5/16/2011

Lockport Sports Complex II

Posted by MJ

5/16/11

Both the LUSJ and The Buffalo News reported on the parking debate for the proposed complex.

Lockport City School District administrators addressed concerns Tuesday afternoon from 4th Ward Alderman Andy Chapman regarding what he saw as a potential parking dilemma at the proposed high school athletics complex.

Residents vote Tuesday on whether the School Board should spend $5.8 million on the construction of a 2,500-capacity artificial turf stadium there as well as the renovation of existing athletic fields. Chapman told Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone via e-mail May 4 that by his calculations, the existing parking availability would leave a void by architectural standards of 875 spaces if a sold-out event were ever held at the complex...
...Once the current $23.5 million capital improvement project is complete at the high school, there would be a total of 393 parking spaces available in the lot. That total would include the bus loop spots on the Locust Street side.

Another 57 spots would be available on Lincoln Avenue and Locust Street, bringing the grand total of parking spaces to 450. District officials said the ratio of people to spots is about 5 to 1, slightly better than the 6.9 to 1 with the Emmet Belknap field. Max Lederer Field has a seating capacity of 1,729 with surrounding parking of 250 spaces between the school and the nearby district office building
.
Ahh....parking standards. Paving the way so every single person can drive their own car to the same place at the same time. If parking is slightly tight at an event a poweful coping mechanism termed "car pooling" kicks in. Im being a bit sarcastic but honestly it is a valid question. The acceptance of street parking etc was nice to see. When "green space" is supposidly so desireable, I'm always surpriced how eager people are to want to pave everything over.

The vote is tomorrow. Locations are here.

2/24/11

The original post seems to be "locked up" and not posting new comments though they can be seen in the comments RSS feed.

Feel free to continue the conversation here.

UPDATE 02/17/11

The Buffalo News and LUSJ reported on last night's BOE meeting noting the stronger "no revote" presence:
Not every resident in the Lockport City School District wants a multiple-sport athletic complex at the high school like the one the School Board is considering bringing to a referendum vote this year, and they showed up to say it at Wednesday night’s board meeting.
Voters turned down a similar proposition in 2008 by 500 votes, and for some, nothing has changed in three years to warrant a second vote.
“What word don’t you understand?” Dorothy Stockton of Dorchester Road asked the board. “No!”
At last month’s board meeting, more than 200 residents packed the room, and most of those that spoke favored the initiative to build a football field large enough to host sectional and regional competitions for sports like soccer and lacrosse.
Roughly 150 attended this month, and most of those that addressed the board cited fiscal uncertainty in the district, state and nation as their biggest hesitation....


UPDATE 02/15/11

The Buffalo News reported that the LSD has recently received the state required 5yr building condition survey. They are now discussing if some other capitol projects should also be put up to vote (a roof, some windows, etc). While the article hints that they could package it with the sports complex, I doubt they will. The board did not bundle it back in 2008 and if they bundled them this year and it was voted down: any expenses that turn into emergency repairs would run the risk of not being reimbursed. Anyone have access to a PDF of the report? Another example of a public document that should be posted for all to see at the district website.
After the results of a recent building conditions survey, the Lockport School Board is considering the possibility of placing two propositions for capital projects before voters this year.

In addition to building a student athletic complex, which officials estimated two years ago to cost $6 million, the board may ask residents if it can spend another $15 million on repairs and updates that would bring the district’s buildings in line with state Education Department standards...
UPDATE: 02/14/11

The Buffalo News reported on the push for school capitol projects locally. It also reports on current funding formulas and possible upcoming ones. It would be nice to see a state overview in addition to this local one.

While the governor preaches fiscal restraint and responsibility, at least three local school districts will go to voters in the coming weeks and months, seeking multimillion-dollar improvement projects. Several other districts are considering similar proposals.
Some of these projects have been planned for some time, and others are being expedited to get in under the wire, before the state changes its funding for such work....
----------------------------------

....For the first time, districts would compete against each other for a chunk of that money, for everything from leaky roofs to football fields with artificial turf. Once the money runs out, no more building projects would get state aid that year....
--------------------------------

...Now, as long as local voters approve a building project, the state reimburses a certain proportion, depending on the wealth of the district. Poorer districts such as Niagara Falls get 98 cents back on the dollar; a wealthier district like Orchard Park gets 77 cents on the dollar...

215 comments:

Rocketboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Smith said...

Anon 8:36- Apparently I missed the consolidation when I voted last year, that must mean that my vote didn't count when I pulled the lever in the BOE building, I guess I should have gone to the High School where everybody else must have voted. Oh wait, why did they have a voting machine there and people manning it? Go figure.
My "pet project", as you like to call it, will be paying taxes, every year, increasing a minimum of 5% each year.
1.1 million to fill a need for quality housing and supportive services for the YWCA or wanting 6 million for an unnecessary football stadium. Yea, I can see the similarities.
I like to tell my kids, "Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't make it right". I don't have a problem using State funding for capital projects that are needed, and I'll bet you if you asked everyone else that they would agree.
btw- No need to shout.

Xavier said...

I like the quote!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey MJ, can you please delete comments not relating to the Sports Complex. There is too much discussion about this housing project that already has its own thread. Thanks!

Back to the subject at hand here is an email from Mike Finnerty Girls Varsity Soccer coach, using his district paid/tax dollar paid email and probably time during the work day to send out a message to drum up support:

From: MFinnerty@lockport.wnyric.org
Subject: LHS Sports Complex Proposition Update
Date: Friday, February 11, 2011, 3:20 PM

Attention Lockport Soccer Club/LHS families and friends:

The support for the High School Sports Complex has really taken off. Next week on Wednesday, February 16th, is another crucial Board of Education meeting where we need another big turnout of support in order to get the revote approved in time before the state changes things in April. There is a great sense of urgency to respond now. All coaches, parents, supporters, and athletes are encouraged to come. We need as many people as possible to make this happen or the revote will not be considered. Please make every effort to attend the Board of Education meeting next Wednesday, February 16th, starting @ 7pm at Charles Upson Elementary School.

***Not only would this be an incredible boost to our athletic programs at the high school and for the community, generate a tremendous about of business for the area, but it would also be available to Lockport Soccer Club for Tournaments and special events.

MJ said...

Comment removed above. If referencing other projects, please use them for comparisons to the sports complex. Otherwise put them in an appropriate post. Thank You.

MJ said...

This is a school project/vote so I see no issue in using a school e-mail address.

I'll update this post with the article that was in the Buffalo News today a little later.

Anonymous said...

And to all the proponents of this project you sound like a whinney 10yr old begging for that new toy that their friend has. BUT MOMMY TOMMY HAS ONE!!! BUT DADDY TOMMY GOT TO GO THE R RATED MOVIE!!!

And what do we or should we tell that kid. I don't care what they have or they do, they are not in my control.

So if Niagara Falls, Binghampton, or Orchard Park jumped off a tall building into a bed of nails would you Lockport?

MJ said...

Actually they probably see it more like:
"But Tommy's family got a new backyard makeover with 93% of the cost picked up by NYS"

Anonymous said...

And this is how I see it and I've said it for weeks!!! Make sure when you are saying ra ra for the sports complex you keep these things in mind.

Info being shared with the teachers that the BOE is working on:

-Closing Washington Hunt
-Half Day K
-Cutting library plus art and music at the elementary level
-More Layoffs

These things will happen in reverse order.

So far no cuts to Sports, just to elementary educational programs! This is what is wrong with our District. Our priorities are backwards.

if you don't believe me ask the board members, ask these question at the board meeting. COME ON PEOPLE WAKE UP!!!!

Anonymous said...

-I don't see why we can't compare people saying it's good to take state tax dollars to expand low income housing but not to help the schools facilities.
-This is like beating a dead horse, but what part of explaining that this money has absolutely no relation to the money we are losing from the operating budget? Voting no on this project will not save Wash Hunt. Voting no on it just means we will pay for someone else to use the money in another district.

MJ said...

I said you could. Just compare the two in the post. The post I deleted was just about the HV housing and did not mention the sports complex.

Luisa Smith said...

MJ- I have also seen this email that anonymous 8:57 had posted and I would like you to know that according to "Proper Use of District Resources" it specifically states:

District resources and communication vehicles(phones, faxes, e-mail,copiers, and supplies)cannot be used to promote or detract a public vote.

The wnyric system is specifically a school based system. Teachers and employees of the district use this system to communicate with parents and other teachers. Would you not say that this puts them at an unfair advantage when trying to reach out to get support?

Also I had been informed that fliers had been sent out with many of the elementary children regarding the push for the sports complex. Of course, it's not easy to prove but I highly suspect that school resources were used for that as well. Either way, just the fact that fliers were being sent home in support of this is improper.

Anonymous said...

"This is like beating a dead horse, but what part of explaining that this money has absolutely no relation to the money we are losing from the operating budget? Voting no on this project will not save Wash Hunt. Voting no on it just means we will pay for someone else to use the money in another district."

half of the Operating Budget is funded by the State. If we and other districts continue to waste tax payer dollars on luxuries then the state funded portion of our budget will continue to get SMALLER. So you think its okay to receive less funding for the Operating Budget and as long as we get more money for a Football Stadium? How can these things not be related? And after this round of cuts there will be nothing left to cut but SPORTS!

Anonymous said...

MJ you forgot to quote some of the best lines from the Buffalo News:

"For some districts, that might mean something considered a luxury item would not get funded, said Morris Peters, a spokesman for the state Division of Budget.

Translation: Kiss that artificial turf goodbye."

"In Lockport, the athletic director and sports boosters are pushing for another referendum on an athletic complex that voters rejected two years ago.

That has angered some residents, who question the district's priorities and note that it recently closed two elementary schools to save money.

Although the athletic director has said he would come up with the local share of the project through fundraisers, some residents remain skeptical, saying the project would end up increasing local property taxes"

"Neither the Lockport superintendent nor the athletic director returned calls seeking comment"

Anonymous said...

Actually they probably see it more like:
"But Tommy's family got a new backyard makeover with 93% of the cost picked up by NYS"

No offense MJ but I kind of look at it this way: We are just making ends meet, tax increases again on the horizon, gas prices going up,etc. Many of our homes are losing value, making us already feel uneasy, but NYS says we can get a nice fancy backyard and they will pick up 93% of the tab. I'm not convinced I can come up with the 7%, but maybe I can get some extra hours in at work, and my parents might be generous enough to give me some money for my birthday. Also I probably will get a tax refund this year...

