School board cuts $2 million from budget

Sports and extracurricular activities dominated discussions Wednesday evening as Perkins Schools leaders agreed to hike pay-to-participate fees and eliminate 15 staff members.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jun 13, 2013

 

The topic was fitting for the packed Perkins High School auditorium, where more than 200 people cheered on their side of a contentious levy debate with applause and praise.

Reductions approved Wednesday totaled about $2 million, a result of a failed May levy and state funding cuts, board members said.

Pay-to-participate fees for high school students increased to $730 per sport for the upcoming school year, up from $150 approved in April. Costs for dual enrollment classes, clubs and music activities also increased substantially for high school and middle school students.

“I don’t approve of this, and I don’t think you guys understand,” a mother shouted from the back of the crowded auditorium. “I want my son’s senior year to be a good one, not ‘mom and dad couldn’t pay for me to play my sports.’”

Board president Matt Koisor told parents no board members think the cuts are a good idea, however, they do recognize their necessity.

“Unfortunately we only have a certain amount of money to balance our budget,” Koisor said. “None of these cuts are cuts we want to make.”

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If township voters approve the district’s August levy, the reductions could be reversed and pay-to-participate fees will return to normal, superintendent Jim Gunner said. The district is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill levy, nearly 2 mills larger than its May proposal.

Before Wednesday’s cuts, Perkins Schools was projecting a $2.3 million deficit for the upcoming school year, with a budget of about $21 million, according to its most recent five-year financial forecast. It was set to spend all its reserve cash by 2015.

In early April, board members approved two rounds of permanent cuts totaling $12 million for the next four years. 

In addition to sports fees, several parents also voiced concerns Wednesday about cuts to music and art programming.

Conversation was calm, but tense, until parent Jason Dulaney commanded attention with an objective perspective. He criticized the board’s ineffective communication strategies, but also reprimanded voters for going to the polls without proper knowledge of the issues.

An angry “no” vote doesn’t punish board members or administrators — it only punishes students, said Dulaney, a levy supporter.

“I don’t want you to vote ‘yes’ and I don’t want you to vote ‘no,’” he said. “I just want you to vote informed.”

Levy committee members, many district parents, remained in the auditorium after the meeting to recruit supporters for their cause. They will kick off their campaign with a meeting 7 p.m. Monday in the Perkins High School cafeteria.

Township voters haven’t approved an emergency operating levy for the district since 2000.

Perkins Schools cuts approved

•Furry Elementary School: 3 teachers (art, music, physical education)
•Meadowlawn Intermediate School: 5 teachers (art, music, computer, gifted, physical education)
•Briar Middle School: 2 teachers (computer, music), 1 guidance counselor
•Perkins High School: 2 teachers (health, Chinese)
•District Office: 1 communications director, 1 EMIS secretary, full pay-to-participate fees

TOTAL SAVINGS: About $2 million for upcoming school year

Pay-to-participate fee amounts approved

•High school athletics: $730 per sport
•High school extracurricular clubs: $150 per club
•High school band or choir: $220 per music participation
•Middle school athletics: $185 per sport
•Middle school clubs: $150 per club
•High school dual enrollment classes: $300 per class per semester

Comments

fifteenthgreen

Ugh!

Tribester

Too bad you had to sign up by the end of May like it clearly states on the application you linked to. Reading comprehension, something they teach at Perkins schools, you should look into it!

JEF

Applications are still being accepted. Thank you.

Strong Schools ...

Facts on why you should support our students in August...Vote Yes!

• Perkins, Sandusky & BGSU partner on $7.28 million National
Science Foundation Grant to fund a five year project titled
“iEvolve with STEM” ( Inquiry and Engagement to Invigorate and
Optimize Learning for Everyone with Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics). Supporting partners include
Ohio State University Stone Lab, the University of Toledo,
Lourdes University, Owens Community College, the Toledo Zoo,
Metroparks of the Toledo Area, and Erie County Soil and Water
Conservation District.The goal of the iEvolve with STEM project
is to substantially increase student achievement on state and
national science standards and to increase student interest in
science as a pursuit and as a career.

Bherrle

Folks - if you disagree with the way the school is approaching any facet of educating our communities children, including technology, athletics, languages, etc, and how it is spending funds to that end, then vote out any board member you see fit. Better yet, it seems that a lot of you know exactly what all the problems are, and what the solutions are, so how about putting your name out there for a school board position. Put your ass in that seat and let's see how you do?

It's very easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback. It's very easy to criticize our leaders, especially on a blog behind fake screen names. It's also very easy to mis-represent the facts with your opinion, for or against.

My name is Brad Herrle. What is yours? (That is directed at everyone on this blog, No Votes and Yes Votes.) Shame on me, but I am coming to the party late. I am just starting to get involved after moving here two years ago. But I am where I am, and I am educating myself. I don't have all the answers, and I don't know all the facts, yet. But I know this. The current board was elected, not appointed. They are representing the community via an election. Whether you agree with them or not, they are our local leaders, doing what they feel is in the best interest of our childrens future and future generations childrens futures, and I will argue that point with anyone. If you think they are being "selfish", you are misguided. That includes their direction on building new facilities, whether you agree or not. They deserve more respect than a lot of you are showing them. It is possible to agree or disagree without the personal attacks, insults, and rhetoric. If your point is a sound one, all you need is the facts. The facts, not your intrepratation of them, for or against.

The majority of voters have voted no several times to funding the idea of new facilities via new levies. That's everyones right. But that does not mean that the Superintendent and the Board should stop exploring other ways to fund facility repair, or new facilities, if that's what they feel is needed. They need to do so within the law, which to my knowledge they have not broken. It's their job to think 5-10-15-20 years down the road. If you want that responsibility, then run for the board, or get someone else to run and vote for them. You don't like their ideas, vote them out!

I personally would have voted yes in 2010 had I lived here, and I voted yes in May to both levies, the renewal and the additional levy. That's my right. I am of the opinion that our current facilities are inadequate. Simply comparing them to what I had when I was in school 20-30 years ago is not enough. Simply comparing them to neighboring facilites in the county is not enough. We have to think forward, nationally, and globally. That's the world we live in. I don't have all the answers to these problems, so I will continue to educate myself, and I will excerise my right to choose new leadership in November if I feel that any board member is deserving of being replaced. But I will not intentionally defund our schools to force out a Superintendent, or a Board.

Thomas Paine

Bherrle- Well said!

Edwin Ison

Bherrle,
The voters have not defunded? the schools at all.
The voters just recently approved a renewal levy.
Actual funding has been increased through the 20 mil adjustment.

Bherrle

Edwin - thank you for the information. I did not choose my words correctly. What I was referring to in that statement is the rumor (perhaps fact) that there is a petition going around that if signed states one will vote for the levy in august, if Gunner and all of the board resign. That is totally irresponsible, in my opinion. That is the public trying to be the board.

