Jul 30, 2013

What are the financial particulars of Perkins Schools?

Can you obtain financial information for Perkins Schools? This would help myself and others make an educated decision for the Aug. 6 levy vote. Doug in Perkins Township.

The question sought to answer exactly how much each Perkins Schools official — including teachers, administrators, staff members, and elected school board members — makes in addition to inquiries about the athletics budget.

Perkins Schools treasurer Lisa Crescimano provided the Register with numerous documents detailing this. To view the information, click any one of the files attached.

The district is proposing a 10-year, 6.73 mill emergency levy to taxpayers a week from today. If approved, the levy would generate $2.88 million per year to fund day-to-day operations for Perkins Schools, including employee salaries and benefits.
If approved in a week, the levy will cost the owners of a $100,000 home an additional $206 per year. That same homeowner currently pays $998 a year in school taxes.
The Mailbag is a daily feature on SanduskyRegister.com. Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."




You make me laugh.


Scary stuff, DSG. The inmates are literally running the asylum!


That's been happening for decades in the public service field. No one has been paying attention.

That's why you end up with a bankrupt Detroit.


Took it upon myself to call the Register editor's office and ask that the editor's note in today's paper that the Perkins stadium was built by private donations be corrected on the editorial page.

Most disturbing to me is that the 3.5 million dollar loan to pay for the BOE's share of the stadium cost is being paid for by the inside millage taxes moved to permanent improvement by the BOE. Add to that the fees paid to architects for school construction the taxpayers voted down by 65% and we are told we are nonsupportive of our students if we vote no to giving more money for the Supt and BOE to squander. Students are being used as pawns in this game!


Just curious - where were you when the Board had the required public hearings prior to move the inside millage?

Did the Register cover those board meetings?


At the September 14, 2011 BOE meeting a questioned was posed as to the cost of the new stadium. Mr. Gunner replied that it would cost approximately $2 million with $1.7 million raised by private donations.

Strong Schools ...

The athletic stadium was a joint effort of the Booster Organizations (Athletic and Band) and the Board of Education. The cost was $3.4 million, half of the cost ($1.7 million) was paid by community donations organized and raised by the Booster organizations. The stadium was renovated because the bleachers were unsafe, a liability so great that our insurance company indicated in may withdraw our insurance coverage for the stadium, the track was in need of a complete rebuild, and the football field needed a complete rebuild or turf. All of these issues were safety and liability issues facing the school district. For two years our track teams had to practice and have all of their meets at away locations. The estimated cost to replace the bleachers, reconstruct the track from the ground up, and to fix or place turf on the football field was approximately $1.5 - $1.7 million dollars. The Board agreed to support the Booster effort and share in the cost to upgrade the facility because the actual Board expenditures to simply fix the existing facilities would cost approximately the same either way. In this way, the taxpayer cost was enhanced by the generosity of the Booster organizations and all of the community members who donated to the project.


Will the Register divulge who gave that information to the newspaper. Somebody's lying.

It's either the paper or the school.

Strong Schools ...

The paper is worng...there have been a lot of mistakes in their articles regarding this levy and Perkins Schools. I go to a lot of the board meetings and the paper seems to mess up the quotes, too. When we call the editor, he apologizes, but the mistakes are still occuring. When in doubt, call the board office and ask Dr. Gunner your questions.


Similar to telling the kids the laptop computers were paid for by a grant!

Strong Schools ...

The district’s most recent 3-year lease for laptops cost $1.5 million dollars, approximately $900 per laptop or $300 per laptop for each year. We received almost $350 per laptop for our trade in of previous laptops, or about one-third the original purchase price. Thus, the net cost was less than $1 million for the three-year lease. We typically keep the laptops for four years before trading them in on updated models. Our actual annual cost over the four-year period is somewhere around $250,000 when trade-in value and the four year period is considered. Prior to the laptop program the district was spending approximately $250,000 a year on technology hardware without an effective plan or direction for these purchases. By initiating the laptop program, we did not significantly increase our annual technology hardware expenditures, but focused them on a comprehensive plan for integration of the technology into all students and staffs’ hands to increase educational effectiveness.