So we get a fancy new inground pool, gorgeous fence, new stone patio, furniture, man-made pond stocked with fish and flora.

Uh,oh, what? I don't get a tax refund this year? Mom & Dad are struggling too? Overtime is now unavailable. My property taxes now are how much higher? Oh wait, I have to pay how much more for upkeep on that pool? Why is my electric bill higher? I didn't realize I have to pay for a pool alarm! Wow, there's a lot of work keeping all those weeds out of my flower beds and trimming back those bushes. You say my homeowners insurance needs to be increased? A racoon got in my yard and ate all the fish in my pond! Now I have to replace them too.

MJ said...

But in this case, the whiney 10yr old's family already has around the 100% of the cost in it's home inprovement/repair account, even though the 10 yr old says he will try his best to save his paper money to cover the 7%.

And at the end of the day...I like to play Devil's Advocate from time to time, even if I feel the opposite. At this point in time, even though I like the idea, I'd say that the case had not been made to sway anybody. I have yet to see the filling in of the details. Similar to the article in the news today about NF's $130M "project".

My biggest point there was that there was not much correlation between this project and jumping off a tall building into a bed of nails or seeing an R-rated movie. ;)

Anonymous said...

The point simply was to say we cannot control what other Districts do and we also have limited control on what the State does. We can only control our own District and we need to make the best decision for ourselves, our children, our district, our city and our State.

Anonymous said...

New article in buffalo news today,they want another 15 million for a new roof for sluggard & new windows for roy b kelly also new gym floors but didn't state which schools,& the biggest thing they might
combine the two propositions into one vote! Trying to stack the deck

Anonymous said...

Sorry not sluggard george southard

Anonymous said...

how convenient that this comes out after the previous Buffalo News article which esentially bashed LKPT for doing a money grab for a luxury item. I'm thrilled that are looking to make necessary improvements to these buildings, but I bet the survey doesn't say that we need a new football field. I would be okay with a 30 million dollar project if it better a better overall infrastructure for our District with more engergy efficient buildings etc.

My biggest concern is why did they wait so long to address this, it seems like they are just cramming this in just to get the Sports Complex pass too.

Anonymous said...

I was present at the most recent School Board work session and am still confused as to why Mrs. Phelps could not obtain a copy of the 1200 page report on the condition of our schools. She was told she could stop at the BoE to look at it if she wished. I would hope that she realizes as a Board member she should be entitled to review the report at her leisure and not limited to when the BoE is open. It's 1200 pages afterall!

The likelihood that the Board will agree to a consolidation of one centralized voting place this year plus now making it so easy to register right before you vote leaves me wondering.

I also think that the Board should be very careful and think before the possiblilty of combining the Sports Complex with the repairs and updates needed on our schools. It just may backfire and then we'll end up facing some serious problems.

MJ said...

My guess is that they don't feel like printing out 1200 page books (~$30?). I don't see any reason that it should not be viewable by anyone in PDF form online.

I agree with your last statement.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see any reason that it should not be viewable by anyone in PDF form online."

Because they don't have the proper "technology infrastructure" to to scan the doc into PDF! :)

Anonymous said...

They hired a firm to do the report. I would think that in this day and age, they would supply it in some kind of computer format for review.

Xavier said...

This whole thing is bizarre. These greedy BofE people are flying into the dark with our money. Not even their own Board members have all the information.
Reading the Buffalo News tonight I see that Burke will, once again, be allowed to do his power point presentation and then speak. Anyone against this thing does'nt even get the courtest to speak. And we're the ones paying the bills.
Stack the Board with your buddies, don't take our calls, ignore us if you do, allow only YOUR people to speak at meetings, have no courtesy for Seniors by scheduling your vote at the High School where there's no parking and is, literally, a construction zone, etc. etc.
Pat Burke should be fired and maybe arrested for what he's done with your approval. (No-that b.s.memo to him was post-complaint and only done to satisfy Mr. Black.)
How stupid do you think we are???

Anonymous said...

When asked if the document could be viewed by the public online, the rep from the M&E survey firm kind of hedged and looked to the Superintendent. She then indicated to the Board member who raised the question that said member could view the document at the BOE building. By the way, the brief presentation was made with a computer on a large screen in a searchable PDF. Draw your own conclusions as to why this won't be made available to the public through a link at the District's website.

Xavier said...

Thank you -will do.
I'm collecting every scrap of paper (on the computer and literal) and will have it with me tomorrow. I will require the same amount of time as Burke has had over the past several weeks to put forth my position.
When I (properly) wrote to the Board and asked permission to speak, I didn't even get the courtesy of a reply. That's how they teach us little people that we don't count.
The Pat Burke's and Mike Finnerty's are allowed to abuse their positions while the taxpayers and parents are ignored - unless they're parents of athletes of course.

Anonymous said...

I think the supporters who have relied heavily on communicating the desire to have this sports complex with parents of school athletes, need to be very careful because contrary to what they may assume, not all of us are excited about this!

Anonymous said...

Niagara Falls voted down their proposal

Anonymous said...

For everyone who has said we can't use the Reserve Fund for the Operating Budget, think again. Cuomo will change that, see Buffalo News:

"Lt. Gov. Duffy testified Tuesday that schools should be ready to dip into their reserve funds to cover budget gaps this year. Schools disagree."

MJ said...

Operating reserve Funds are different than the capitol reserve funds. We dipped into several reserves last year but the capitol ones can not be used for operations.

You can look at last years budget post which links to the district's slideshow explaing which funds and reserves were tapped to balance 2010-11:

http://lockportforum.blogspot.com/2010/05/school-budget-voted-down.html

MJ said...

Buffalo News had a small follow up this morning explaining the fund that Duffy talked about, part of which was used last year.
I'll put it up top later.

http://blogs.buffalonews.com/school_zone/2011/02/how-much-does-your-district-have-in-reserve.html

4LP said...

I am glad there is starting to be some clarification on the "funds" the school is talking about using. Many people fancy themselves to be educated, however, they rarely search for facts beyond the local newspaper.

LCSD cannot use their capital reserve fund for anything else besides capital improvement projects. Many tax payers see this money and think it can be applied to saving jobs, buying books, etc. The truth is it cannot.

As far as the Gov. Does anyone in here realize that in his executive budget he added over 100 million dollars to this fund again this year? While we are seeing cuts in education and state aid, the great State of New York realizes that building aid needs to continue or schools will fall apart.

Fight the complex if you want, but I hope the school district rolls it all into one proposition. Let the voters speak about how they feel in 2011, not how they felt in 2008.

Anonymous said...

"the great State of New York realizes that building aid needs to continue or schools will fall apart."

so again why should this money be spent on an unnessary Sports Complex. Was the field at Emmett deemed unsuitable in the recent survey?

The untouchable funds should be used for improvements to the existing structures and things at the top of the list based on the survey findings. The survey did not say we need a turf field with lights. And I would bet there is more than work that could/should be done than the $15m that was discussed.

Anonymous said...

well said anonymous 2:08

4LP said...

That is debatable and up to the tax payers of the district. You are one of many voices, as am I.

Unnecessary, not unnessary.

It is NOT just a turf field with lights. It is all of the sports fields that currently exist behind LHS and the physical education spaces (i.e climbing walls). Last time I checked there were 7 different fields, a tennis court and climbing walls.

Anonymous said...

"Unnecessary, not unnessary."
Well I was educated in Lockport, and I can throw a ball better than I can spell!

"It is NOT just a turf field with lights. It is all of the sports fields that currently exist behind LHS and the physical education spaces (i.e climbing walls). Last time I checked there were 7 different fields, a tennis court and climbing walls."

And you keep stating this over and over, but what is the cost breakdown for this. $5.9M for the stadium and the rest for everything else? Never said you couldn't spend SOME money to fix up the existing fields and courts, etc.

The Phantom said...

Spokesman from the Division of Budget in Albany:

Peters said the reduction in aid as well as the competition for funds -- if approved by the Legislature -- would be retroactive to Feb. 1

If this is true, than isn't this all a moot point?? Aren't we all just wasting our time even discussing this?? BOE better check again with Albany...

What I felt in 2008 is still the way I feel in 2011. If this is a valid way of thinking, maybe we should vote on this every month since people MAY change their minds from month to month. Can't you see the lunacy of all this??
We can't cry broke in one hand and spend a fistfull of money in the other. It's not right!!

Anonymous said...

That's not true about retroactive, it's July 1st.

From the Union Sun - ---------"Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget actually increased building aid for schools to $171 million, to about $2.66 billion for the 2011-12 school year."-----------

And in the proposal will be a qualifier if the money isn't there for some reason the project won't go on.

It sounds like a no-brainer...

The Phantom said...

Anon, I guess you called Albany and verified your statement above regarding July 1st right??

I just read an editorial in the USJ from Tuesday, written by Tim Willett, teacher and coach. In it he says "We live in a democracy, and if the people want a vote, they should have a vote. Those who work against a vote, for as much as they have a constitutional right to voice their opinions, are working against democracy in its simplest form."

Really?? Because You wanted and received a vote a mere 2 years ago. I voiced my opinion by pulling the NO lever then. The measure was defeated and did not go forth. I think the democratic system worked, in it's simplest form, and the issue put to rest. His point would have some validity had a vote not occurred 2 years ago. The system was used, the system worked. Just because you did not get the results you wanted, doesn't mean the system didn't work.

The Supt said it would take a loud and clear message to go to a revote. So far I have only heard a whimper from a small group who will benefit directly from such a project. There have been an equal number of detractors. No loud and clear message here, just some whimpering....

Fix the problems with the schools. Do not create new ones!!

Rocketboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4LP said...

Many politicians have to be re-elected on two year terms. It is not like this vote happened yesterday. It seems to me like those who are opposed are scared of a re-vote. No does not mean no and obviously the BOE feels the same way. I believe Mrs. Lupo put it best, voting is your democratic right, use it.

As far as the letter to the editor, I believe Mr. Willett was taking exception to the rant by Mr. Root (who is obviously uninformed). He attacked the coaches of the district and said that when a team loses, they should lay down and take it. This is not the truth, and not the type of work ethic we want to teach our kids.