In my opinion, we are effectively "defunding" our schools by not being willing to raise millage at all in 13 years. By not being willing to replace the $2 million plus the state is taking away.

Let me be clear - I am not a Kool-Aid drinker. As I learn more, I certainly see mistakes that were made. I am not a blind yes vote. I choose to separate my levy vote from my board vote, and I think it is wrong of anyone who is combining them. But that is their right.

fifteenthgreen

I think you eventually can be one of those but you are too new to the district and have much to learn. Keep at it! We've been here our entire lives, have been served by several administrations and witnessed all the good and bad that goes with being a close community. This current crisis does not define what we used to be or where we're going!

Bherrle

I don't know who it started with, don't know enough historical fact yet. I am not aspiring to be on the board. If I were asked to run at some point in the future, I would consider it, and perhaps I would decide to run on my own at some point in the future, but that would not be a wise direction for me to take right now.

Bherrle

Fifteenth, it sounds to me that you perhaps live in the district. Do you? If so, why do you say "your board?" It is the board of Perkins Schools. Our board. They are elected representatives of the residents of Perkins Township. I'm trying to urge everyone to stop using any language that is divisive. No matter their position on the issues. It helps nothing, it only drives those of differing opinions further from coming around to your way of thinking.

I appreciate your opinion of me, or of my potential. I want to learn about and from the past, but at the same time the past is the past. We need to define what we are now, and what our future and the future of others will be.

eriemom

He lives in the district, but sent his kids to SMCC

fifteenthgreen

Who? Beherrle?

Bherrle

No, I live in the district, a 7 Iron from the Middle School and a Driver (with some roll) from the High School, and both of my daughters are and will stay in the district.

Take it from an outsiders perspective who has lived in Western PA, South Central PA, and now here. This is a very good district, we choose it over many other schools in Erie, Huron, Seneca, and several other counties, when we moved here in 2011. But not because of the low millage. It was because of the progressivness of the academic program. I knew the millage would have to go up in the first few years we lived here. Saw that coming before our family moved from York, PA.

I'm not saying the board or Supt. Gunner is perfect, but I am saying that I feel priveleged to live in this district and send my kids to its schools. We would have applied for open enrollment into Perkins had we not found a home in the district.

Nemesis

Bherrie:That is the public trying to be the board.

No, that is the public asserting, correctly, that the board is their subordinate, or did you miss the week in Civics class that they discussed the whole consent of the governed and government by, of, and for the people thing?

You say you're not a Koolaid drinker, but answer this - have you ever voted no on a levy in your life?

Bherrle

Nemesis,

The answer to your last question is yes, I have. More times than I have voted yes. Now answer this - Why does that matter in June 2013 in Perkins Township, OH??? What does that answer have to do with the circumstances facing this community right now?

To your first point, I did not miss that week. You are right, the board is subordinate. So vote them out. Holding a perverbial gun to their head (do this or else) is not treating them as subordinate, it's treating them as "submissive", in my opinion. There is a difference.

Elections ensure that we have a government by, for, and of the people.

fifteenthgreen

Who's holding the "proverbial gun" to who's head???

Bherrle

If it is in fact true, my opinion is that the petition indicating one will vote yes to the levy if Gunner and board resign is the "gun". If one wants any board member out, simply vote them out.

Some will, and have, characterize the boards vote on Monday as the same "gun." "Scare Tactics" it is being called by some. I disagree. This is scary, but real life is sometimes scary. What the board did was vote to approve a plan that is by law required to be reported to the state, as an in balance budget. That doesn't mean they can't change what will actually happen, before or after the August vote. They are putting out there what they think is the best plan for the district at this point in time. They are doing their job, whether we agree or disagree with the outcome of their vote.

Strong Schools ...

Vote Yes!

• Perkins is the only school district in the area that has both a full
day regular kindergarten program and a specialized half-day
“Little Pirates” program.

citizen

Gunner not only thinks a new high school facility is more important than educating students, he now also thinks each student having their very own Apple laptop is more important than having teachers in the school! Take the $2,500,000 and assume it costs the district (taxpayers) $100,000 per year for a teacher (including benefits... and that is being generous)... I just saved the Perkins School district 25 teachers. Bottom line is Gunner could save 25 teaching positions by eliminating the $2.5M annual spend on laptops. He chose Apple laptops over teachers. Gunner's choice, not no voters.

This is a case of inept leadership, weak decision making and a culture of threats and deceit towards the taxpayers.

If Perkins Schools is such a PR disaster, why in the world are the taxpayers paying over $100k per year to have a communications director? A position that is not needed, as admitted by Gunner, held by an individual who according to you is inept at his job.

Why keep giving this Board and Gunner more money when it's clearly evidenced they are not fiscally responsible in the least ($2.5M annual expense for personal laptops; $3M loan to design a new high school when they are now lying to the community and saying that project is on hold; $100k/year for an ineffective and unneeded communications director; stealing millions of operating money from the students and teachers set to actually provide an education and arts/athletics etc to students and moving the money to build a new high school building after multiple no votes from taxpayers)

RMyer

I'm sorry, but where did you get that annual laptop expense number? The info I received from the district office is much lower.

citizen

The district. It's the annual cash expense.

Individual Apple laptops for every student >>> 25 teachers.

Only in the reality of Gunner and Board.

Nemesis

and just switching to Windows laptops would still save 13 teachers.

fifteenthgreen

How much did they tell you, RMyer?

RMyer

Here is the answer I just rec'd. The treasurer is out of the office until later today. She said that if the $2.5 million was correct, then there wouldn't be enough money in the p.i. fund to meet the lease payments. I suspect I will get the same spreadsheet I got before. So, here is where I will leave this: please contact the treasurer directly and ask her for the same information. That way we can compare numbers later. I encourage community members to contact district officials directly rather than ask others who may or may not have the correct information. I try to teach students that they need to be diligent and careful to gather reliable information before presenting results or opinions.

fifteenthgreen

As a teacher, I would think that you would be willing to share your findings and present said information with us.

RMyer

We have a different philosophy about teaching. I believe it my job to teach how to think independently, how to analyze the source of information to determine its validity, what options to consider for how to find information, then proceed to your final destination. I do not believe it my job to always provide information; that makes for students who sit around waiting to have someone tell them things. Also, more than one person verifying information and then comparing later makes the conclusion more valid (I've had my students do that also). If I have the wrong information, I'll correct it and vice versa.

I also teach my students that if you are going to post on social media, then you should also stand behind what you post. You know who I am, what I do, and I have tried to post with respectfulness even when my statements disagree with others. You have not afforded me the same.

fifteenthgreen

$1,185,745 owed in 2012. Beesknees provided this information. Is that the figure you received? Just verifying and cross checking what you have. Keep up the posts. Informative!

