCATS said...

To 7:24PM ~~ Are you saying the March vote won't be at standard polling places?? Where is that documented?

Even though I agree with your premise, the bottom line is that it is THE COMMUNITY's fault for not showing up, regardless.

Tom Kackmeister said...

I got my post card Feb 2. It told me I could request an absentee ballot.

1. Most of those snow birds left before Feb2.

2.Post cards are not forwarded.

Gosh darnit!

Smart thinkers over there at GCSD!

SCATS said...

To Tom ~~ Oh yes! They have honed their methods to a fine edge.

Joe M said...

From my perspective , the district is at fault in one particular area regarding the March vote.
They knew what was going to be in the proposed CIP before the first of the year. When they decided to move the vote to March, in all fairness, an informational meeting and associated press releases should have taken place in early January . This would have given the snow birds the facts they would need to formulate an opinion on the issue and be in a position to cast an"informed absentee
Ballot " vote.
Instead with the full knowledge that these residents as a rule .will always vote NO on anything proposed by the district that will raise their taxes one thin dime.
So was there a method to their format? The answer is an obvious YES.
As I see it, in this case there were three scenarios in place, THE RIGHT WAY, THE WRONG WAY AND THE GREECE CENTRAL WAY.
The right way would be to present all your facts. Make your best argument for the proposal and let an informed electorate make their wishes known and be done with it after the vote results are known.