Oct 30, 2013

Does Perkins BOE member have conflict of interest?

So I'm watching the Perkins board of education debate on the Sandusky Register's website, and board member Terry Chapman introduces himself as the vice president of commerical loaning at Citizens Bank. Does he have a conflict of interest? Doug in the Perkins Schools district.

Doug's question primarily revolves around the fact that Citizens Bank loaned Perkins Schools several millions of dollars to acquire plans for a new school that the majority of the community did not support at the polls.

Doug also asked how is this not a conflict of interest for Chapman and the board of education?

Perkins Schools treasurer Lisa Crescimano provided the following answer:

In reviewing Perkins Schools bank history, it was found that Perkins has used Citizens Bank as its primary banker for over four decades, if not longer. 

Mr. Chapman nor the Board is responsible for the choice of banks. The treasurer gets offers from banks and goes to the lowest interest rate, which in this case was Citizens Banking  at a rate of 2.79%. Mr.Chapman was in no way involved in the loan process and abstained from voting on granting the loan.

Based on this question, the Register submitted a public records request to obtain the affidavit Chapman should have filed with the Perkins School district, stating his exact employment status with the political agency or Citizens Bank. That provision, among others, is outlined in the Ohio Revised Code.

Once we receive an update from Crescimano, we'll post an update on this Mailbag.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on sanduskyregister.com. Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

Comments

Brick Hamland

Thanks Food. I have read leases and drafted leases. I encourage you to show me a court that would uphold an eviction for the failure to pay the rent increase, I am willing to bet 99 times out of 100 times Sandusky Municipal Court will not grant an order for eviction based on that...

Strong Schools ...

This community is the reason why this levy is not passing. Take care of OUR future and vote yes!
http://perkinslevy.org/

Bherrle

Terry Chapman was not involved, on either end, with the loan that was initiated in the fall of 2012 between Citizens Bank and Perkins.

Citizens Bank took steps to ensure that Terry was not involved, in any way, in the transaction on their end. As Lisa stated in her response, the district treasurer receives the offers from the banks, the decision is made based soley on interest rate (choosing the lowest rate), and when the School Board voted on the issue, Terry abstained from the vote.

VOTENO

Let's hope for his sake he had the proper paperwork on file at the BOE.

Strong Schools ...

Terry was not involved in this loan, on either end of it. Citizens Bank took steps to insure that Terry was kept "at arms length", and was not at all involved in the transaction on their end. Also, Terry abstained from voting on this issue at the school board meeting in which the other school board members voted on it.

Check out the levy website for the facts and vote yes!
http://perkinslevy.org/

fifteenthgreen

Can you see though where one might raise an eyebrow? The loan shouldn't have been taken out in the first place. Especially without voter approval and the immediate need to provide a safe environment at the high school. Remove the asbestos now!.

Bherrle

15th,

I think everyone would do themselves and the community a lot more good by finding out all the facts before raising an eyebrow.

As hot button an issue as business ethics has become for publicly funded entities, and how closely it is watched, I think it is very unfair to assume impropriety based on just the fact that Terry works for Citizens, and Citizens loaned Perkins money.

With regards to Voter Approval, the voters do not get to vote on every business transaction that the district undertakes. As an example, voters don't get to vote on staff contracts, utility supplier choices, the hiring and firing of personnel, curriculum choices, etc.

The Voters get to vote on two things in this state. School Board members, and school funding levies (millage). In a lot of states, you only get to vote on school board members.

fifteenthgreen

Citizens Bank is just conducting business. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Chapman followed the proper protocol due to his employment. Of greater concern is the continual beating and exposure these people bring upon themselves. Isn't it simply time for them to move on and allow a community to heal?

Cowboy

VOTING NO AGAIN! And I will continue to vote NO until the inside millage is moved back, Gunner is fired and a REASONABLE levy is put on the ballot!

Subtle

1) If for some reason something drastically changed and the board abandoned all financially prudent plans and decided to move the inside millage back and put a smaller levy on the ballot, the voters would end up having to pass a 7.2 mil levy in addition to fix the schools.

2) Since there are may be almost 10 people in all of northern Ohio qualified to do Gunner's job and since it's no secret that a cabal of old pseudo-status names in the district continuously attempt to orchestrate political controversy and backdoor deals on everything to try and regain control of a district they pilfered the coffers from for years; I don't think you'll have people lining up for the job.

3) Reasonable levy?! Really, as it stands right now the Perkins community basically makes its school district run with NO financial support from the tax payers. Even economically disadvantaged districts like Norwalk make Perkins look pathetic in the amount of support for our schools.

fifteenthgreen

Norwalk has a school district tax, City Income Tax and more manufacturing jobs than Perkins though pathetic manufacturing. People need to start looking around. We have no high paying jobs for residents living in Perkins Township. Not like the days of old. Plus, many no voters send their kids to St. Marys and live in Perkins.