RMyer

Nope, not the same figure. Remember, we were looking for the annual laptop cost. The number quoted above is from the State Auditor's report and is the principal payment on all computer technology obligations that were capitalized . A chunk of that payment is for technology infrastructure upgrades throughout the district to upgrade older equipment and lines that were less than effective. The upgrades to infrastructure would have needed to be done regardless of what computers the students were using. The obligations for the infrastructure upgrades and other computer equipment matures in 2014.

So the annual cost of the laptops is actually still lower than the number quoted above.

fifteenthgreen

Regardless of the cost, this is one program that will cost a few of your fellow teachers their jobs should the levy fail again. You have to assume that it will. I'm sure they would agree since their income stream runs out in two months. Sad to me that you, a teacher, would take a computer lease program or a stadium payment over a fellow teachers job. Would you be willing to trade places with one of them? Feel their fear? You answer is what? "Nope" Make the students provide their own computers. We did!

Strong Schools ...

Stay strong supporters! And another fact about Perkins Local Schools!

• If levy passes Perkins District will still be operating at 7 mils
lower than the state average.

JPB

Can someone explain to me why a "No" vote on an operational school levy is good for the students or the community?

citizen

My goodness, you cannot be that dense.

THIS IS NOT AN OPEARTIONAL LEVY. THIS IS A BUILDING LEVY.

Gunner and Board took out a $3,000,000 loan from Citizens Bank to design and plan a new high school so it is ready to go as soon as they can get a levy passed.

If this was truly an operations levy, I may vote for it (even though Perkins Schools currently operates with no fiscal restraint at all). But THIS IS NOT AN OPERATIONS LEVY.

THIS IS A BUILDING LEVY.

Strong Schools ...

Oh my goodness, are you still living in the past? The state budget changes weekly if not daily. The state is supposed to have their financial numbers submited bu July 1. As of now, they gave cut 2 million from Perkins. We got hit hard! We got hit more than other districts in our area. And we still could lose more money form the state.

We need to pass this levy so we can keep the amazing programs we have in place! The state has cut our budget and we have not passed a levy for new money in 13 years. It is time to do what is right for our students. Stay focused on today!!! We need to provide a bright future for our students and our community.

Citizen, get off the buildings and start attending board meetings!

Edwin Ison

Some would say it will keep the current leadership from saddling the community with a 50 million dollar debt it neither wants or needs.

This whole fiasco reminds me of the Ebeneezer Church building project.

citizen

Only in the mind of Perkins Schools administrators can an organization be on the brink of financial ruin and "dismantling" themselves, yet turn around and take out a $3 million loan to design new facilities.

Either they are lying to taxpayers, or they are so totally inept as leaders and strategists that their top priority while on the cusp of financial ruin is to build new facilities.

Strong Schools ...

Vote Yes and Support our Students!

• The cost per month for the average homeowner $25.76 for a
$150,000 home value.

pigeon farmer

It is time to force the students to give their soul to Jesus. KNOW JESUS NO BUDGET PROBLEMS. PRAYER IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO THE BUDGET SHORT FALLS!!!!!! Tear down the new stadium and build a shrine to JESUS.

Strong Schools ...

WHAT???

JPB

But the building is in the past and the situation is what it is. So your angry with Gunner/BOE and to teach them some kind of arbitrary reason and to show them they can't push you around, you are willing to harm the students, the community and therefore yourself. Even if your opinion is that Gunner/BOE made terrible choices and put the community's back against the wall, the only choice to not harm the student's at this point is to vote "Yes".

pigeon farmer

HIRE SARAH PALIN SHE HAS REAL EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE. CONSERVATIVE VALUES AND THE BIBLE WILL SAVE PERKINS SCHOOLS. TERMINATION OF NON-CHRISTIAN STAFF AND EXPULSION OF NON-CHRISTIAN STUDENTS IS THE FINAL SOLUTION.

Strong Schools ...

WHAT???

regstadtmiller

b

JPB

Everything I have learned indicates this is an immediate crisis for our schools, community and children. All that matters NOW is what are we going to do as parents and proud citizens to avert this crisis? Vote "Yes" to save our children's education!

fifteenthgreen

Not a crisis yet, JPB. The teachers being cut fortunately are getting paid through the summer. We don't go to the polls tomorrow. You still have time to educate the public and achieve the goal of saving teacher's jobs and assuring the children will get a quality education. It's hard work asking people for their money though, isn't it? There's good people on here that care. They just want to be heard. Keep at it!

AEversole

For all you people crying about the open enrollment and the students from sandusky going to Perkins, Don't you think that these kids that are our future workforce deserve the best education possible, or does that only apply to the kids whose parents make 100,000 a year . So the kids that are less fortunate can stay less fortunate, that makes sence. I realize that Perkins property taxes are high and if the levy passes they will raise, but theses kids deserve the opportunity to take art, music, and have extra activities that will mold these kids into successful well rounded and educated citizens. How can a single mom pay 730$ for her kid to play sports, what if she has two kids in high school together. WOW! It doesn't seem fair. I guess in Perkins only the wealthy get the good education and the poor have to settle for a cut rate ( poor mans) education. You rich snobs who cry about a few hundred dollars coming out of your pockets over the year are putting our future economy at risk. I don't know how you can sleep at night

AEversole

For all you people crying about the open enrollment and the students from sandusky going to Perkins, Don't you think that these kids that are our future workforce deserve the best education possible, or does that only apply to the kids whose parents make 100,000 a year . So the kids that are less fortunate can stay less fortunate, that makes sence. I realize that Perkins property taxes are high and if the levy passes they will raise, but theses kids deserve the opportunity to take art, music, and have extra activities that will mold these kids into successful well rounded and educated citizens. How can a single mom pay 730$ for her kid to play sports, what if she has two kids in high school together. WOW! It doesn't seem fair. I guess in Perkins only the wealthy get the good education and the poor have to settle for a cut rate ( poor mans) education. You rich snobs who cry about a few hundred dollars coming out of your pockets over the year are putting our future economy at risk. I don't know how you can sleep at night

Pirate Mom

Perkins property taxes are not high. They obviously are higher than most if your house is valued higher than most. Taxes haven't risen because of school levies in 13 years. My children are grown and gone but I will vote for this levy the way older parents did when my kids were in school.

Thomas Paine

JPB- Everything I have gotten from the district, from the county and others points to the same, thing, this levy is a need and a point of no return for the district. We can argue the what, when, why all day. The fact is this is where we are. If you feel the board and superintendent are equally responsible as the state and its policies for the mess then by all means vote out the board members. But the fact is it is an operational Levy. The reasons why it is are many. The PI money cannot be moved back to solve the problem, what is done is done. It is your right to disagree with the board and vote them out in November- but I 100% agree with Bherrie you cannot combine the board vote and the operational vote. I also agree that you cannot trade a yes vote for the ouster of the board and supt. That being said, maybe its time for the board to make a difficult and positive political move and fire Gunner? They may not want to do that, he may bring a lot to the table that the public doesn't see but he has been a polarizing figure in his short tenure. Right or Wrong. It wouldn't guarantee a yes vote but it may gain some public goodwill by the move. I will be voting yes strictly based on the info I have received and researched. Its not a vote of confidence in the board or Gunner by any means, but it is a vote of confidence that this community can move forward and get over the negativity.