When you lose, you reflect on what happened and get ready for another attempt. Where would we be in history if America always backed down? What if our troops just simply stopped trying after a loss? The bitterness in this forum is sickening. We have gotten away from debating the facts and real issues of this proposed project.

Those who claimed fear of the financial hardship in the State seemed to have a small victory last night. Based on their roundtable discussion, it seems like a slam dunk that language will be placed in the proposition that guarantees two specific things:

1. Mr. Burke and his colleagues must have they $750,000 in the bank before the project can begin.

2. The district building aid rate must be at 93%


If either of those two stipulations are not met after a yes vote by the public, then the project will not go. According to Deb Coder, the district will have roughly 5 years to start the project once the money is approved by the State.

So the question remains, are you against State spending and bring jobs here to Lockport? Or are we trying to find more excuses to say no? It seems like the BIGGEST worry has been addressed and given a legal contract language.

Let's discuss the issues again...

The Phantom said...

Again, I used my democratic right when I voted no the first time as did the others who voted the same. We are not electing a politician here. We are not playing baseball. We are talking about millions of dollars. We are not scared of a re-vote, we simply feel that the original vote should stand and we should not have to continually defend the fact that the proposition was defeated.

As for Mr. Willett, as a teacher, his statement saying that we are working against democracy because I work against a vote lessens his credibility as the writer of this letter and more importantly as a teacher. We are merely standing up for our position as you are as well. To infer I or any other detractor is anti-democratic because of our voicing our opinions against, is as said before, pathetic. I hope these are not the values being taught to our youth.

His letter is full of sports references but he has left out one valuable reference. When a game is over, and you have lost, you have lost! There are no do overs, there is no changing that outcome, you have lost. Accept it, understand it, and learn from it, but do not think you can go back and change the outcome. When all is said and done, the game is still over...

And with that all said, if there are 5 years to start the project, how bout we vote on it every year? If we align ourselves along the re-vote line of thought, why not vote every year. Better yet, best of five. See how ridiculous that sounds.

And it interests me that people are believing word for word what the district officials are telling you. Remember, these are the same officials that were panned in the NY Comptrollers report saying that we overpaid into reserve funds when instead the money should have been used to reduce the tax burdens on the citizens of Lockport. Sorry if I'm a bit skeptical but history has a way of doing that to me...

Anonymous said...

Good job phantom

Jack Smith said...

The sportsmanship editorial was by Paul Black, not George Root. As far as Tim Willet's editorial, as a teacher he should be aware that this country is a Republic and because of the electoral college not a true democracy. Just saying.$18,800,000.00 needed to fix our schools infrastructure-YES. $7,800,000.00 wanted for a sports complex-NO.

Anonymous said...

For once I do agree with 4LP, the board, administration or whoever should be allowed to have a another vote on the issue if its deemed an important and necessary project for the District.

But I wholeheartedly disagree with the belief that we need this project or that it is in the best interest of our District.

I am more disgusted and upset with the Board and Administration for even thinking about this project at this time when it is clearly evident that their focus should be on more important and critical items in regards to the Budget and the needs of the District and ALL of its students (and by all i mean not just the ones that go to school on Lincoln Ave).

Based on the Survey it is clear that a LOT of work needs to be done to fix up our schools, but instead the primary focus for the past 4 months or more has been on a Sports Complex, that yes the public already stated they were not in favor of.

We already have heard about the potential loss of Library, Music, and Art. Kindergarten going to half days. More Layoffs, closing another school. But the fact that they insist on craming this project down our throats is insulting and irresponsible to say the least. And I know the money for the Sports Complex will not effect any of those things but it just shows me that the Administration has a complete disregard for its student and its teachers by pursuing and spending so much valuable time on this Sports Complex when we are in a time of such need.

Anonymous said...

Or could it perhaps be the board is working extra hard trying to handle the budget mess BUT also realizing that this capital fund re-reimbursement rate will not last forever and unfortunately if we are going to use the money it must be this year.
It's two separate issues and should be treated that way.
There is enough difference from when it was voted on two years ago, allow the vote (with the stipulations discussed in an earlier post) and move on.
I am in favor of it, but I think there are too many detractors that it will not pass though.
And Jack, you post of YES for one proposal and NO for the other one is really ridiculous considering the push you have made to waste our tax dollars on more low income housing. You should butt out of this one considering your views on wasting those tax dollars.

4LP said...

I strongly disagree that the administration and BOE have been working "very hard" on pushing the sports complex through. From my understanding, there is a very small group of coaches, booster, and supporters who are heading this thing up, along with Mr. Burke (who last time I checked was the Director of Health, Athletics, and Physical Education). I would assume it is his job to push for improvements to his facilities, as I would assume it is the job of the music dept. to push for improvements to theirs.

No one has yet to acknowledge the idea that the BOE offered yet another change in this potential proposition. Since 2008 the prop has had the following changes:

1. 93% state aid instead of 89%
2. 7%, or roughly $750,000.00 to be covered by Mr. Burke and fundraising
3. A stipulation in the proposition that if these two constants do not hold true, they even with a yes vote the proposition will never break ground.

I wish I would see some response to the action taken by the supporters of this project. They have obviously attempted to provide the district and taxpayers with the opportunity to vote on the project in 2011 with changes, and new rules.

Thoughts on those changes?

Rocketboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4LP said...

Rocketboy...there are people who voted no who are asking for another chance. That was indicated at the BOE meeting in January during the public forum.

If you are okay with the project, but just not at this time, then when? And what is holding you back from supporting it now that the BOE has guaranteed certain terms/conditions? I would be interested in hearing this side of the argument.

Rocketboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Count me as one who voted no the first time but will be voting yes this time. I believe that this project will benefit the community and I'm ok with the numbers.

Anonymous said...

" Anon 9:12.. As one of the biggest opponents to the HV plan here, even I'm sick of you bringing it up EVER TIME Mr. Smith makes a post. We get it. Give it up. "
And why do you think it is OK for Mr. Smith to put multiple posts in saying vote no to it?? If he has a right to post negative comments about it I have a right to post negative comments about his hypocrisy.
I wish you would give up the idea that it's undemocratic to have a second vote on this project, especially with the change in funding, I'm tired of hearing that!

MJ said...

Please stop dragging HV into this discussion as I'll delete further ones. There are posts for it. You have made your comparison.

There's infinite things that money can be spent on. Some money in the state is dedicated to school facilities and some to low income housing. Maybe if he was supporting an athletic feild for a low income project but not one for the school district then we would have a conflict. Or if he was against any shcool work but for the low income work.

Please stick to the topic.

MJ said...

"Remember, these are the same officials that were panned in the NY Comptrollers report saying that we overpaid into reserve funds when instead the money should have been used to reduce the tax burdens on the citizens of Lockport."

This is the same state that now expects these school districts to dip into all these funds that they said were "too large". I said it when the report first came out: A massively in-debt tax-heavy too-many-unfunded-mandates state criticizing school districts for having a savings acount. They said the same thing to almost every distict. As time goes on it shows how worthless those "audits" were. They were nothing more than deflecting our attention from the state.

Anonymous said...

Gee Lockport Journal, err I mean MJ, are you starting to censor posts? If someone can continue to bring up their opinion on a vote why can't we dispute his logic?

MJ said...

Not censoring comments. If I had an ability to move comments I'd move them to the proper post (one of the multiple on Housing Visions). As I stated above: layout a thought out comparison and I will allow it. Feel free to respond to what I said a couple posts up. Despute the logic with some logic. But drop one line jabs with out relating them and they go. It's rather simple. Hide behind "censoring" if you like.

Or two, step out of the Anon shadows so you can also be vetted for alleged hypocracy in your posts.

I allow a lot of stuff here. I don't feel it's too much to ask to remain on topic and refrain from personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

It's not a personal attack. Jack is a public figure, whether he likes it or not, and when he speaks people have a right to criticize his thinking.
I think part of your thinking on this is that you agree with the HV project.

Rocketboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic opportunity for our community and I am one in favor supporting the new Sports Complex. I am sure everyone will be proud of this when (or if) this is built.

Anonymous said...

Pride is a new word for me in this forum. I agree there will be much pride when this is all said and done. I hope it passes. I hope if it does, those who voted no come and enjoy a game, event, ceremony and feel that same sense of pride that those who support it already do!

This is not welfare, this is not wasteful spending, this is reinvestment and a very worth cause and the numbers look good to boot!

Anonymous said...

No way it passes, too many smart people out there

The Phantom said...

So, who can guarantee me that the sports program will still be a part of the budget for years to come?? Roy Hart cut football and modified sports out of their budget last year. Couldn't afford it. Say you get your shiny new stadium, new softball fields, tennis courts, etc and we can no longer afford field these teams in years to come? Will the boosters pass the hat around again, after all the "supporters" would already be in for $800,000 right? How much do you think this community is willing to open their wallets to keep funding this project? Maybe the boosters should fund sports completely, save me a few bucks.

Be a shame to see the big stadium empty every Saturday 'cause football was cut in favor of what the kids are really in school for: e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n.

I wonder how many textbooks, computers, school supplies that $800,000 that they think they can raise would buy. Put 2 cans side by side on the counter at Tops. 1 says $$$ for 40 kids to play football this fall. The other says $$$ to buy textbooks and school supplies for our future generation. My $$$ is on can #2. Where are your priorities? Which can are you putting your dollar into?

When high school is over, most athletes never play the game competitively again. But when high school is over, and they can't read, write or multiply, well, that's forever...

Raise your $800,000. But use it for the greater purpose...

Anon 11:51, you may be in favor, but are you willing to pay for it now, and possibly in the future? They will come knocking, everytime they need your money. I can't afford it, can you?

Anonymous said...

Can we just lock and end this thread? I think Phantom summed it up best.

Concerned said...

I don't think Phantom did. By raising the amount of money budgeted to capital projects, Cuomo has said he wants districts to do projects. He did this even while he cut down on the amount of money he is giving to the education budgets for schools. In my way of thinking this makes no sense, but he did it. His logic might be the construction projects will help spur the state economy. And no matter how people argue for it, it's a fact. There is extra money for projects, there is less money for education. No matter how many people you sue (I heard people are threatening this), you can't use this money for education.
So why not use this available money while it is there?

Anonymous said...

