Gunner, Kurt apply to be Findlay Schools superintendent

Perkins, Margaretta superintendents are two of 10 applicants revealed Thursday
Alissa Widman Neese
Nov 1, 2013

Jim Gunner and Ed Kurt, superintendents at Perkins Schools and Margaretta Schools, respectively, are vying to be superintendent at Findlay Schools, according to the Findlay Courier.

An article posted to the Courier's website Thursday lists Gunner and Kurt as two of 10 applicants seeking the job.

When contacted Thursday, Kurt said he submitted an application a few weeks ago. The application process ended Oct. 25.

"It's an opportunity I'm exploring," Kurt said. "I'm very happy where I'm at. We've accomplished a lot and there's still a lot to accomplish, but I'm looking into that opportunity."

Gunner did not return a call Thursday evening seeking comment.

Findlay school board members hope to announce their selection in late December, according to the Courier. Findlay Schools superintendent Dean Wittwer is retiring at the end of the current school year.

Comments

wantin2know

What are the priorities at Perkins? Can anyone truly believe that the underhanded schemes and ways of enticing votes are truly for the benefit of the students? Now the latest most pursued reason to vote yes is the asbestos. Really? Why is this problem is just being addressed now? Was the problem there prior to the stadium repair? Was it there for the last three or four salary and benefit raises for the teachers and administrators? Why wasn't the problem addressed and corrected way before this? It's time someone or all involved in the school operation be held accountable, from top to bottom. If you want things
repaired and updated it takes everyone to do their fair share. Even if it might mean benefit and salary reductions. It's the real world.
This is not a new idea, as a lot bigger operations than the Perkins School system have had no other choice but to take these methods to survive. Get your house in order before you can expect additional money.

Subtle

The asbestos isn't a campaign ideology, it was merely one of over a dozen informational videos on http://perkinslevy.org/video-gal... . In the past people had complained that there was not enough information getting out to the community, so they established a website to house all the questions asked of the board (including the answers that were given) as well as the powerpoint showing the exact math and tax laws that were used to make the inside millage decision (http://perkinslevy.org/downloads...) and numerous informational videos.

fifteenthgreen is the one who has tried to elevate the asbestos issue as the sole issue being addressed by the levy, and he's on the vote no crew.

As for the salaries, the teachers and administrators have had a pay freeze for over three years, and will continue that freeze even if the levy is passed. The teachers are far from the highest average salaries in the area.

They are however, educators who spent a small fortune to get their degrees and are teaching our children. I personally feel they should be making considerably more than your average employee without a college degree, and the reality is their salaries are on par with many of the positions in the area that do not require college degrees.

I could see the complaint if the teachers or administrators were the highest paid in the state, but state-wide, they aren't even close, not even in our little geographic area.

fifteenthgreen

"fifteenthgreen is the one who has tried to elevate the asbestos issue as the sole issue being addressed by the levy"

I shouldn't have to elevate an asbestos issue. It should be a non issue and should have been taken care of long ago.

"Honestly, I share your concern about the asbestos, and ALL the repairs needed."

Then speak up because I'm going to. Levy or no levy it needs to be addressed.

Again, an inconsistent message. New school. No school. What is it? Who is leading this campaign?

Again, you are wrong on the teachers salaries - see below:

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

eriemom

Do you know what # signifies on the table? There are teachers on it who do not currently work for the district, so I question its age.

fifteenthgreen

The table came from this July 30, 2013 SR article, eriemom.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

Subtle

You realize that the average wage for that list is 60,528? Danbury's average is 68,826, Oak Harbor 62,686, Sandusky 61,860...

Do you also realize that many of these teachers have been there for decades? Over half of them have their Master's degrees. Employees at Gliddon, Visteon (or any auto workers union), or any area factory that have been there 20 years are making nearly that much and they didn't dump 70 grand and 8 additional years of education to get it.

Your average plumber, heavy machinery operator, road construction worker, mason, retail store manager, and even the manager at Burger King make that much money per year, some of those much much more.

In my opinion, they look a bit underpaid.

Hawkeye

Also work 60 hrs a week year round!! Been there done that! And you shouldn't pick on tradesmen they earn every dime they make especially plumbers!!!

Strong Schools ...

Teachers work all year. Just because they are not at the building does not mean they are not working on the next year's plans. Vote yes in November and support the students!
http://perkinslevy.org/

fifteenthgreen

Subtle, the world can't be made up of just teachers. There has to be a balance and I feel more emphasis needs to be put on the trades. It's impossible to find anyone reliable and skilled to provide these services anymore. Also, I'll give you the first few on your list, but I highly doubt a retail or fast food manager is dropping 60,000 plus a year. Our teachers are well paid for the cost of living in this area and I'm pretty sure they're going to be demanding more should this levy pass Tuesday.