Bherrle

Well stated Paine.

citizen

This levy is needed to build a new high school building.

If this levy is passed, when does construction start?

Recently, the Board and Gunner took out a $3,000,000 loan from Citizens Bank to design this building.

Why would they do this if the new facilities is "off the table."

I just want a straight answer on that. Gunner is calling this an operations levy... yet as soon as it is passed, they are going to start digging for the new school.

beesknees

There have been questions raised concerning the cost of the laptops. The following is lifted directly from the Perkins Local School District audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, page 42:

Capital Lease Obligation - Apple Equipment: During fiscal years 2009, 2011 and 2012, the District entered into capitalized leases for computers and equipment. All leases meet the criteria of a capital
lease as defined by FASB Statement No. 13, “Accounting for Leases” which defines a capital lease generally as one which transfers benefits and risks of ownership to the lessee. Capital lease payments have been reclassified and are reflected as debt service expenditures in the basic financial statements. These expenditures are reflected as program/fun ction expenditures on a budgetary basis. A total of $4,117,154 of computer equipment has been acquired under the capital leases. Of this total, $3,746,273 has not been capitalized as the computer equipment does not meet the District’s capitalization threshold. The remaining computer equipment, $370,881, has been capitalized as a capital asset equal to the present value of the future minimum lease payments at the time of acquisition. Accumulated depreciation on the capitalized computer equipment as of June 30, 2012, was $28,435, leaving a current book value of $342,446. Principal payments in the 2012 fiscal year totaled $1,185,745. This amount is reported as debt service payments in the debt service fund (a nonmajor governmental fund).

fifteenthgreen

Thank you, beesknees!

arnmcrmn

This forum has been taken over by all the non supporters. Can they close this already? Its not like we haven't heard the same thing over and over and over again.

beesknees

Information regarding the District’s general fund balance may be of interest. The following is extracted from the Perkins Local School District audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, page 9:

The District’s general fund balance decreased $2,280,651 during fiscal year 2012. During fiscal year 2012, the District authorized an unvoted permanent improvement levy and moved inside millage from the general fund to the permanent improvement fund. This action, as well as lower advances available from the Erie County auditor, resulted in a 14.41% decrease in general fund property tax revenue.

streak

I have one question that I need a yes or no answer too. Did the board spend 1.7 million dollars of taxpayers money to finish the stadium? Enough said, the leadership and fiscal responsibility has been terrible. This problem didn't happen over night, it has been years of not looking ahead and not being smart with money.

Bherrle

Yes. The facts as I know them are that $1.7M of taxpayer money was used to build a $3.4M stadium.

I also understand that it probably would have cost upwards of $1M or more to make necessary repairs to the old track and stadium, field, bleachers, etc.

In my opinion, it was a good decision. Perhaps poorly communicated to the public, but long term it was the right thing to do.

RMyer

Bherrie-if you have the time, follow this link to get an explanation of the past 7 year history of the facility issue. It will take a bit of time to read, but it will bring you up to speed since you mentioned that you were new to the district. Also, the facility reports are still posted on the district web page.

http://www.perkinsschools.org/Do...

Bherrle

Thank you R Myer. Appreciate help in getting right to the facts.

fifteenthgreen

bherrle is correct. 1.7 million was spent by the school district for the stadium.

My question is: Was the condition as bad as St. Mary's stadium? No. Because they obviously use Sandusky's stadium. Why didn't we use Huron's stadium as proposed until the funds were entirely generated through public donation, etc...? We had to know this crisis was on the horizon.

Strong Schools ...

There would be so many conflicts with the different sports at each school. The stadium is not just used for football. Other athletics and band use it daily. It would be a scheduling nightmare and it would not be effective to either school.

fifteenthgreen

Sandusky and St. Marys seem to manage the "scheduling nightmare". Been effective for decades. Track and soccer would be the only additional conflict and Mr. Burrows had that worked out with Margaretta, as well. Soccer could use another field. The band doesn't use it during the day and only one evening a week. Mute point now!

underthebridge

It isn't a good decision if you don't have the funds to operate the district. I was at BOE meetings when the repair of the stadium was suggested rather that replacement. There were even some alumni football players who suggested holding off at least one school year. We read the paper and Gunner says there was overwhelming support to replace the stadium. What meeting was he at because the ones that I attended did not overwhelmingly support replacement.

Thomas Paine

Beeknees you need to take the computer fund one step further. Yes they are paying 1.185745 million out of the debt service fund. My question would be where does the money that is in the debt service fund come from? Is it all public funds? Does it in include grants? Etc. As far as the general fund balance decreasing goes, what is the 14.41% actual dollar amount decrease. The district was still deficit spending even without the move. Now its 14.41% worse.(from these stats) I have disagreed with the millage move from the beginning. But the fact is we cant change the past so why dwell on it now. Lets move forward and fix the problems. The district is at a financial crossroad- The voters should be questioning what we can do to fix the issue. There are two parts to that 1) The levy is going to be needed no matter who is running the district. and 2) Who do we want running the district. Once again like Bherrie has stated as well its two votes. Not doing anything about #1 or turning it down will not change any of the negatives you have with #2. In fact I would be willing to argue doing that will have an even more negative impact while still having the same people running the district. Voting yes to #1 and no to #2 will correct each and every one of the negative viewpoints. Just ask yourself the question by voting no are you changing any of the things you are upset about? The people on the board are still going to be there- the decisions you disagree with are still going to be made in the same fashion. Please, please, please take the time to think about your vote. If its strictly a financial vote for you and you cant afford to pay more- I get those no votes. I haven't seen many of those naysayers on here. Look, I don't trust Gunner either, and I still think they will attempt to build the school too or at the very least renovate and repair- which some of us would agree too. Money is needed for that too. The millage move effectively gave them that money at the expense of operations- I don't agree with it, and I think it was a really dumb political move on the boards part but I get it. The fact is an operation levy has not passed in 13 years and only 2.9 additional mills have been approved in 18 years. If any business had to operate under school rules not many would succeed. The funding system needs to change- but that too is another vote.

bobshumway92

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

gene44870

The district is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill levy, nearly 2 mills larger than its May proposal. Perkins , what makes you think you can ask for this when you have been turned down time after time ? Not to mention if I reacall , the amount has increased each time you ask for another levy . You must think we are blind and stupid . or both
Expect another defeat in Augest

stayfit

They are asking the community, because as a whole the community failed them. Now they are running out of money and without a levy pass for a couple more years, the state will take over. The state will then run an operating levy and if that fails, they could shut down the school. Pay now or pay later. Voting no is voting against your interests even if its a boost to morale or gives you the stick it to the man feeling.

bobshumway92

Vote no for the kids

Pirate Mom

This situation is like your family savings. If your paycheck does not increase and bills increase because of inflation, you eat up your savings paying your bills. The savings decreases faster when your paycheck is cut. This is why more mills are needed every time the levy is defeated. Vote yes so the district can catch up to their bills.

citizen

You "think" they will attempt to build a new school? Gunner just took out a $3,000,000 loan to design the school. 3 MILLION DOLLARS.