Subtle

Perkins is where people live not where the majority of it's home owners work. There really aren't many homeowners in Perkins pulling retail wages as the very cheapest houses you can buy in the township are around 90k.

The majority of people I know in Perkins are blue collar union workers, or white collar employees for companies in all of the surrounding areas as well as Elyria, Amherst, Sheffield etc.

Perkins also has a large number of small business owners who are well supported by the community. Historically, Perkins is where you move to once you are financially stable enough to move out of Sandusky proper.

It's a tourist strip... the mall, all the restaurants are all entry level starter jobs for kids fresh out of school; not the center of industry for the community.

Like Avon, Avon Lake, Medina, Sheffield, Westlake... there are places where you live when you can afford to that are adjacent to areas that hold the factories where you work (because you don't live near factories if you can afford not to). Perkins is one of those areas.

Perkins is SUPPOSED to be more expensive to live in, otherwise, it'd just be another Sandusky, Norwalk, or Fremont.

Oh, and would you rather be paying Perkins tax rate and sending your kids to St. Mary's or paying roughly double that with Sandusky's rate?

fifteenthgreen

You're right, Subtle??? I guess we've never had any high paying union jobs in Perkins Township and no residents of Perkins Township work in retail or restaurants. You're right....everyone travels to Elyria, Amherst and Sheffield to work at who knows where because those areas are in worse shape than we are due to the loss of Ford. That "large" number of small business owners thriving in Perkins are the ones making it happen. What???

Yep, Perkins is the promise land. Look over the horizon. The dirt is like gold! Honey, we're finally financially stable in our lives so let's move to Perkins. We've made it somewhere else so now it's time to move to where the water tastes like chocolate and a bee sting feels good. They have a mall and restaurants and a Bed, Bath and Beyond and so much more. You won't believe it and the homes are dirt cheap!

Honey, Avon, Avon Lake, Sheffield, Medina and Westlake and the rest of the burbs are just places you want to live so you don't have to live next to factories. They too are like Perkins where every day smells like strawberries and peaches and is the place of our dreams. You should see the white sand beaches and palm trees, as well. huh?

Perkins is supposed to be High Society, honey. Expensive??? That's right. They have a Sam's Club. They have.....uh.....they have a mall. Oh, I said that. Hey, they have a Ryan's and a Verizon store. Puke!

Unbelievable, Subtle. Perkins is an extension of Sandusky and don't forget it. You write or type it every time you enclose your address. We are a small township. We rely on Sandusky. As Sandusky dies..so do we. A township cannot support itself without a strong, supporting infrastructure full of good jobs nearby or next to it. Impossible! If it wasn't for the hospital and medicine in Sandusky, it would be worse. Next to doctors and few lawyers, teachers are the highest paid residents working in the township!!! Are you serious, Subtle? Those used to be second incomes to the workers at New Departure, Ford, etc...

We are not Sandusky Schools yet. I don't care what their taxes are. People living in Perkins that send their kids to SMCC will obviously never vote for a levy. Never have and never will and with this current administration, I don't blame them. Of course they're going to live in Perkins. Not only for the cheap taxes, but for the sidewalks of gold and fields filled with unicorns.

Subtle

haha that was pretty good... I wasn't claiming utopia, it is however days that aren't filled with wall to wall run down houses and abandoned storefronts and nights that aren't filled with gunshots and robberies.

Both auto factories are still there, not sure what they are named today, and they'll probably be named something different next week. Don't forget Whirlpool as you mentioned earlier, because if you have two nickles to rub together you don't live in Norwalk. I personally know a lot of people who live in Perkins that work at Glidden. Lear, Cedar Point (engineers etc.) City workers, County workers... I'm sure I could go on.

What I don't have to worry about is locking my front door in Perkins, or letting my daughter walk to the neighbor's house, or having an alarm on my car. I don't have to teach my children to hit the floor when they hear people arguing or tires squealing, and I don't need a CCW to go jogging at night.

I can leave my car running and run into the convenience store. I can forget my wallet at the gas station or carry out and just be asked to run the money up later. My children and all the children in almost every neighborhood in Perkins leave their bikes, skateboards, and scooters laying out in the front yard all summer long; and there is a basketball court in the township park near my house that has a basketball that just sits there for people to use, it's nice, new and has been sitting there over two years without being stolen or popped...

But yeah you're right, it's no different than Sandusky proper, Norwalk, or Fremont >.<

BTW, Teaching jobs are not the highest paying or even close...http://perkinslevy.org/content/t... 36k a year for someone with a college education is actually quite low considering they put in the time to advance their education, probably have 90k in student loans to repay, and actively engaged in improving their lives.

I'm not saying a factory worker shouldn't be able to make a living, but they should make less than a college educated professional who has a marketable skill, and I'm pretty sure those Ford jobs you were mentioning before were worth well over 36k a year even back in the day...for unskilled labor.

fifteenthgreen

Hey - Read the attached pdf. files in this Register article regarding teacher salaries. 36k?