Subtle

The teachers have agreed to a pay freeze until the 2015-2016 contract re-negotiations.

fifteenthgreen

Thanks, Subtle!

oldpirate

Ah yes. One of those splinters I talked about.

fifteenthgreen

Ah yes, just another one of those "splinters" that you're going to need to do a better job of persuading to change their vote.

oldpirate

That cheering is one thing that will never change.

oldpirate

I will add that there are no winners in this. What do you think you are winning? Future levies only cost more,School system takes years to recover.
And the economic recovery you talk about becomes only more cloudy. What business would want to invest here in this climate?

Hawkeye

United we stand, divided we fall.

bobshumway92

Vote No!

Hawkeye

As we get closer to the results, we as a community should be thinking what actions are we going to take should the levy pass? are we going to accept it and become more involved? If the Levy fails, what actions are we going to take and what solutions can we offer?

fifteenthgreen

Agree, Hawkeye. Both sides have some very valid points and arguments.

Strong Schools ...

fifteenth check out the website for facts and information. Vote yes in November!
http://perkinslevy.org/

bobshumway92

Strong Tool

goodtime1212

The boilers in the high school have been replaced a few years ago. 60 percent of the schools trouble is in 10 percent of the school, still voting no.

fifteenthgreen

Strong Schools, why don't you add to the discussion rather than bomb the comment section with the schools levy website. We're all aware of it. Go put signs in yards or better yet, hit the streets and sell your message door to door. Shake some hands!

Strong Schools ...

Fifteenth, I am one step ahead of you and I have already done that! You should come out and help and step away from your computer. Here is the levy website in case you did not see it. You always like to ask questions but never want to research them yourself so I will do the work for you...again. http://perkinslevy.org/ Vote yes in November!

fifteenthgreen

Well whatever you're doing, keep doing it because it's not working!

futurechange

Again, I have been reading these articles, blogs, and war of words between yes voters and no voters. I find this whole process crazy! I am a business owner who supported the levy once before because I've always been taught that regardless of personal opinion - you always support your schools. I didn't suport it the second time due to a bunch of no voters who shared their thoughts with me and seemed to make sense. So with this now being the third time, I have decided to go on my own. This time I have completely decided to not listen to either side, nor the somewhat bizzarre reporting of the news media, and search out the truth of all this on my own. Here's what I have discovered and felt like I now needed to share it.

To the "NO" voters, do not make up stuff...I have learned that too many of things you are saying are not based on truths, but your own opinions and misinterpretations. To the "YES" voters, you DO have concrete facts...make sure people understand that moving the inside millage was actually the right thing to do. If we move it back like I was led to believe we should, and like the no voters want, we will actually end up paying much more as tax payers. (I don't want to pay more that what I need.) I know this is very complicated to understand, but surprisingly, it is true. When I learned this from the state auditors information (not the two levy sides) I feel bad that I mistrusted the BOE in their decision. Now, I give the BOE great praise for making a very difficult decision. However, BOE, you needed to communicate this long ago so that we, the public, would truly understand the "why" of what you did. Maybe if you would have clearly communicated this sooner, we wouldn't be having all this debate and discussions about the levy now.

I 100% support this levy and encourage others to get out and vote...but please vote informed before making your "yes" or "no" decision. To the four school board candidates, all of you seem to have a passion for the schools and I commend you for that and your willingness to run. However, after meeting each of you, I would say this: Mr. Ahner please try and understand the schools funding and general operations should you get elected to serve; Mr. Franklin, please try to understand what the schools are about for the students and the community...you actually had my vote until I met you; Mr. Uher, please listen to what the community is saying and communicate to them; Mr. Chapman, as the one member running who is already on the board, should you get in again, please communicate with the public more. I think all of us in this community want to support the schools, and deep down, we do. However, we want to be involved and feel that you do include us in moving the schools forward. And, on the issue of Gunner leaving, let him do what he wants...it's his career, but it's our schools.

This is all I have to say! I will not be on this blog again nor will I waste time reading them anymore. I'm blogged out and am only making this one lengthy post! I wish the four candidates well. I wish the schools well in their levy. And I hope that regardless of how one votes - you get out and exercise your right to vote on Tuesday! Regardless of the outcome, I look forward to this community coming back together again!

bao

the move of the millage was the "right thing to do" in order to secure funding for 2 new schools to be built, which i thought the voters clearly stated they did not want. it may not be the best thing for business owners and property owners that truly cant afford the tax increases. it did not have to be all or nothing, that is what the boe chose

Subtle

In 2009, it was determined that the four buildings needed a combined total of $50 million in repairs.

In 2010 the board presented option to build a new campus for $50 million in tax payer dollars and $50 million supplemented by the government in stimulus. The voters turned that down, as was their right; however that still left the district with $50 million in necessary repairs needed.

After that proposed solution was turned down, and with the buildings still needing repairs, the board decided to move the inside millage after experts explained how that would transfer much of the financial burden to commercial properties and allow the money moved to grow as property values increased.

That inside millage will help pay for the $50 million in repairs NEEDED SINCE 2009.

The high school needed $24 million in repairs in 2009. That number has probably grown as almost 5 years has passed since that estimate. That estimate also did not include any estimate on the cost of improving and maintaining the parking lot or grounds.