This is not an operating levy. Call a spade a spade. This is building levy. It is to replace funds Gunner and Board removed from operations.

And yes, we can do something about it. We can move the operating funds back to operations.

The school district will still have to make cuts. But there is a lot of fat to trim. Namely a $100,000+ communications director and a $1,100,000+ individual laptop gift.

Because Gunner and Board decided a new building was more important than providing an education to the students (against taxpayer vote TWICE) we are just supposed to blindly give more money to Gunner and Board "for the kids?" No, I don't think so.

Gunner and Board were smart enough to get themselves in this mess against taxpayer voter, they can get themselves out of it. They do this by moving back operating funds to where they rightfully belong and start cutting the fat.

Thomas Paine

Streak, I don't know enough about the school contributions about the Stadium to make a comment. But I can tell you the financial mess is not All the Boards fault- some of those comments may make it seem like I believe that but I don't- Its a combination of the board and supt policy- and their lack of public and political awareness and ability to communicate effectively, a horrible system in the State of Ohio for funding that still is unclear of how it works- effectively making it impossible to plan ahead accurately, and finally a lack of support from the community. We all have some blame in this. I am not knocking the dedication, work, time and all the headaches each and every one of these board members have gone through, I actually commend them for their service and respect them for doing their job. They have taken a LOT of heat- some rightfully some not so-. But this is what the signed up for when they ran for the position. Its a thankless job.

Thomas Paine

Citizen- as stated in comments above the money cannot be moved back by state law. It also doesn't correct the deficit spending they were already doing prior to the millage move. I am still not sure if the laptop program has grant money coming in to offset or if its an actual expense from operations and public funds. But I am not a yes voter that is blindly giving money to the administration- The November vote is just as important to me to change the direction of the board and district. Is there a document showing the $3,000,000 loan out there? Just curious. I don't have enough toes and fingers to count how many times studies have been done and designs and plans made that have never been used,(which is just as bad as taking out the loan when we are in financial turmoil) its why I used the word think. But its a very loosely used word think. :)

Thomas Paine

I cant agree enough with the negative viewpoints of most of the people here. I just ask does a no vote accomplish what you feel needs to be done to correct anything you are upset about?

Thomas Paine

As far as the increased millage- It has been discussed before in other blogs but I will ask again to clarify why its being done. I am not willing to just take a negative viewpoint and not ask. Maybe the answer I get will create a negative viewpoint. Perkins SD isn't the only district that does that. Too many people can't seem to get past their own feelings about this and objectively look at the answers they get and the figures they are provided and make a educated decision on what best fits the situation and yours. This is exactly the attitude that I feel the board and supt have created and allowed to fester to a point that even if you try to get rational people to objectively look at what is needed (now that the damage has been done) they don't believe any of it, stop asking questions and just vote no out of principal only. This vote is too important to the community to do that.

fifteenthgreen

Q. And, third will the Board reconsider this decision of moving “Inside Millage” to fix the current operational funding problem?

A: No. Moving the “Inside Millage” back does not solve either problem:
facilities or day-to-day operations. Moving the “Inside Millage” back
abandons the facility problem to a more costly bond levy before the
community of at least 7.2 mils to renovate or replace the high school
alone. Moving the “Inside Millage” back does not solve the day-to-day
operational problems of the district. The staff cuts announced by the
Board will still be necessary to balance the budget. The best projections
show that in as little as two or three years the district will be in the same financial position needing an operating levy to prevent even further cuts.

fifteenthgreen

Q: Second, why did the Board decide to use “Inside Millage” to address the school facility issue instead of a direct bond vote before the community?

A: It was the most cost effective way to solve the school facilities problem, both now, and for the future. This method provides a permanent solution
to meet all facility needs now and for the future with one low cost levy.
Other solutions require three to four levies over a period of time at a much higher cost to the taxpayers. For a complete explanation read the narrative provided below.

fifteenthgreen

Q: First, why is the Board focused on school facilities as opposed to
academic programs and staff?

A: Three independent analysis show there are health, safety and security
concerns in our present schools that cannot be ignored. Quality school
facilities that provide a healthy, safe and secure school for our children are as important as the teaching and learning that takes place inside.

whocares

Merge with Sandusky and you can get rid of Gunner and your Board

bobshumway92

I agree

Strong Schools ...

So Bobby, You feel that we can't come together and solve these issues like adults. You should have more faith in your community members. We will get through this!

Stay Positive and Focused on the Students! Vote Yes!

fifteenthgreen

I still can't believe the comment towards the public in regard to the facilities issues. Thank you RMyer for reminding me with your link.

"But if your solution is to ignore the health, safety and security of our kids by failing to fix the school facility problem both now and into the future; or if your solution ignores the need for increased revenue to continue to operate a quality school system, then the Board does not agree with you and your solution. We were elected to oversee and lead the school system in the best interests of the students, schools, and community. Our solutions presented to the community do just that."

RMyer

The wording is not the way I would have presented it. But, let's look at the message. So far, no one that I am aware of has reviewed the financials regarding operations and building facilities and presented a plan that would take care of both and which is at a lower cost than the one presented by the board. Moving the inside millage back will still require another operating levy in a year and there will be no solution to the facility problem unless an additional bond levy is passed. There is no "quick and easy inexpensive" fix for the high school infrastructure and other issues. The only solutions offered so far are to ignore the building other than routine maintenance or just tear down the north end (well, those classrooms will have to be replaced with something-the rest of the building can't just absorb the students and space needed). If the north end is torn down and replaced, then I believe the whole building has to be brought up to modern building code.

I think the board would be very happy to hear a plan that will take care of both short and long term operational and facility goals and which is lower cost than the current plan.

fifteenthgreen

So as a PHS teacher, RMyer, you're suggesting that we build a brand new school and ignore the possibility of short term repairs? Is that what you're implying? As a teacher, you want to build a new school?

Bherrle

The board was not elected to do exactly what every taxpayer thinks they should do on every issue. Nothing would ever get done if they tried to do that. They were elected to do what they feel is in the best interest of the students, district, and taxpayers. You may disagree with the direction they choose. Fine, vote them out then.

I may not agree with every decision they make, but I am not willing to run yet, and I am not on the board. I applaud them for doing what they think is right despite the public outcry. Weren't they elected because a majority of voters felt they were the best people for the job who were willing to run? If they are such bad men, how in the hell did they ever get elected in the first place?