The students have to have technology. It is apart of their "world" and they need to be exposed to the technological programs to stay competitive in the real world.


"How much was spent out-of-pocket on the new Perkins stadium?"
"The bids on the stadium project came in a $3.4 million. The athletic boosters donated $1.7 million in money or in-kind contributions towards the project. The Board paid the other $1.7 million for the completion of the project."

"Critics of the project lambasted school officials about a year ago when a stadium-based fundraising campaign launched. To build the stadium, school administrators had to collect $1.7 million in private donations, or about half of the $3.4 million total price tag. The remaining funds had to come from local dollars produced through levies supported by township taxpayers."

"Perkins Schools is taking out a $3.6 million loan from Citizens Bank to move ahead with plans for a new school for grades 7-12."
"The interest rate on the five-year loan is 2.79 percent, with no penalty for early repayment, said Lisa Crescimano, Perkins Schools treasurer."


"The athletic boosters donated $1.7 million in money or in-kind contributions towards the project."

Where did the athletic boosters get $1.7 million? Was it borrowed?



Question: Loan taken out by District

There are negative public comments going around about a $3 million loan taken out from Citizens Bank to design and plan the new building. What are the facts behind this loan, if it exists?


The Board took a $3.5 million loan from Citizen Bank over a 5 year period to pay for the architectural fees associated with the design of the new stadium, examination of renovation costs of high school, and the design of a new 7-12 school facility. This loan is to be paid off from revenue generated from the “Inside Millage” moved to the Permanent Improvement fund.

PLEASE NOTE from above: "This loan is to be paid off from revenue generated from the “Inside Millage”"


I want to come to the dinner, especially if provided by Mr. Westerhold, he owes me.


You must have missed the June 12 board meeting or possibly misread the board meeting notes posted on the district website where the board took the action you refer to. Mr. Miller and 13 other teachers were laid off effective August 1. If the levy is passed, those 14 teachers will be returned to their positions as previously stated by the board. No RIF'd position is "safe regardless". Additionally, teachers who lose teaching positions due to financial reasons can still be hired to fill supplemental positions. Perhaps this is what is causing the confusion. I hope this explanation is helpful. Have a pleasant evening.


Thank you, RMyer. So if an individual can be hired to fill a supplemental position, when do these positions officially get filled and was it properly posted so others in the district and community could apply? It's August 2nd and laid off teachers are still working in their official capacity. Plus, do their benefits extend past August 1st? Either way, it's terrible that we're in this position.


This is it for me this evening. I believe the supplemental positions have been handled as per proper procedure. If you have further questions, the treasurer or communications director can provide you with when the board took action for summer supplementals and how you can apply for open supplemental positions in the future. Not sure what you mean by teachers "still working in their official capacity." If a teacher is working in a supplemental position, he or she is performing the duties for that supplemental. The treasurer could also answer your question regarding benefits for RIF'd teachers. I agree-it is terrible and frustrating that school districts all across Ohio have to be in this position so often. I hope you have or will contact your elected legislator and governor to let them know of your frustration.


Did the Editor's Note in today's paper correct yesterday's stadium project comment? What did it say?


Jim Gunner's failed leadership:

Revenue up 13%, net income plummets 170%. Perkins Schools go from making annual profits of $1 million+ to, under Gunner's miserably failed leadership, to losses of $1 million+, even with revenue increases.

Perkins Schools can not financially fund their operations at the current level. As their response, Gunner moves millions of dollars from operations into a permanent improvement fund to building new buildings and facilities. And then takes out a $3 million loan to design and plan the new facilities.

If this was the result/action of a business executive, they'd be gone in a second. Instead, Perkins Board pays Gunner a $125k+ salary to lead the district to profit declines of 170% with revenue increases!

And as the local journalists and self-proclaimed "watchdogs", the Register will not ask or report on any of these issues. Instead, they are the PR arm of the Tax Levy Committee and endorse the tax increase!

Boy, if the City of Sandusky had revenue growth of 13%, and Nicole Ard led and managed the City to a 170% profit decline in the same time period, Westerhold would have his people all over it. Perkins Schools- not a word- just a tax increase endorsement.

Strong Schools ...