I will say one thing- THERE WAS NO LOUD AND CLEAR MESSAGE in favor of a re-vote. If you add up all the articles in the newspaper, all the people who spoke in the previous meetings, I would say it was a wash! Let's not forget the violations of how the Athletic Advisor's were drumming up all their support- ON OUR TAX DOLLARS and all the self-serving people who spoke upfor the sports palace. This whole thing is absolutely ridiculous.

MJ said...

The main project approved two years ago included state-of-the-art performing arts center and art gallery (what if they cut back on art programs and was there not already a functioning auditorium?)

New bleachers and padding in the gym, a fitness center (what if they cut back on gym?) and 6 new classrooms to replace those lost to that (unnecessary) fitness center.

Also a new entrance (weren't the kids already able to get into the building?) some new bathrooms (weren't there already some?), relocating the bus loop and upgrading the parent drop off zone (were kids late for classes?)

There was mechanical system work, handicap accessibility, etc. But besides the computer labs, what portion of the $26m main project approved two years ago was for e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n?

Note: this is a half sarcastic - half serious question. If these capitol projects are all about the kid's book educations, why even pass the other portion 2 years ago?

MJ said...

Sorry "23 Million".

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that the prices of the sports palace are 3 years old. It wouldn't surprise me to see that we need to add another $1-2M on to that.

Xavier said...

Test

Xavier said...

OKAY - now I think I know what I'm doing wrong...
First off-Mr. Smith has every right in the world to comment on this subject. He's not only an Alderman-he's a citizen, taxpayer and parent. So some people should give that up.
This school board is beyond the Pale. They intend to do what they want and the rest of us be d-----ed. Their attitude is despicable. They sit up there, lording it over us (who pay for everything) and refuse to answer any questions. What's up with THAT?
They don't give a sh*1. They want what they want and they're going to get it. Somehow - either through a contingency budget or otherwise - Pat Burke will get his "Palace" and all will be well in LaLaLand a/k/a the Board of Education. It's the rest of us who have to live in reality that are getting the stuffing beaten out of us.
This is one for the District Attorney. The crap these people have been up to for months breaks every rule in the Education Law and even the Penal Code. Yet Burke, and the rest of his Sports staff have been breaking rules since Carbone made the decision to go for this.
What they haven't told you is they're also going to jack up our taxes before the State caps them. They have a lot of goodies on their platter and they're going to force feed them to us whether we want them or not.
What don't they get about Lockport is POOR! MOST people here aren't lucky enough to make the salaries that these teachers and administrators make - we can't afford this. We NEED our kids to be safe in their schools. To be in rooms where they don't have to wear their Winter jackets cause the wind blows through the cracks around the windows. They NEED Art, Music, Band and special stuff for all the kids-not just the ones who are physically exceptional. What about the AP classes, the kindergarteners, field trips outside the buildings, regular stuff that will help them in their grown-up years. Help them go to College, learn a foreign language. That's what Terry;s going to sell out to get this abomination.





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Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow, thats crazy talk about calling the DA!

Xavier said...

Thanks Rocketboy... one of these days I'll figure it out.
And to the brave anonymous 10:49 - it's not at all crazy. Before you start throwing that word around, why don't you look into it. You'll obviously be surprised.
Now who's crazy?

Concerned said...

I agree, if anyone is crazy enough to go to the DA or even BOCES about someone doing their job trying to get facilities for their area of responsibility (athletics) they are crazy!
This is a democracy, a vote will tell us the peoples will. If someone feels this is a totally stupid idea make sure the people that agree with them are ready to vote. Extreme measure like going to court is ridiculous. Reminds me of the lady fighting Verizon in Barker.

Anonymous said...

"This is a democracy, a vote will tell us the peoples will. If someone feels this is a totally stupid idea make sure the people that agree with them are ready to vote."

Really? Because I thought we did that already!

Anonymous said...

As of yet there hasn't been a "Loud and Clear" message, Check out the Athletic Department and their self-serving friends- do a little investigating into who spoke up- There's a connection with the majority of them. Again no one is truly adressing the fact that they illegally used school resources to their advantage! I think it's going to take Albany getting involved in this.

Rocketboy said...
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Xavier said...

Benjamin Franklin said something along the lines of "We've given you your "democracy" (Republic), the trouble will come when we see if you can keep it.
As to illegality, how about Official Misconduct, among others. No one has to go to the D.A. Don't you realize they're already looking at it?
Burke and his buddies have misused District time, equipment, resources, etc. That goes all the way to the top with Carbone and the Board sanctioning his Misconduct for their own purposes. Look it up - then who's crazy?

Anonymous said...

It seems like you need to put this in perspective X or it's going to kill you. Like the idea or not this is not a criminal enterprise. Burke is doing his job trying to put a facility together. He and others might have made a mistake using school email but c'mon.
If you and others asked the DA (and I was told BOCES (right Ms. Smith?)) to look at it, I am sure they laughed as soon as you left.
It's a shame we have so many narrow minded vicious people in Lockport who will probably not allow us to accept this gift the state wants to give us. Why else would Cuomo cut our education aid but add money to the facilities budget?

Anonymous said...

MJ - please erase the previous comment i just made - this is getting so stupid. i am done commenting. i don' want to antagonize people who i can't convince otherwise any more. please delete it.

Luisa Smith said...

Don't let the School Board play you! These two propositions need to be kept separate. Governor Cuomo's facilities budget was increased because maintanance is cheaper than building new. NYS wants to avoid crumbling buildings in our school districts. It is a "needs" based budget not necesarily meant for "wants". Using this money now for things like a "Sports Palace" is just a little frivous, considering all the cuts that will have to be made soon.

I have spoken to several parents who have become sickened by the constant bombardment of the re-vote issue, but they're afraid to say enough is enough because of the possibility of retaliation on their children.

Somehow I have become the "bad guy" because I am willing to speak up against building this right now. That's okay, I'll accept that, but at the same time I have been contacted by several people who are thankful that I am willing to stand up for this

And you're absolutely right anonymous 8:33- It is a shame we have so many narrow minded vicious people in Lockport!

Luisa Smith said...

oops- "frivolous"

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry MJ but this needs to be said and it is related-
How in the heck can somebody preach this as frivolous when they want to spend $9,000,000 of our tax dollars on 33 apartments? Plus their pet project will cost us over the next 20 years as they won't be paying full city taxes or school taxes? Give me a break!!
And I saw a post in the HV thread but it looks like they don't have answers to the questions posed.

Xavier said...

I said nothing about a "criminal enterprise" my friend. That would probably have to involve the Feds and I'm sure they have better things to do.
Nothing is going to kill me. If I didn't die the last time I'm sure not going to die over school "officials" breaking all manner of laws and procedures to get what they want. They're jocks in suits and ties, or heels, and they've been raised and lived as adults to get whatever they want - no matter the means they use to get it. At the very least they're lousy "sportsmen" and are going behind the backs of the good people of Lockport (who are NOT "narrow minded and vicious") with their dog and pony show week after week after week while regular folks aren't even allowed to speak.
This is NOT a "gift." The money has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is us. What don't you "get" about that? It's sad, really, that those who are ostensibly teaching our kids are dealing unfairly with the taxpayers. Has anyone priced wrought iron lately?
Sure - I'd love a wonderful new "Sports Palace." Who wouldn't? But the reality of what this City, County, State and Nation are going through dictates that we render all we can to educate all our children - not just the jocks of the day. All children deserve the best education we can provide - not just the jocks and their parents and not, especially, the grown up jocks and "leaders" who want a pretty sports area we cannot afford. They'll be the first ones arguing with their accountants when the tax bill comes. They're probably the few in our community (even those who don't bother to live here) who can afford to hire accountants to do their taxes. They'll also be the ones who will find every nitpicking exemption so they pay less in taxes than the regular working man.
It's sad and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Xavier (or should I say Mr. Black?) - when you refer things to a DA you are referring crimes - hence the comment.
Burke has a job to do and he is doing it well. It's up to the voters to say yea or no and I am hoping that people yelling the sky is falling are a minority.
You can't accept the fact that this will not change taxes at all so it is affordable, that this is available money that can't be used for education and that this facility will enhance the education of Lockport students.
Your gripe should be with the Cuomo and the state for cutting education dollars while increasing this fund - go call the FBI, CIA or some extremist group on them!

Anonymous said...

I find it very funny that you decide to pick on Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, and even Mr. Smith here because they don't share your opinion. All I can say is, it's a good thing it wasn't the Smith's or Mr. Black's son that was caught stealing drugs and money.............

Xavier said...

He he he... lol! Silly man...
When are you going to get it through your head that Burke might be "doing his job" in YOUR book - but when someone does "their job" illegally that's not good for anyone - especially when he holds himself out as an "educator."
I don't want him, or his ilk, anywhere near my kids.
Shameful.

MJ said...

"What they haven't told you is they're also going to jack up our taxes before the State caps them. "

They can not just jack up our taxes without us voting yes. When the public rejects a school budget, the district is forced to go to a contingency plan based on the consumer price index. Last year it was 0%. Not sure what it is this year.

And even though the state will cap spending increases, they could be overcome with 60% yes vote.

Xavier said...

Thank you MJ. It's a bit peculiar that all these people simply don't "get it."

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Why would people look a gift horse from the state in the mouth? Stupid not to accept the money....

Anonymous said...

Because we're not "stupid", it's not a "gift"! It's taxpayer money. We'll still end up having to pay more in taxes. Burke's figures are off, etc,etc,etc.

Anonymous said...

Every other states tax burden in the recession has decreased,NY has increased,we don't have the money to afford this right now!

Xavier said...

Proof they don't get it.
Sad really.

Rocketboy said...
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Xavier said...

I picked up a piece in the NY Times this past week about a School System in, I think, North Carolina. The teachers and administrators actually agreed to do away with their unions so the students could get what they needed for their education. I know I saved it. If I can figure our how to get it to you - I will. Very refreshing!

Anonymous said...

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/24/collective-bargaining-do-sat-scores-prove-states-need-it/

As republished in The Economist, a chart purporting to show that combined SAT and ACT scores in the five U.S. states without collective bargaining rights are among the worst in the country quickly became a viral hit on Twitter and Facebook. Indeed, this reporter first saw the information via Andrew Sullivan's blog, which linked to The Economist, a highly trusted source of information. The specific data showed the following combined SAT/ACT rankings for the states without collective bargaining rights for teachers:

South Carolina -- 50th
North Carolina -- 49th
Georgia -- 48th
Texas -- 47th
Virginia -- 44th

Rocketboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4LP said...