If I don't like any indivuals positions enough, I'll vote against them when/if they come up for re-election.

Thomas Paine

Fifteenthgreen. Your questions and answers proves that board and super aren't listening to anything the community is saying. I think most will agree to that. The millage move was political suicide. But the question still remains, if the millage is moved back, (The funds currently in PI cannot be moved back by state law) we still face the cuts, we run out of money to run the school and we have little to no money left to repair the school that has been neglected and the State comes in and addresses the millage issue. I am not arguing any of those points at all. My argument is there is a money issue no matter how we look at it, a levy hasn't been passed in 13 years. In November I will be voting out board members.

Lupinne

Blame George Bush!

Wald

Here is a question for the levy supporters: why do you automatically assume that someone casting a no vote is uninformed or doesn't understand the information? I understand the levy just fine. Because of mismanagement in the past, I don't trust the super or BOE to spend my tax dollars responsibly. It's not that I don't support the students or what have you, but I'm not going to give people I don't trust to be responsible my tax dollars. Why can't you accept that without assuming I'm "misinformed?"?

underthebridge

+1

Pirate Mom

I don't trust these people either but facts proven by professionals say that the facilities need to be fixed and it will only cost more later, either by renovating or rebuilding. My property values have a strong foundation in our schools. Does your statement mean that you did vote for the levies in the previous 13 years, because most of these board members were not part of the board then? With the way you and other bloggers have vocally stated your displeasure, sometimes bordering on slander, who exactly will you be voting for in November? Who will run?

citizen

First sentence is false.

Only the "professionals" that were paid by Perkins Schools say that.

Have you read the building inspector's report lately? Totally opposite all of Perkins' "experts" claims

Pirate Mom

Not false. I've seen the issues with my own eyes, after reading the reports. Please give me a time and date you would like me to take you to see what I've seen. I would like to show you what is there, without kids to distract you, keeping in mind the condition in which they are educated.

Common Sense

To "Wald",
I could accept that theory, but then tell us this:
1.) What do you consider "the past"?
2.) Many of those who insist they are voting against the levy ARE misinformed or lack any strength in their argument. The same occurs on the flip side of the levy.
3.) I turned my tax dollars over the the federal, state, and county government on a daily basis. I don't trust them with my dollars either, but there's a rather large, red "V" that adorns the front of the township building. Purpose? I would love to know as it looks as if its cost could be used for paving their lot.

Bherrle

I don't assume you are uninformed.

Thomas Paine

Fifteenthgreen I cant believe the arrogance either towards the facilities issues- the approach to this has been horribly managed and conveyed to the public. Its why I blame the board and supt for not getting a levy passed. However voting no in this election does nothing. My thought process is this, I am investing with a yes vote so the future board and supt has something to work with and hopefully realizes the first repairs that need to be done are the public trust and goodwill.

citizen

A no vote does do something.

Do you really think if this levy gets turned down again, Gunner and Board are going to go through with these cuts and build a new school on top of it. Remember, Gunner has stated on videos on the Register website if this levy does not pass, he will have to "dismantle the district" and that the Perkins community will "no longer have a school district."

Is he really going to "dismantle the district" but build a brand new high school building. A no vote stops Gunner and Board from building a new, unneeded, taxpayer-denied facility. VOTE NO TO STOP GUNNER'S BUILDING.

Edwin Ison

The majority of the Perkins community does not want a $50 million new building complex.
They also don't want a $30 million building complex.
If the school board would announce that the millage were to be moved back and a new, smaller levy were to be used for operations.
The money in the PI fund that cannot be returned be used to freshen up the current facilities, I bet the community would respond positively.
There are alternatives to the doomsday scenarios painted by Buddha.
You all remember the 8 day extravaganza to China?

Thomas Paine

Wald- It what the internet does- a lot of people on these boards are just negative with nothing to go on. Much like the naysayers that automatically assume a conspiracy is happening with no leg to stand on(there are plenty), the yes voters technically do the same thing and automatically assume as well and group any no voters with them.

Thomas Paine

Edwin, I would assume those alternatives have been looked at and debated by the board. This whole thing is really about the ability of the board to communicate with the public in a way that doesn't offend them. (which obviously isn't easy after reading some of the bizarre posts on here) I find it hard to believe they are intentionally sabotaging themselves and any hope of this levy passing by not looking at all the alternatives.

citizen

Gunner and the Board's only goal is to build an expansive, state-of-the-art, all the bells and whistles new campus. They will do WHATEVER it takes for that to happen (as has been demonstrated by their willingness to place their agenda above the education of the district's students against 2 taxpayer votes).

Edwin's ideas seem pretty reasonable and spot-on. If the Board would ditch this brand new building/campus idea, make some reasonable cuts, they wouldn't be in such a bad financial position. I'd then probably vote in favor of a new, smaller OPERATIONS levy. I will never vote for a BUILDING LEVY, particularly when the district is allegedly at the brink of financial ruin and about to dismantle themselves.... the LAST thing they need to do is start building new facilities.

Thomas Paine

Politically this administration has been atrocious.

citizen

Why do you keep insisting it's PR or politics they are bad at?

Gunner and this Board are not just bad at public relations and communications, they are terrible leaders. They are fiscally irresponsible. They lie and are deceitful. They prioritize building needs ahead of direct educational needs.

Please stop saying they are bad at communicating and PR. They are just flat out terrible leaders. Perkins Schools just had a $1M+ operating surplus last year. Perkins Schools are now on the brink of financial ruin, is what we are told by Gunner. He's the CEO of the school. That's not about PR. That's about being a horrible financial manager.

underthebridge

+1

eriemom

This is a financial fiasco. What is the job description of our treasurer? Doesn't she work for the Board as well?

Strong Schools ...

You need to put yourself in their seat. I have attended the board meetings and I feel they have been honest with their decisions. A lot of people have not attended the board meetings in the past and therefore they do not receive the factual information. They may not be the best communicators, but they do investigate different options to financially help our district. Their opinions were laid out earlier this year in a board meeting and they shared all of the oprions with the people. They chose the best option for our situation. They have kept us off the ballot for five years due to their financial responsibility. We are hurting due to state cuts. Everything you say is emotional and not factual!

Just Saying

Forgive me if my question has already been addressed here in this forum, but so not going to read through 642 comments to find out! Does anyone know if pay-to-play applies to students who are eligible for free or reduced lunches? And if so, how many open enrolled students get the free/reduced lunches??

Pirate Mom

The superintendent said at a recent meeting that free lunch candidates do not pay for pay to participate. The reduced lunch candidates will pay to participate. I don't know how many students are in either group.

Just Saying

Thank you for the information. Personally, I don't think free "sports" is along the same line as "free lunches". Sports is an extra, and should be paid by for all. Unfortunately, this fact will sway my vote.