The board has not stated that they are going to build a new high school, that is something misinformed 'no voters' ASSUME. The board will apply the best resolution available with the least financial impact to the taxpayers.

Currently, it is undecided whether the high school should be rebuilt mostly, in my opinion, because they fear backlash from the community if they build new EVEN IF IT IS LESS EXPENSE FOR THE TAX PAYER over the long haul. That doesn't change the fact that the buildings need repaired.

This levy is an OPERATING levy. NONE of the money from this levy will be used to build new buildings or repair the old ones; however the buildings STILL need repaired.

The board heard the voters when they showed they do not want to support a levy that would be used to either build a new school, or repair the old one; so instead, they moved the money to inside millage to earmark money for repair, because no matter how you slice it, the buildings STILL need repaired.

That is what the board does, they work within the confines of what the community, finances, and the law allow to find the best solution for both the school and taxpayer...it is often quite a balancing act.

It doesn't matter who is on the board, they all have to conform to that mold. Franklin could get elected and propose that sports, band, and extra-curriculars be canceled as someone mentioned earlier; however, it's unlikely that the community would allow that regardless of how great an idea he thinks it is. There are a number of interest groups (parents, students, staff, community, etc) and even more separate agenda within each of those groups. The board attempts to find a solution that is best for everyone involved, but still financially responsible and beneficial to the school; and like they say "...you can never please all of the people all of the time".

The Perkins board has been working with as little as half the tax revenue that some other area districts receive, still they make it work. They come up with alternate means (like the inside millage) when voters don't want to pass a levy, because no matter how you slice it, THE BUILDINGS STILL NEED REPAIRED.

If you (other schools in the area) have a car and I (Perkins schools)have a car and someone (taxpayers) gives us both money to maintain them but gives you twice as much, my car is certainly not going to be as well maintained as yours.

Eventually, after years of maintaining only what is absolutely necessary, my car is going to need a large investment of funds to keep it running; while yours is going to still be running well.

So I ask you (taxpayers)for money to fix the car, but you say no. What option am I left with? I rearrange my finances to allow money to be allocated to the repair of my car, because no matter how you slice it, my car needs repaired or I won't have one.

Did I mention that the board does all this while the state steals 2.5 million a year from us to pay for other districts that they believe need it more than we do?

fifteenthgreen

If they moved the inside millage for repairs, why haven't they been made yet? Why post videos of asbestos, cracked steps and missing mortar in brick joints. Use the money you moved and fix the items listed. Why are they waiting?

Subtle

Fair question 15th, and I'm going to try to answer it to the best of my understanding, though I am far from an expert on the subject. The inside millage is a fixed 5.2 mil allocation of each year's collected tax revenue.

The decision to move the inside millage was made in 2011, so basically, only 5.2 mil of a single year's worth of tax revenue has been collected so far. It is a fund that was established to grow until there is enough to either perform a large scale renovation, or build new.

The inside millage was not setup to simply boost the school's yearly repair budget as that is simply not a good long term fix, and quite frankly, you would run through all of a single year's 5.2 mil worth of collections and see very little in return. It would appear as though that money just vanished.

Instead, it builds, year after year until there is enough to complete a substantial repair.

Going back to my car analogy, if I have an old car that leaks oil, needs new gaskets, and has a cracked block; I could take a substantial amount of money (pretend this is the currently collected year's worth of 5.2 mil) and repair the head gasket, and that money will be gone, but it doesn't change the fact that the entire engine will need replaced or rebuilt completely and when that occurs, my expensive head gasket repair will be destroyed.

What I can do instead, is earmark that substantial amount of money for my complete engine rebuild or replacement, and set it up so that next year I will get exactly the same amount (5.2 mil fixed). After a couple more years have accumulated, I will have enough to either replace or rebuild my engine.

In the meantime, I switch to a heavier weight of oil, and put a quart of it in the car every month, keep it running in spite of the leak. By putting a little money into oil (repairs) every month, I can keep it running for years for far less than even that first gasket repair I mentioned; all while my fund grows to rebuild my engine completely. It is the smartest financial plan over the long run.

Like the oil, the school replaces the asbestos tiles as they get damaged, such as how someone earlier mentioned the tiles in the pool area. Humidity had damaged those tiles to the point where they posed a potential risk if their structural integrity failed to hold so they were replaced. Likewise, the sewer piping was replaced with PVC rather than pay prevailing wage on a full blown cast iron repair.

This money will build, and build quickly as long as it is not nickled and dimed out. If we do that, it will all be gone and it will appear that it did very little good in the long run...which actually, if applied that way, would do FAR less good than if allowed to grow.

I probably botched that a little, like I said, I'm far from an expert, but that is the best way I can explain it based off talking to people who know it much better than I and reading the inside millage information presentation pdf (http://perkinslevy.org/downloads...) and from reading the Q&As. I hope I did it justice, my apologies if I didn't.

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