This forum is junk. We have turned away from debating the issues of a sports complex and now are discussing the realm of education reform. I will be voting yes and the rest is history.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, you have your opinion!

Xavier said...

Pure bliss...

Anonymous said...

Everyother district in the area is cutting back but BOE wants to spend, spend,spend!

4LP said...

Every other district in the area is cutting back, including the LCSD. The fund used to help build a project like this GREW in the Governor's Budget by over 100 million dollars.

The BOE does not want to spend, spend, spend. They obviously want to take advantage of a great offer at 93% state aid and the local share covered by fundraising.

Did people not buy houses during the housing crunch a few years ago? No. They did buy houses because of a government stimulus package that encourage growth and offered up to an $8,000 credit as an incentive.

Personally, 93% aid and no local share sounds like an incentive to me.

shedoesnthaveaclue said...

You want this but then Carbone sends us an email Friday about the budget telling us she's looking at things like non-mandated programs and non-professional staffing.
SO, she says she wants to look at cutting the hours and the pay of the lowest paying positions (aides and assistants)! That will surely save us millions!!!! Great, pick on them BUT there wasn't a single mention in the email that she is looking at paring down her girls club at the board office (talk about discrimination, I don't think she's hired one male administrator).
Seriously, she could cut one or two administrators and save the future wages for 100 aids and assistants. What is she thinking, cut a bunch of $20,000 a year people 10% of their pay or just get rid of one $100,000 person????

The Phantom said...

Niagara Falls couldn't even muster a 60% yes vote on their $130 million improvement project and their reimbursement rate was 98%.

I can't wait to vote no. It's time to draw the line.

Xavier said...

"Life is hard, it's harder if you're stupid."

I'd like a look at the budget in its entirety. I'm beginning to have an uncomfortable feeling that the more us nobodies focus on the Palace, Terry and her minions will slip through God knows what.

Oh - John Wayne

4LP said...

Unfortunately Niagara Falls is an uneducated city. Let us not be like them. They are one of the major attractions in the North East and they cannot even get that right. Let alone have only 2500 people vote.

This has never been about what was right for Niagara Falls, Lew-Port or Ken-Ton. It was always about what was right for Lockport.

It is safe to say that the administrators on Beattie Ave. are not getting things done, but lets continue to focus on the project this forum was created for discussing.

We all face hard times. The question is, does this project, with the current state aid ratio, provide us with the best opportunity to improve our school district?

Ten years from now we want Niagara Falls to look at Lockport and say, "Why couldn't we have done that?" Perhaps 2500 people only showed up to vote because they were not educated by the BOE. Debate was not had by citizens and they went for a HUGE project, rather than something that was obtainable.

Thoughts?.

Anonymous said...

"rather than something that was obtainable"

I'm all for more obtainable, but more importantly I'm for more necessary, like much needed improvements to ALL our buildings.

Fire Carbone and one or two assistant supers, and over time we'll have enough money to cover 20% instead of 7% of the local funds.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, wonderfully put anon. 9:25! We must keep in mind that the increase from NYS on building project money was primarily to keep our school buildings from deteriorating not so we could all start putting in sports palaces! Let's keep this all in perspective. Even if we can build it, let's not forget that realistically speaking it will cost us in upkeep. This is not the time to have to put that extra burden on we the taxpayers. I will feel confident in voting no now and looking at this project down the road when things will get better in Lockport and New York State.

4LP said...

"Realistically speaking it will cost us in upkeep..."

This is not true. Pat Burke addressed the BOE twice already with documentation from seven school districts who indicated they saved or broke even with a complex like this.

"Fire Carbone and one or two assistant supers, and over time we'll have enough money to cover 20% instead of 7% of the local funds..."

So you are okay with the state covering 80% of the project, but not okay with them covering 93%? That makes very little sense.

Jack Smith said...

My concern is only this- Even if this does not immediately affect the tax rate, will it in the near future as continue to update and maintenance the school buildings around the District and we find that we are short the capital funds to do so because we have used that money to build the Sports Complex? I truly believe that the BOE could potentially gain more support for this project if they would make available on line the recent buildings report, detailed line item budget reports from the last five years, and if they held their staff accountable for the improper and illegal use of District resources to gain support for this project. As a side note- If Niagara Falls appeared to be uneducated because of the results of their vote, perhaps it is because they didn't have all the information they needed to make an informed decision and decided not to trust their BOE, much like what is happening here in Lockport. Just something to think about.

4LP said...

According to the presentations there will be no capital reserve monies used for the sports complex. Since all of it will be fundraised privately, the argument is invalid.

If the concern is about maintenance down the road, the presentations to the BOE indicated that portions of the revenue brought in by the complex would be set aside in a special capital improvement fund to take care of the replacement of turf and other items down the road.

I agree with the items being posted for all to see online and think more transparency would be better. I look forward to the next BOE meeting when the numbers should be presented.

Anonymous said...

"So you are okay with the state covering 80% of the project, but not okay with them covering 93%? That makes very little sense."

If down the road things improve for the state and Lockport and we have made necessary changes to our district to cut the fat at the top. And our buildings are in good or great shape, we are not laying off teachers and cutting all non-mandated programs. Then yes I would be okay with a sports complex even if it meant we had to cover 20%. But with the situation that we are in now we don't need it and can't afford it.

Also I'm sick of hearing about Burke raising the money. He was supposed to help the Y raise money and he hasn't don't Jack sh!t to help with that. Also I don't not see much additional revenues being generated to cover additional costs. Who is going advertise at this place? And Burke and this district already are terrible about renting out facilites as it is now, how are they going to handle it better in the future. I have rented facitilies before and been left out in the cold or running around the school trying to find someone with keys to let me in and all they do is treat you like its an inconvenience to them. No one will want to rent or use this facility after their first time because they are terrible at orgainizing and making anyone feel welcome.

Anonymous said...

"This is not true. Pat Burke addressed the BOE twice already with documentation from seven school districts who indicated they saved or broke even with a complex like this."

Okay, let's see.... We are approaching a new era where the state is facing some serious problems- we cannot compare how other districts fared in the past regarding their sports complexes when we are on the brink of having to figure out where we have to cut back- which will probably include some of our sports programs.

Again, the timing is all wrong!

The Phantom said...

The school district already did some fundraising from me and every other tax payer last year. I believe I gave them 7% more than usual. This year promises to be much the same. Gas is $3.65 a gallon now and rising by the day. Food prices are going up, everything remotely involved with oil is now going up.
How much money do you think the citizens of Lockport have laying around to contribute to this "fundraising"?? Me? Not a penny.

4LP, you want to discount the fact that this isn't about other districts, but you're quick to take the word of 7 other districts that say there will be no upkeep. So which is it? Is there a comparison or not??

Maybe Burke can take a $10,000 pay cut and put that towards the project. Maybe the entire sports program should be funded through private fundraising. If the money is that easy to come by, take the entire burden off the taxpayer. Then maybe I'd vote yes.
Until then, NO!

4LP said...

1. We all pay taxes, buy gas, and need to purchase food to eat. You are preaching to the choir here.

2. No one is asking you to contribute a dime if you do not want to. There are people who have expressed interest in giving. I heard on LCTV a pizza place was donating $1 for ever pizza sold. You do not speak for all of Lockport, so please do not assume there are not people who want to donate.

3. I have said lets not be like other districts who vote things down because we don't want our community to get better.

4. I am sure Burke will donate something nice to the project. You slam him like he is doing something wrong, when in true fashion, he is doing his job and going to bat for his students (which last time I checked he was in charge of all physical education, athletics, and health students).

5. If you feel so strongly about private funding for sports, then we should eliminate all non-mandated programs and require people to pay to join (music, arts, business, library, etc). Then again, we want to have well rounded students who will become productive citizens to take care of you right?

I have never asked anyone in here to vote yes. I have stated facts and shared my opinion on the matter. While I stand to vote yes, I look forward to hearing discussion from those who want to vote no. But please do not use this space as a place to bash individuals involved.

The Phantom said...

1. I never said I spoke for all of Lockport. But if there are so many people interested in donating, why hasn't the money been raised in the two years since the proposal was first introduced? Would haave made their argument alot easier to stomach. Expressing interest, and writing the check are vastly different areas.

2. Other communities vote these items down because they don't want them, not because they don't want their community to be nicer, but because they are realistic in their outlook for the future in relation to money.

3. I do not think Burke is doing anything wrong. I'm sure he earns every cent of the $102,209 paychecks received last year, or the $294,636 he has earned over the last three years. Lead by example. Pledge the first donation.

My point was, he is making it sound like it will be soooooo easy to raise 3/4 of a million $$$. I think he overestimates the ability and more importantly the desire of the locals to pony up this money for such a luxury. I won't call it a field with lights, it's softball, it's climbing wall, it's so much more I don't want to be accused again of oversimplifying the whole project.

Use the money to FIX the existing problems with the infrastructure, not build anew.

I'm not bashing you, Burke or anyone. As you have, I am sharing my opinion, and creating discussion as you stated. What I do, is discredit and contradict. That's what the opposition does. We share our opinion. If you don't like it, don't read my posts. Nobody forces you to read my words. And right now, my words are NO VOTE! Loud and clear.

Now, as for the fundraising. Only 800,000 more pizzas to go, and it's a wrap! Sorry if that offended anyone.

Anonymous said...

"5. If you feel so strongly about private funding for sports, then we should eliminate all non-mandated programs and require people to pay to join (music, arts, business, library, etc). Then again, we want to have well rounded students who will become productive citizens to take care of you right?"

Its looking like this will have to happen based on Carbone's email to the teachers and staff. And you should add pre-K and full day K to that list.

Xavier said...