Ibelieve2

This may be a law and although that may upset people, it is not any different from what happens in our world.

Strong Schools ...

Remember this fact is the law and is out of the district's hands. This is the LAW and we must follow it! Do not blame our students for the state lawmakers.

bobshumway92

Yes you can continue to open enroll your kid at Perkins. We will pick up the tab. Don't worry. Long live Sandusky.

Centauri

http://www.daytondailynews.com/n...
"Lower property values hurt school budgets"

http://watchdog.org/89142/ohio-s...
"Most Ohio property owners know that they can request a review of their property valuation, usually hoping to decrease the amount. When a property owner requests a valuation that is $50,000 or more lower than the existing one, the law requires notification to the local school district so it can participate or object to the request.

But very few people are aware the law also allows school districts to challenge low valuations and ask that they be raised. This usually happens when a property is sold, as the Hoenings discovered, and most often with commercial, rather than residential, properties."

Centauri

http://gordoncollege.collegefina...
"Undervalued property taxes result in less money collected for local governments, as well as schools, roads, and emergency services -- including fire, police, and ambulances."

"One way that undervalued property tax assessments affect home prices, however, is making certain neighborhoods more desirable to live in than others. For example, if a home in an exclusive neighborhood has undervalued property taxes, potential buyers might pay a little more than the appraised value in order to live in an area with a low tax footprint."

Centauri

http://www.fortunebuilders.com/r...
"15 most undervalued US cities according to Local Market Monitor:"
•Akron, OH – 22%
•Cleveland, OH – 21%
•Dayton, OH – 16%
•Columbus, OH – 16%
•Cincinnati, OH – 15%

I see a trend in Ohio where properties are sold for far more than what they are appraised for tax purposes. What are the real reasons why Ohio schools are hurting for money? Undervalued properties result in less property taxes for school and local governments.

Thomas Paine

Citizen- where are you getting the 1m+ operating figure?

citizen

Perkins Schools was just coming out of an over $1M+ surplus in the 2011-12 year.

I do not recall the exact number.

Thomas Paine

The figures I have from the school show a deficit over several years and explains why the levy is a higher figure everytime one fails and another is placed on the ballot. So I am having a hard time accepting your figure. I would like to see the source of your figure so I can read and understand it.

underthebridge

No. Open enrollment actually gave the district a surplus for many years. This is something the school district actually praised themselves for at multiple BOE mtgs (and they should).

Thomas Paine

And for the record I am not trying to be obnoxious. Just don't believe anything on either side of the issues and want my own opinion.

bobshumway92

Vote No

bobshumway92

Vote no.

PTBarnumWouldBeProud

Hey Bobshumway92....Just stick with your "vote no, vote no".....this way, you won't have to continually duck when someone swings the idiot stick. That welt has got to be about the size of a golf ball now, doesn't it? :-)

Strong Schools ...

VOTE YES! VOTE YES! VOTE YES!

PyrkinsPyrate

I rankly find it insulting that people will imply because the people who have no discipline and self control with their own bodies and health,living lives of excess, will be less likely to be good stewards of other people's money-after having unethically pried that money from the taxpayers hands. This is an unfair extrapolation of these people's character.

underthebridge

Gunner isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Educa...

sandusky2012

maybe some can ask why gunner has a salary of Gunner, James Superintendent Assignment Perkins Local Perkins Local $117,200.00 yr 235 days

http://www.tos.ohio.gov/Teacher_...

Fromthe419

Want to know why schools are having such a hard time passing levies? Our population is aging and most senior citizens can't afford higher property taxes. The current way schools are funded was determined unconstitutional and nothing has been done. Write your congressman and suggest an earned income tax to fund schools, this will put the burden on those that are working and take the burden from those on fixed incomes. In the smaller communities where the number of citizens retired is out numbering those working there will be no need to ask for a levy that will be shot down, they can just adjust the tax on those working to pay for the needs of the schools. No one that has worked their entire life to have a nice house should be forced out of it because of higher taxes when they are on a fixed income.

doppleganger

Maybe they should come up with something that requires people with children in the school system pay more than those who do not. If you have 5 kids in the system and no job, (not saying you do, just an example) and I have no kids and a very good job, why should I have to pay for your kids' education? Something to think about.

eriemom

You benefit even when your own children graduate. Your grandchildren benefit. Every citizen benefits because we have an educated work force. Every child should graduate and be prepared for more training/learning in preparation for their chosen vocation/career.

Bherrle

Eriemom is right, and I would add that a desirable school district enhances property value. Supply and demand, the more people want to move into the district, the more demand there will be for existing or new homes.

I used to feel the same way you do "doppleganger". But as I have experienced life, my viewpoint changed. Yes, I have kids in the district, but that does not make me biased.

character counts

Fromthe419 ..... Are you kidding me? You want all of the responsibility to lay on the working class because you want everything to remain as is for your comfortable lifestyle. The working class at this point is already taking a higher hit from the government, paying into a social security that they won't even receive any benefits from, raising families, buying houses------theses are all things that keep our economy going. So YOU would like to tax them harder while someone else that was on a fixed income helped to provide YOUR child's education. The baby boomers....which I'm sure your somewhere in that vicinity...will deplete social security, double dip by retiring and then re-hiring, and now expect people that are working are taxed higher. Newsflash to you.....look at the percentage of people unemployed in this country, tax the working ones higher so that they can not build a life (similar to yours or what you did) and then in turn take them out an already stifling economy. You arn't looking at the whole picture, and what makes everyone successful...Again another person looking at their own personal agenda! I would be interested to hear what your response would be to that 20 years ago when you were apart of the working community. That was one of the most selfish and hainess comments I have ever read...Change your name to "Meit's all aboutme" that is way more fitting.

Fromthe419

I consider your silence as an apology. You are right about the double dipping, but don't blame the baby boomers for social security failing, blame the government that spent those funds on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, foreign aid, corporate welfare, etc. Blame a Federal Reserve system that creates money as debt and creates inflation and the need for more taxation. Let's face it, the Government is broke, the states are broke, the cities are broke, the schools are broke and lastly the citizens are broke. No easy solution.

character counts

and the more I thought about it: you don't want to pick up someone else's 'tab' for education, but your expecting someone else to pick up yours....where's the irony in that!