The state has cut funding from Perkins Local Schools. In fact they have cut over 2 million dollars from the district and there still could be more cuts.

Mr. Gunner has taken a pay freeze for three years and has agreed to a pay freeze for a forth year like all administrators in the district. In addition to the pay freeze, Mr. Gunner and all administrators have agreed to significant changes to their insurance program that have shifted cost from the district to the individual administrators. Like many community members and other employees, Mr. Gunner has also made significant personal contributions to the stadium renovation and recent levy campaigns. One individual through a pay reduction cannot solve the overall financial problems faced by the school district.

Dr. Gunner has done a great jog helping our district financially. He was told his first year that the school district would have to go on the ballot and he has kept us off the ballot for five years due to his ideas. Perkins is financially responsible. We have not passed a levy for new money in 18 years and that levy was passed 13 years ago. Could you pay your bills today on what you made 13 years ago...I didn't think so. The economy has changed, inflation occurs, and the state has cut funding.

Moving the inside millage was the best choice and the cheapest choice for the taxpayers. He approached the board with different choces they could make and they chose to move the inside millage. I think all of us have moved money form our savings account to our checking account to pay the bills.

This levy is about the students and we need to step up and show them that they have a community that believes in them and wants them to be successful. Support the students and vote yes!


I will correct your lies line by line:

Lie #1
"Mr. Gunner has taken a pay freeze for three years and has agreed to a pay freeze for a forth year like all administrators in the district"

False. Per State of Ohio Treasurer's website Gunner's 2010 salary was $106,391. 2011 salary was $108,000. 2012 salary is $117,200

Lie #2
"Dr. Gunner has done a great jog helping our district financially"

False. He has taken Perkins Schools from making a profit of over $1 million annually for almost the past decade to a $1 million plus annual loss. Net income has plummeted 170% in the last 5 years under Gunner's leadership, while income has increased 13%.

Lie #3
"Could you pay your bills today on what you made 13 years ago...I didn't think so. The economy has changed, inflation occurs, and the state has cut funding."

False. Perkins Schools do not pay their bills on what they made 13 years ago. In just the past 5 years, revenue has increased 13%. That's an average of 2.6% increase in revenue per year.

Lie #4.
"I think all of us have moved money form our savings account to our checking account to pay the bills. "
While that may be true, Jim Gunner did the exact OPPOSITE with taxpayer money. He moved money out of the "checking" account (operations of the district). He determined new buildings and facilities were more important than maintaining the educational opportunities of the students.

Lie #5
"This levy is about the students"
False. This levy is about Gunner and the Board getting their new buildings and facilities that have been voted down overwhelmingly multiple times. This tax increase is about constructing new buildings and facilities.



In an earlier comment on the other story you stated:

"I called a friend of mine that I went to college with. He works for another county's auditor and he said that land values on which homes have been built are influenced by the sale of empty lots of similar size, location, zoning, etc"

I asked you a question to name the Ohio county where your friend works.

Are you evading my question?


Kal-El, where was I when the public hearing re: moving inside millage was discussed? I was at that board meeting and opposed the move strongly. Where were you? Are you being a wise guy, or did you really want to know?


A "wise guy?" LOL. Wow, haven't heard that term in about 30 years.

Applause for attending that meeting. Your post implied you were relying on the SR for accurate info.

I wasn't at the meeting because I don't live there anymore. I am an alum who doesn't want to see my alma mater or the community I grew up in destroyed because of the 3rd generation syndrome or the conservative myth that you can have everything for free. And believe it or not, where I live now, we pay property taxes AND income taxes for our schools. Hard to believe, I know!


You don't live here anymore? Then GO AWAY! Your opinions don't matter!

Strong Schools ...

Very few people attended that board meeting. It is not the board's fault if no one shows up. If people were that opposed than they should have come to the meeting. Everything discussed at the board meetings is public recors and people could have easily looked up the board minutes. Vote Yes for the students and stop blaming them for what iur board does. It is time to support the students!


How much money do sporting events bring into the Perkins Schools? I have seen the costs but have not seen how much money the ticket sales bring in.Care to answer with online documents to back up your comments?

Anybody can provide the answer. Don't be timid or bashful.

Don't evade the question or tap dance around it.