This "conversation" has devolved to mudslinging in some peoples' misguided attempts to defend the indefensible "Palace." It goes both ways, folks.
What doesn't change is the FACT that, IF Mdme Carbone and her lesser beings HAVE been dipping their toes in the water to gauge the sentiment of the community - the water has burned their feet off. They will, of course, ignore this and prance into the next public hearing on toe shoes, sans toes. It might be worth going just for comic relief!
What seems to be lost in over 100 comments on this issue, most of which have been well thought out and presented whether I happen to agree with you or not, is the issue itself.
We don't NEED it. We can't afford it - & I don't want to hear a word about how the State and Pat Burke are going to pay for it. What a load of crap. Neither we nor the State of New York can afford this. We ARE The State. Mr. Burke, while taking on the role of being the primum movens at the bidding of Carbone, has worked to obtain this stupid thing, at some point he might recognize he's been her stooge. NOT to his credit, but it does keep a lot of the heat off her. To those who commend him for his efforts, let's not forget that he's repeatedly using District resources to force the issue. A few pretty pictures of LeMoyne College mean nothing. What we must take into account is that all the time, money, personnel and equipment he's already used has come out of our pockets. Shameful.
I noted one comment that basically called the voters of Niagara Falls as "stupid." Are they? Really? Or are they in the same boat we're in? We can't handle another tax increase which Carbone will undoubtedly hand us whether this thing goes through or not. I'll say the folks in The Falls were pretty smart about that and will be laughing at us should too many of Burke's pals show up and vote yes. Also, Niagara Falls has use of Niagara University's facilities when requested. Is that why Burke emailed, from work, the Lockport Soccer moms and DeSales parents in an effort to nail down, what? We'll be able to use DeSales' gym when we don't have one? Smarmy. He's an ex-jock in a bad suit. Anyone can do that look with a heck of a lot more "gravitas." His only cheerleaders are the Board and a fraction of the parents.
"The great masses of people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. Especially if it is repeated over and over again."
Adolf Hitler
Virtually all children benefit from reading, writing and arithmetic not to mention music and art (which help them in their academic work).
And anyone who thinks he's serving his students - they're right! He's teaching them how to get away with things using nefarious means. How nice.
The man is beneath those he condemns. (That would be me.) Those he condemns for a lack of "vision." I'd rather be beneath his "status" than beneath the heel of his jackboot. No pun intended. His "status" is scum. And he's using our kids to gain it. Again, shameful.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand how people who think they are intelligent can't understand that the money for this is already budgeted by the state, it ALREADY IS COMING OUT OF OUR TAXES, so the only choice we have is do we use it or does some other district.
Yes all children benefit from music and art, but also all children benefit from athletics who make an attempt to get off their couches and participate. That is a stupid argument.
Mr. Black, your rants show you definitely have an extreme personal problem with Pat Burke and should consider talking to a professional about getting rid of your anger. WOW

Anonymous said...

"I just don't understand how people who think they are intelligent can't understand that the money for this is already budgeted by the state, it ALREADY IS COMING OUT OF OUR TAXES, so the only choice we have is do we use it or does some other district"

Again this money was budgeted and created to make necessary improvements to our buildings and to keep them from falling apart. NOT TO BUILD A BRAND NEW UN-NECESSARY SPORTS PALACE!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We just spent $23M, which a large portion was to upgrade the music and arts area. I guess the sports boosters should have complained about create a 'music palace'.

And for Jack (and his wife), not to beat a dead horse, but you should be the last ones to complain about on-going costs (which will be less then the current setup), once again how much tax breaks are we giving and how much rent money will be subsidizing for your pet project? I'll bet the future costs will be a lot more to the city taxpayers than this will be.

Anonymous said...

Yes here we go again... you're upset, can't understand why people don't want this built AT THIS TIME-since everything is uncertain with government. Who even knows what we'll have to pay in taxes this coming year, but you of course know best. You'll try to keep bashing the Smiths because that's your just your way.....pathetic. Move on.

Xavier said...

I don't think I'm intelligent, I know I am. In this instance a goose would recognize that with all the difficulties the State, County and City are dealing with, without a PLAN, shared with the residents before the vote, will be unacceptable. Burke's spiels show him to be the dog in the dog and pony show orchestrated by Carbone. What does she care? She'll be gone, living elsewhere.

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." H.G. Wells
This is a catastrophe.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Black - I don't agree that you are intelligent. An intelligent person would not write such vile comments about Mr. Burke. Also, you just don't understand that the we already paid the money to the state in taxes, building this won't change anything. yes, the state is in chaos, but you should go after Cuomo for increasing the building aid budget while decreasing the teaching budget. No that was stupid, but we should work with what we have.
Now in the meantime, chill out - quit complaining to BOCES and tthe DA, relax!!

Xavier said...

My opinion is that your grammatical skills are sorely lacking.
Kindly buy your husband some new shirts and ties. Brooks Brothers is perferred.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

How presumptutious of you to say Mr. Black is the one commenting here. I have read many of his letters and his blog and his writing style is totally different. I find it funny that you think there are only a handful of people that share his opinion.

Xavier said...

Ah HAH! I've been found out!! I think that these anonymous people who keep pushing Carbone's agenda are stooges to her and to the rest of the board who suck up to her.
What I find hysterical is it took them what, two weeks, to figure out I'm not Mr. Black? Further proof that they don't know what they're talking about. And these are the people we turn our kids over to every day? Now THAT'S scary.

Luisa Smith said...

I would like to share an important item that I learned at the BoE work session this week. The Governor's increase of money in captital improvements was not intended for districts to build "sports complexes". Infact I believe the new tier system that he has proposed substantiates that. Projects such as a sports complex are considered a Tier 6- the lowest and least important. It appears the primary intention was to make buildings safer, able to accomodate students without overcrowding and from going into disrepair.

Anonymous said...

buffalo news stated that there could be 3 different things to vote on,1 for the capital improvements,1 for selling dewitt clinton to head start for $4500, & 1 for the 6.9 million dollar sports palace

Anonymous said...

sorry $5.8 million sports palace !

Luisa Smith said...

Yes it appears that there will be 3 Propositions:
1. Capital Improvements
2. Sports Complex
3. Sale of DeWitt to Head Start for $4500

Also equally important:
Voting for 4 Board Members
2011-2012 Budget

Many people are upset that DeWitt Clinton is being sold for only $4500 and that the building was never put on the market. The argument is that perhaps it could have been sold or auctioned off for much more. The Board will officially vote on putting that to a proposition on March 23rd.

Anonymous said...

Are you running Ms. Smith?

Anonymous said...

If we get a new set of BOE members can you please make sure the in-breading stops over at Beattie Ave?. It seems like we already have hired our next Super...

Last time I checked, our schools were failing and yet we look to hire the second in command to lead the ship? If we do get new BOE members, please search long and hard for a highly qualified and non-Lockport Super.

If we want to change the ways of this city, we need a change in people...and blood.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we definitely need some new bread here!

Luisa Smith said...

Transparency is key. I agree that there is way too much nepotism, be it in the city, town, county or school government. Board members are not there to rubber-stamp everything that is presented to them, but to do their research and see what is ultimately best for the people that they serve. Somewhere along the way our elected officials have lost sight of that.

Right now I think more than ever (especially with the challenges our District will be facing with budget cuts) our students' academic needs should paramount. As far as running for school board, I’m not quite sure about that yet.

Anonymous said...

Ms Smith I think that someone as out spoken as you should step up. This watch dog attitude can only go so far then you become another negative local gladfly. You are calling for change, be a part of that.

MJ said...

Thank you for the information Luisa. It is much appreciated.

The Phantom said...

Censorship is alive and well here. Don't like the opinion and facts, delete. Nice...

MJ said...

1) It's one thing to express information and another to call names and attack. Those who can not separate the two can whine all they want and feel free to leave if its too overbearing.

2) The only reason any "facts" were delated is because of #1. I don't have the ability to edit posts nor would I want to waste my time doing it anyways. They could always be reposted without the additional crap that got them deleted in the first place and they would be left alone.

3) The only other reason to delete would be "off-topic". Put comments in the appropriate post.

--------

Two simple rules. People are allowed to post anonymously and all I ask in return is to follow them.

The Phantom said...

Ok. Well here is my diverse opinion.

Bury the sports complex proposal. It's a waste of time, and a waste of money. We don't need a lighted field, a new softball diamond, and everything that goes along with it. It's a luxury proposal, and one we don't need. The vote was done 2 years ago, and the results speak for themselves. To bring it up again with little or no change is a slap in the face of those who bothered to show up and vote no.

Last year, we were given the opportunity to vote on the school budget. No matter if we voted yes, or we voted no, we would still see nearly the same end result. A raise in taxes, and the closing of two schools. The vote really meant nothing, but enough people cared to show up and vote no, making it one of the few school districts in WNY to vote down their budget. It did little to change the outcome, but in my mind, it was a symbolic victory and that was a "Loud and clear" message from the community.

So, at this point, have your vote, I'm sick of defending my no vote from only two years ago. We didn't want it then, and we don't want it now.

And if by chance enough sports parents show up and vote it through, then I will be the first one in line in a couple years when we can no longer afford a sports program, and say I told you so. And when the sports palace needs repair, or upkeep, don't send me the bill, send it to those who voted yes.

Was that on topic enough?

P.S. I believe posting individual salaries would make a great topic, since that is where our taxdollars go. Cut some administrators and maybe we could save an elementary school library.

MJ said...

On topic enough? Sure. I'm wondering if something didn't just post for you. It's been at least half a week to a week since I deleted anything in here.

Salaries were brough up here a while back:

http://lockportforum.blogspot.com/2010/03/see-through-ny.html

Last year a no vote would have forced the contingency budget which at the time was 0% matching the consumer prie index. If I recall correctly it would have deleted an extra 400k.
Post is here:

http://lockportforum.blogspot.com/2010/03/we-have-little-say.html

Budget passing vote is here:

http://lockportforum.blogspot.com/2010/04/school-budget-passed.html

So no votes do matter, it's just that last year the district already took the budget to near zero expenditure growth. If they would have made less cuts, a no vote would have mattered more. A good check for the current laws. They only way to do better is to change the law something like a 60% no vote would have to result in an actual decrease in expenditures.

The tax increase had to do with making up for the reduction in state aid even through spending barely increased.

Anonymous said...

MJ,
Maybe I am wrong but last year the budget was defeated and we went to a contingency budget. It was a symbolic vote because the proposed budget has the same tax rate as the contingency budget, so in going to it it only menat outside groups had to pay to use the facilities.
I am sure the same thing will happen this year, they might just as well plan it that way. I don't agree, with the state cuts we should expect an increase, but I am sure it will get voted down by the people who just want to vote no and by the 'blue hairs' who don't care because their kids aren't there anymore.
I wouldn't want to be a BOE member right now, spending hours each week on this mess without any pay, and knowing that whatever they do people won't be happy. You'd have to be nuts to want that job!