Fromthe419

I'm not retired, I'm 45. The current way our schools are funded was determined unconstitutional years ago and nothing has been done about it. Find another way to fund the schools and quit beating up on the retired folk who have passed levies in the past when they had kids in school and no longer have kids in school. I don't want to see my parents or grandmother have to move out of their house because their taxes keep going up and their income is fixed. They worked their entire life to enjoy what little they have in retirement and with energy, food, etc going up, the last thing they need are more taxes.

eriemom

I feel for the seniors in every community. Many of us will not be able to retire as planned. I know that I lost a boat load in this recession.

sandusky2012

close the schools down and just put them all on welfare that's about what 50% will be on when they graduate

observer

If I hear one more time, "you're hurting the students" I'm gonna throw up! Mr. Gunner and the BOE are the ones "hurting the students" .......if they are being hurt at all. Frankly, I think if Gunner cares so much about the students he would take a pay cut, put the operating money back where it belongs, and then maybe the people in Perkins will pass a levy. And if you who are crying "save the students" REALLY want to save them, you'll call for Gunner and the rest of the school board's resignation, since THEY are the ones THREATENING the students with closing down the district and killing sports, band, etc.! Don't tell me I don't care about the kids when the BOE punishes the kids to get their way! We will NOT be strong armed or threatened by someone we don't trust!

Strong Schools ...

Observer,

You might want to grab your trash can because this community is hurting the students! We will lose programs that our students depend on to be successful everyday and they take these talents with them outside of Perkins.

The administrators of the district have saved the district $126,000 in insurance savings and $75,000 on salary concessions. This is a fact...not emotion. Also, if the inside millage was moved back we would still be on the ballot because of the state cuts to our distrct. The state has cut over 2 million from our budget and we have not passed a levy for new money in 13 years!. Again, Fact not emotional.

Why don't you ask the board and Gunner for their resignation if you are that upset and stop complaining to all of us. Your irresponsible and uneducated actions are threatening the futre of my children. I do blame YOU for trying to take programs away from them that they love. The dynamic programs will only make them successful in the future and they will be able to compete in this fast paced society. We all need to step up and take care of our future or our community will go down the drain! We have to support our students! VOTE YES!

observer
themomx6

[quote] Your irresponsible and uneducated actions.. [/quote]

Is this your typical response to those that disagree with you? Sad.

Why is it you believe that those who will vote NO on this levy are "irresponsible and uneducated"? As far as the community "hurting your child", that threat/excuse/guilt trip just doesn't fly anymore. You're doing more harm than good with that rhetoric. Right now, I'm not sure which way I'm going to vote, but I can tell you, YOU are pushing me to vote NO just because of your demeanor on here! You're NOT helping your side, trust me.

44870 South

Amen!!!

DLK

I was at the meeting the other night and was asked to join various committees. With over 700 comments here, clearly the blogging group is doing their job.

But let's face it, we all feel strongly one way or the other. You can leave your positive comments and there is no changing the minds of those who are voting no or have lost trust with Gunner and the board. You are wasting your time. Some of the arrogant comments just make me feel more strongly about not supporting new taxes.

My opinion will not change. It's too bad the school didn't use PI money to maintain their buildings all these years. It's too bad Gunner put new facilities before his people. It's too bad the board won't listen to the voters who they are supposed to represent that overwhelmingly said NO.

Bherrle

DLK,

The voters "overwhelmingly said NO" to an additional levy. The voters choose not to provide additional funds the board requested for new buildings or renovations. The ballot question was not "Should Perkins build a new school?" Frankly, that is the job of the board and Supt to decide. This district elected these men to the board. That job is to do what they feel is best, whether that be who they choose as Supt, the direction of the facilities issue, or any other issue. Sure, they need to listen to the taxpayers, they need to hear them out, but they do not have vote the way every single taxpayer wants them to vote on every issue. That in fact could never be possible, as there will never be 100% agreement by any tax paying group in the nation.

If enough people don't like the way they vote on the issues, then they'll get voted out. They are doing their jobs (unpaid jobs I believe?), whether you agree with them or not, and being accused of being unethical at the least, and much worse by others.

If the taxpayers want to decide every single issue, then they should all run for the board, do the work behind the scenes, get criticized in public, called names, etc. I'm not saying this board is perfect, but I have to wonder, if they are as bad as some say they are, how did they ever get elected in the first place?

DLK

I never said the board should listen to "every single taxpayer". However, they should listen to 65% that don't agree with their plan.

Board members are not "unpaid" either.

Moving inside millage to PI without public vote was legal, indeed. But asking for more operating money to replace what was moved, knowing it will make them financially secure so they can build a new school, is unethical. Can you promise this won't be done Bherrle?

Strong Schools ...

I know the board members work a lot outside of the board meetings making appropraite decisions for our district. True, they get a small stipend for being on the board but they donate it back to the schools. I talked to the treasurer and she gave me the information on this fact. I think it is great the board not only gives their time but their small stipend. Support our Students and Vote Yes!

underthebridge

DLK - +1

Bherrle

I couldn't promise that any more than I can promise any number of things in life. I know you didn't say that, but a lot of people are angry because the board is not doing what they want them to do. It's not the job of an elected official to just blindly do what even the majority his/her constituents want them to do. It's their job to do what they feel is best. They can be replaced by the voters in elections if enoutgh voters choose to do so.

I disagree that 65% of taxpayers disagreed with funding the additional levy. It is my understanding that there are approx 10,000 potential voters (registered and unregistered) in the district. The numbers I saw show that only about 4,000 (40%) of them voted, a sad stat in it's own right. 65% of the 4,000 voted no. That is 25% of the taxpayers. About 15% of all taxpayers voted yes. These are rough numbers, not meant to be exact. 60% of potential voters did not speak at the polls.

Lastly, I believe that public votes on moving inside millage are not legal, it is not allowed by state law. The voters, by state law if I am correct, don't get to decide that issue. They put the men in place who decide that issue.

RMyer

P.I money has been used to maintain buildings, and buy busses, repave parking lots, buy textbooks, upgrade technology, reroof as needed, replace maintenance equipment, boilers, and so on for four buildings and other facilities. What p.i. money can't take care of is the amount and cost of renovating buildings that have other issues as listed in three separate reviews of the facilities.

The BOE (with different members by the way) started a process to look at the facility issue 7 years ago. All along the way, the call was put out for community members to be involved and to provide suggestions. A few participated; many did not. Numerous public meetings have been held, studies have been conducted, board members and residents who were involved provided input. The board put forward the best plan that is at the least cost to taxpayers. The board is responsible to address facilities and educational programs and general operations of the district. Have you reviewed the different options that the board had to choose from? Is there a better option out there?

There is no easy fix; moving the inside millage back won't correct the financial issues going forward. So, please, if you or others have a specific plan for how to take care of these issues and that works financially and that will be approved by voters, please bring it forward. What would you do?

underthebridge

What your account fails to consider in the intervening 7 years is the recession. When the BOE and Gunner failed to change the course of their plan or even postpone it despite the economic realities for many citizens changing, they showed themselves as out of touch, stubborn, if not arrogant.

eriemom

True. Out of touch because diversity is lacking. Stubborn? Not so much. Just group think. If everyone that you associate with agree with you then you could believe that "everyone agrees."

Think about it. If your friends, coworkers, and neighbors all agree that a certain program is great and worth funding, then you could believe that everyone in the community thinks as you do.

underthebridge

eriemom - You're so right about the lack of diversity and the group think.

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