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

Both auto factories aren't nearly what they used to be. Thousands of workers used to file into those parking lots 24 hours a day. Union jobs that paid great wages and much better wages than today. Those people built Stonewood, Stoney Ridge, many homes on Bogart Road, etc... My point is, this has to be the problem. How can it not be.

There is also a great list of lost jobs and lost manufacturers in an article that Melissa from SR ran a few months ago. More could be added to it now. I'll try to find it. It's sad!

Rosa

REALLY??!! Last time I looked on my real estate taxes, the majority of MY money went to the school!! I have said it before and I will say it again, they need to budget just like every other individual does. I would love a new home, but I just repair what I have.... And as far as "support our students", I would say it is support all those who are employed by the schools. Maybe they should donate part of their salary or pay more for insurance, and so forth...

Cowboy

WE WILL CONTINUE TO VOTE NO until the inside millage is moved back, Gunner is fired and a REASONABLE levy is put on the ballot!

Strong Schools ...

This levy is more than reasonable. When this levy passes we will still have the lowest tax rate in Erie county. Check out the facts and learn something. It will cost the taxpayers more to move the inside millage back. The "NO" people want us to pay more in taxes and the school board/Gunner are trying to help us. Vote yes!
http://perkinslevy.org/

Nemesis

Bherrie, by state law, school districts are required to balance their budgets, and any borrowing must be a bond issue approved by the voters, so yes, voters DO get to vote on a district's assumption of debt. This loan would appear to be a violation of that.

middleclassworker

Bherrle

Since you attacked me in the last blog, I thought we could talk again. For starters I see I'm not the only person questioning the relationship with Chapman, BOE, and Citizens. So I'm glad to see this question brought up by others.

So I have some questions for you, since you seem to have all the answers.

1) what is the few million dollar loan being used for?
2) how much has been spent?
3) does it represent the majority of the Perkin's voter's ?
4) why can't we place a smaller shorter levy on the ballot to pay JUST the loan off.
5) can any of the money from the loan be returned to the school?
6) why did WE have to move money and borrow some?

Subtle

I'm not as well versed as bherrle, but from what I understand from reading http://www.perkinslevy.org and talking to numerous people in the district, was that the loan was to examine the cost of building new vs repairing the existing buildings.

If they hadn't taken out the loan to explore the cost of building new and had just allocated money to patch up the existing problems, you can bet someone would have been on here a year or two from now complaining about 'all the dollars dumped into patching up the old buildings when we could have built new ones for less money'.

I'm sure Bherrle can give a more definitive answer, but I know personally, if I know I am going to have to dump 2k a year into a vehicle over the next three years and pay double the fuel cost to keep a 1990 Ford Windstar running, I'd be better off buying a new vehicle regardless of how in debt I have to go to get it. The new vehicle will be safer, cheaper on fuel and last at least 10 years for what the Windstar would have cost me for 5.

Bherrle

I will answer you tomorrow morning Middle Class. Family issues to tend too tonight.

Strong Schools ...

You can find out all of these answers on the levy website. Vote yes and vote for the students! They are the ones being punished for this community's lack of knowledge.
http://perkinslevy.org/

VOTENO

Vote NO in NOvember!

Bherrle

Please visit www.perkinslevy.org for "Video Truths" and other factual information about the need for this levy.

Please Vote Yes for Perkins Schools on November 5th!

VOTENO

Levy will go down even bigger than the last two times!

fifteenthgreen

In the asbestos video posted on the site, it says it would only cost 2.5 million dollars to fix but yet it also shows children's fingerprints in ceiling and wall tiles and floor tiles that could break and expose this lethal toxin. Why hasn't the district made this their first priority to remove this from our schools? A loan should have been taken out for 2.5 million to have this taken care of. Why are our children being exposed to asbestos? We replaced the bleachers when we suddenly became concerned for everyone's safety. Why is asbestos less of a crisis than a sports facility?

Note the scary Halloween music.

http://www.perkinslevy.org/conte...

themomx6

" The Voters get to vote on two things in this state. School Board members, and school funding levies (millage)."

^^^ And we've voted NO TWICE already!

I love that video! "Asbestos is a $2.5 million problem" Why then didn't you take out a $2.5 million loan and fix it, instead of taking out a $3.5 million loan for new school plans? You could have fixed the problem, and SAVED $1 million!!

fifteenthgreen

The board and supt. rather risk the health of the students, teachers and community by kicking the can down the road hoping for an eventual levy passage? Someone show some real leadership and say we are going to immediately fix this hazard even if our intentions are to build in the future. Saying it is acceptable to be around that nightmare until we tear the school down is blatantly irresponsible. We took that crap off of the pool ceiling. Why are you waiting? Children's health should be our first priority! Not a 3.5 mil loan for designs, a 1.7 mil stadium donations or free laptops. Get that crap out of the buildings!

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