Anonymous said...

"Unveiled at Wednesday’s school board meeting, the early version of Carbone’s plan includes cutting the equivalent of 30.5 positions. That would lead to 20 layoffs and 10 people retiring who would not be replaced. The district is also looking at all non-mandated programs, Carbone said."

Wouldn't sports be included in the non-mandated programs?

Also wonder how many Administrators or Asst Superintendants are included in the 20 layoffs

MJ said...

You Anonymi are killing me. ;)

Bickering directly anonymous to anonymous is rediculus. I've cleaned up twice. Please behave. Ignore the fire starters still I can get rid of them. Refer to statement above comment box.

The Phantom said...

Last year's budget was cut by $4.1 Million to get down to zero increase in expenditures. That's the good news. The bad news is that they still had to make up for the loss of millions in state aid. That accounted for the 7% increase in taxes. This year appears to be no different, and years to follow will be the same. I'm starting to feel like a human ATM, here to withdraw money from when needed. So we were stuck with the same 7% increase in taxes no matter what we voted, and most people probably knew that going to the booth. Yet they still pulled the no lever to send their message. Not quite sure if they heard it yet though.

The Comptroller is now saying that districts are tightening their budgets, and the financial condition could worsen with less state aid, and lowering property values. His quote exactly:

"School districts have to find ways to educate and economize at the same time. Raising taxes should be a last resort," This stated by Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller NYS.

Albany is telling us, cut back, it's going to get worse before it gets better.

And if you can't tell me with absolute certainty that this sports project will cost zero, and I mean zero budget dollars now or anytime in the future, then I don't want it. And so far, I have heard NO guarantees from anyone this will happen.

Xavier said...

I agree that the "no" vote two years ago - one of three, I believe, in Western new York to turn their budgets down, is the loud and clear message to the Board.
Instead, Carbone is keeping things under her hat - not disclosing anything until, maybe, tomorrow. At least Newfane has the guts to come right out and tell it properly - we can't afford it.
Carbone sent a memo too. Not to us, the taxpayers, but to her staff members. Carbone didn't even have the chutzpah to insert a bold-faced directive such as that which was included in Newfane's. In short: "Don't drag the kids into this - no letters home - no propoganda, etc. etc."
I'd like to see that in Lockport.

Anonymous said...

Unless I am mistaken the Lockport budget was voted down last year even though the tax increase was the same as a contingency budget, which they ended up going to. The only difference in the budget we voted down and the one enacted was that outside groups had to pay to use the facilities. I am sure this year that the budget will be defeated again no matter what they propose as the naysayers and the blue hairs (who don't care, their kids are out of school) will be out in force.
And though I support it, I am sure the sports complex will be voted down too due to the above. Phantom, you choose not to believe anything they present. It has been shown with data from other districts that ongoing costs will be the same or less for this facility, especially if you factor in rental costs for other events. It's a total win for the district to build this, even if things get worse and they do get rid of football. I know it's been said many times, but we are already paying for it with our state tax dollars, why not build it here rather than somewhere else. This doesn't even factor in the local jobs that will be created building it.

Anonymous said...

The political beast of a comptroller also said everybody's reserve funds were too high. Can you imagine what would be happening right now in every district if they hadn't had reserve funds?
And how about the fact that the upstate districtd are getting screwed by the cut in state aid as compared to downstate? here's a good article that talks about a Long Isle district that spends $25,000 per kid,vs our $13,000 (I thought I heard this number, might be wrong). And they are only getting a .77% cut vs. our 15% cut!!! Thanks Cuomo!!!
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/upstate_ny_schools_bear_the_br.html

MJ said...

I believe state average is 17k, we're at about 15k/student. Not sure of NYC area though I'd assume higher salaries/etc for the higher cost of living to push the cost per student higher. Even at 15k it's still 50% higher than area private schools like Nardin and Canisius.

I'm all for charters/vouchers etc to get competition and stop the tax base drain of families moving to other districts once an older one becomes hit with poverty influenced performance scores.

Tax is a tax regardless if it is state or local correct? The whole system needs an overhall from top to bottom. It's broken and throwing more money at it has done nothing to fix it. Adjusted for inflation as a country we spent $55k/child in 1970 and now pay about 155k per child for k-12 education. 3x the adjusted real cost for no increase or slight decline in reading, math and science. More money into the same system is not the solution.

Luisa Smith said...

Well said MJ. I have to admit that I agree regarding charters/vouchers to encourage competition in education.

I am very disappointed to see budgets that reflect a "temporary fix" and can't help but feel that if we are not ready to make some serious cuts from administration down, this next budget will be voted down once again.

Over the years our enrollment has gone down but yet we have more administrators and teachers, assistants and aids. You would think that our performance would atleast reflect this, but unfortunately it does not.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen any of the kids that go to that school? Pants down around their ankles, vulgarity, pregnancy! No matter how many teachers you have, the climate will not change until we stop allowing people on welfare to run this city into the ground.

Anonymous said...

We really have to rethink our approach. Not all students are meant for college and not all students want to go to college. I think the Boces Vocational School can teach many of these students a trade and how to be productive citizens in a community.

Anonymous said...

- there are extra aides, asst's and teachers due to the large number of kids who were pulled from boces since it saves money. Administrators due need to be cut.
- Like it or not Lockport is rapidly becoming a ghetto town and the schools and the test scores are reflecting that. Upson used to be a great school, now it is full of low income, (which sorry to stereotype) typically means kids with parent(s) who do't care as much as higher income parents. And we are only adding to the problem spending our tax dollars on more low income housing in the city.
- "We" don't have any say in the vocational trades. Our goofy state has declared that everyone will get/try a regents degree, even special ed kids have to take the exams.

Xavier said...

Excellent points Mrs. Smith. I'm rather put off by the anon. who uses poor, pregnant girls as the example of why we should all give up. I'm not in favor of 14 year old mothers either - but you needn't use this forum to bash them and their parent(s).

MJ - you take the cake - and that's a good thing in this instance. In addition to your excellent moderating (similar to an NHL ref who lets them go, within reason, in the last 5 minutes of a tied game) your use of "Anonymi" was absolutely brilliant!!
I'd be all for requiring everyone who wants to comment on this site to obtain a "Google" identity at the very least. It's tough keeping up with which anonymous is helpful and which is a troublemaker trolling for personal adulation.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

whoa you don't need to have money to care about how your kids are doing in school, terrible comment,"due" need to be cut , your parents must have been poor to then anom 6:07

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for not being PC. You really don't agree that MOST (not all) of our ghetto, low income housing, welfare families don't worry and push their kids as much as the stereotypical middle class working parents do? Have you ever gone to open houses or parents orientation at the schools? Have you ever noticed a distinct lack of parents of the 'troubled' kids showing up?
Sorry to be blunt.
Why the heck else do you think the grades are slipping in Lockport? It definitely correlates to the lower incomes, higher welfare percentage of people here.

Anonymous said...

latest news... state funding is being cut, taxes are going up, but hey, let's build a sports complex...did they not learn that they should not be making grandious plans with state money yet???? thats what's causing the budget problems now,if they were not so dependant on state aid they wouldnt have to slash budgets

Anonymous said...

oh great idea, let's be the only school distrct in the state to not use state aid! That will show them we mean business!!!!

Anonymous said...

Guglizza's proposal makes sense, Burke says they will raise all the local money required so put that right in the proposal. The only way we go forward is if the local share of the money is privately raised.

And again I can't believe no admin cuts in the budget! Lay off teachers, assistants, aides - but no administrators!!! I am for everything the board is doing and I don't want another contingency budget - but it's a no vote for me (except the sports complex) unless at least one administrator is cut.

Luisa Smith said...

Another disappointing night at the BoE's special meeting. It appears that the Board has amnesia when it came to Mr. Burke's pledge to fund raise. It now appears that the Board thinks he was going to fund raise the unaidable amount of the 7%.

Also it appears that our school tax will increase somewhere in the amount of 8.2% if the budget passes and a little less than 6% if it goes into contingency. Teachers and Administrators will not be taking any paycuts or wage freezes.

When Board members asked Debbie Coder, the Superintendent of Finance to figure out various scenarios, she couldn't even answer because she didn't have a calculator. Imagine going over a budget without even bringing a calculator?

Also when asked if a copy of the budget or the flow chart reflecting the restructuring could be provided after the meeting, Ms. Coder said it could be formally requested at the BoE the following day! (Foil)

MJ said...

Pretty much every district is dependant on state money. It's partly to (under)fund mandates and to equalize the educational system divide casued by the ability of citizens to move to a better (wealthier) district (less percentage of poor) creating income segregation.

The money spent trying to overcome the poverty intensive districts is exponential seeing little return for the greater sums of money thrown at it. Part starts at home. Part is the old factory style learning system that spoon feeds you information to spit back at the bubble sheets. Add in summers to forget everything and the first 4 months of the next year reviewing the last year and the mess grows. What tangible things did we bring home at the end of the day?

I could care less that Prussia once existed. Yet I learned that in school instead of where the Erie Canal actually was located in Buffalo at one time and other significant things about WNY where we call home. I had to wait until a "History of Cities" class at UB to learn that.

I could answer science questions though I could not do anything productive like fix my own bicycle. We are sent to school for the reward of no tangilbe benefit but getting a good grade that will hopefully get us into a college someday. College will hopefully teach us something useful but even then you usually have to wait for the working world to really "learn" things. All it took was 16 years of trying to get a "good" grade.

We'd be much better off teaching kids to be self sufficient and feeling good about the things they can actually accomplish instead of just being trivia boxs.

MJ said...

I also think this is where sports, arts, volunteer opportunites etc come in. Children learn tangible skills, interact, problem solve social situations etc. A "sports palace" is not needed for it nor was the "Arts Palace" that took up a good portion of the current capitol project. Though I do feel the arts and sports are important. I'd rather see them remain in tact or grow. Unfortunately, the funds are not interchangeable.

Anonymous said...

"Board members discussed the amount of the complex work that would be covered by state aid and how much would be covered by fundraising. At a meeting last month Athletic Director Patrick Burke pledged to raise money to cover the local share for the sports complex.

“I’ll work as long as I possibly can to come up with that amount of money,” Burke said last month. “I have no problem standing behind that. And if I can’t, shame on me.”

Lockport receives 93 percent reimbursement from the state, but some parts of the complex would not be aidable. Board members were unsure of how much Burke intended to raise.

The amount for the local share Burke used was $866,000, but the actual unaided amount or the local share needed for the complex was unknown Wednesday. Seven percent of $5.9 million is $413,000, but Coder said more information would be coming to the board.

Trustees James Gugliuzza and Jon Williams said they wanted the resolution that would put the complex up for a vote in May to say the money had to be raised in order for the project to move forward. Raising the money would be better than using the capital reserve, which then could be saved for an emergency like a leaky roof, Gugliuzza said.

“I want to see this money raised, my fear is the nonaidable portion of it and (the affect it would have on) future projects,” Gugliuzza said.

Any capital reserve money that is not used can be put back into the reserve, Coder said."

Anonymous said...

Vote it all down again! Ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

better yet let's be a smart city that does not depend on a undependable source of income

Anonymous said...

Hey, MJ how about a new thread dedicated to the budget itself. I think there needs to be some discussion on the elimination of teachers and aids but no one at the Board is going to lose anything and will probably be getting a raise. You can reference today's US&J article.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how they can look at themselves in the mirror, to even think about possibly bringing this to a vote

MJ said...

I'll start one tomorrow on the 2011-12 school budget.

Xavier said...

@ anon re: pregnant 14 (12) year olds. I'm one of the most NON-PC people you'll ever meet. I totally agree with you and apologize for my sharp "tongue" before I yammered which, when re-read, sounded like I was bashing you. Sorry.
Most of these children have children so they can have "someone who will love me." I've heard it time and time again. Shows what kind of non-parenting goes on in those "homes." It's pretty hard to get pregnant these days unless you want to. There's a convenience store on every corner offering condoms at a modest cost 24 hours each and every day. Or get 'em for free all over town. But you WANT to get pregnant 'cause you know I'LL be paying for it.
I've HAD it. I now DEMAND to be referred to as a British, Scottish, German and Irish - American. If this is not done - I will stomp my feet and scream RACIST! until I get MORE than your average ghetto kid. I don't believe that will ever happen. As it stands - white males are the most discriminated against "minority."
I'm all for putting a new thread in place re: the proposed budget. Is it on-line? (Silly me) or do I have to go up to the BofE and file a FOIA and stand and wait until they give me everything I want? This could become problematic for me if I have to stand there for hours. Can't physically do it.
Also, when they see my name on it they'll make every excuse to not give it to me. "They" who permitted a 7th Grader to dislocate my shoulder, which somehow became my fault. Odd that the Principal of that school insisted I file the incident report ONLY to the school - NOT the BofE. Having piqued my interest, I filed it in both locations and kept one for myself. If I didn't know what would (n't) happen to the snarky loser in Family Court (where he was already well known) I'd have had him arrested. "Oh, but he's a troubled child. Awful home environment - Mom ran out on them - he's a sociopath, etc."
The inmates are running the asylum and NOTHING is looking up (as in improvement).
How does one go about recalling a Superintendent, the entire administration and most members of the Board. It will certainly take longer than the anticipated voting date.
And quit extolling Pat Burke's virtues. HIS story changes week to week. Last week he GUARANTEED he'd raise the difference. Now it's he'll do the best he can or "shame on him (sic)." His shame doesn't pay my school tax bill. He also misused District time, equipment and supplies - as close as last night for crissakes! No matter what my detractors will say, he owed a duty to the District, his time. He is shirking his REAL job to take trips and campaign for this thing. I'd LOVE to see him fill out a time-sheet by 8ths of the hours to explain exactly what he does and when!
I'm ready to come out from behind my Google name MJ, if you think it would help.

Anonymous said...

Defeat the budget defeat the projects elect new Board members and insist that they fire Terry Anne Carbone the district is rotting from the inside and she is the main reason

Anonymous said...

So we do this project and ten years from now the turf has exhausted its useful life. Then we still have 5-10 more years of payments on the sports palace and we need to replace the turf--but the project won't cause you any local money. Sure. We don't believe the board or supt.

Anonymous said...

I want to go to Riu...

Anonymous said...

You people need to get the facts on the sports complex. The money is and was set a side by the state not Lockport. If we do not use it some other school duistrict will and we will be paying for other school district to have a sports complex. Let's take advantage of fre money before another city does and we lose out.

Anonymous said...

You people are all a bunch of negative people with Black and Starr as your leaders. Black made calls against the Lockport Little League. Kids playing baseball and the playing of the National Anthem every night. The same group of people are against everything in the city, town and every place else. They need to get a life and you people need to make up your own minds. Call Pat Burke about the sports complex. He has the answers and facts not lies like Black and his followers. This is why nothing comes to this area because we are all so negative. The same group against the sports complex was against Wal Mart and they lost. We just lost a billion dollar project because of one negative person and a lawyer trying to make a name for himself. Didn't Starr used to be a lawyer? Let the kids of our area enjoy something. let's all be positive for once and support our youth. Try being positive you may like it instead of being negative all the time. Get the facts do not go on Black's opinion because he is the most negative person in Lockport.

Anonymous said...

don't know black, don't know starr. i'm just negative about a bad plan. trying to paint everyone who does not want this as 'negative' , and against 'support[ing] our youth' is stupid, idiotic, and rude.

not like this is any sort of rational debate anyhoo

http://twentytwowords.com/2011/03/15/a-flowchart-to-help-you-determine-if-youre-having-a-rational-discussion/

we might as well be arguing which sky fairy is the best one (answer: none).

Xavier said...

When you've got the law on your side, you beat 'em with the law.

When you don't, you beat on the table. Somebody's doin' a LOT of bangin'.

Sad really... Show up and defend your lies and slander, punk.

Xavier said...

Golly Gee!
Public Officers Law, Article 7 - Open Meetings Law.
Per the Commission on Open Government, Lockport C.S.D. is one of the three worst violators of this law in the State. Newfane is another of the three. Go figure...

Oh, and Starr IS a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

So am I...

Xavier said...

Good - hope you're going tonight and will attempt to get your point across to these people. You'll know Bob Freeman and Ms. Jobin-Davis of the Committee on Open Government - according to them, the B of E doesn't even attempt to comply with the law.
They really should do, as the repercussions of not doing so run from "shape up from now on," to "anything you did in the past which did not comply with the law is out."
I don't know about you, but Article 78 proceedings take an eternity and are as boring as death.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone associated with the Lockport Board of Education ever heard of the economic concept known as "opportunity cost?" What higher priority project will not be able to be addressed in the future because we squandered resources on the sports palace? This is not the highest priority now-or in the future. What genuine need will not be addressed so we can have a sports palcae? Vote it down. Vote in new Board members. Elect people who will make it their highest priority to fire TAC before she totally destroys the school system. She is a loser who could not even run the high school. Only got in because she promised to hire the current Board Presidents wife for a job she was totally unqualified for.

Xavier said...

Well said.

4LP said...

It is a priority for the hundreds of athletes and over 1,000 high school students who will use this "palace" for physical education and athletics. We have a music palace, a technology palace, an art palace, but yet you seem to have an issue with the palace that promotes health, team work, and dedication?

I think you are just angry that it is going up for another vote. I hope it is voted in and you can see what a horrible mistake it was for the BOE to invest in the health and welfare of our students.

Shame on you all for attacking the BOE, Mrs. Carbone, Mr. Burke and all of the others who are involved in trying to make Lockport a better place to educate and raise children.

Xavier2 said...

Very well said!

Anonymous said...

keep worshiping at the cult of carbone, burke, and the boe

if they were really concerned with making lockport a better place, theyd cut their salary to keep music in the school

Anonymous said...

cut their salaries!!! I'd be happy if they just didn't get a raise! Everyone else made concessions and is taking on additional responsibilities, except of course TAC and Friends!

Anonymous said...

And some of us who support this will lose our jobs, but that has nothing to do with the funds used for this complex. If you want teachers and programs you are barking up the wrong tree...

More programs = more money...Carbone could work for free and that would only save a small program. Start dealing with reality instead of a fantasy world. If you want things, you need to pay for them....

Would you babysit 25 of Lockport's worst kids for a teacher's salary? I bet not.

Anonymous said...

Check seethroughny.net
Carbone earned $181,694.80 last year.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. She was paid $181,694. She earned nothing. Comes to work mid morning. Just in time to plan lunch. Gone early. Test scores down and taxes up. Less program and lousy results at much higher price for local taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

still wrong, she stole $181,694.80 last year.

Xavier said...

Who's this phony "Xavier2?"
Couldn't you think of your own name?
Don't pretend to be me at the expense of others who agree with my positions and then get a little confused because you're presenting the exact opposite.
XAVIER 2 is not Xavier.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Who's on First?.

Xavier said...

No! He's on third!
(Good one...!)

guyfawkesNov5 said...

My goodness..if we could only channel some of this energy and direct it toward something productive. There are two issues here...Is Lockport going to be a viable community moving forward? If so isn't this an investment in the future, or are we destined to become Niagra Falls 2.0?
Two... is there actually a measurable return on this type of investment? If you're an aging senior or a person with limited income the sports complex looks like something we can't afford. But if you're a family with growing kids and you plan on staying in Lockport, this is a very important issue.By the way..I have no children.

Everything we do doesn't have to add dollars to the bottom line to be of value. I venture to say good citizen if we were talking about a "Beer Garden" there would be no need for a 2nd vote. Or another concert series Wooooooo..party on dudes!!!

This issue draws a distinct line between the forward thinking, and the Lockportians who are satisfied with the post GM world with all of it meager trappings, and the reminders of what "use to be".

Ladies and Gentlemen you have a choice: A vote to expand our future possibilities, or vote to push us a little further down the scale of desirable places to live. Stop thinking about the past, and start preparing for the future. I respect opposite opinions, please respect mine.

Anonymous said...

You would be surprised to know just how many people with children in the district have their concerns and do not find this necessarily viable right now.

Anonymous said...

It would be great to have this palace BUT not now.
What really bothers me is the way the board has forced this to another vote, after we voted no only two years ago. The kids in school now won't have a chance to use it theyll be gone before its built. The bosses at the board are the ones who want it.
I wonder how much Mr. Burke could have acccomplioshed in the last few years if he's been doing anything other than this.

Anonymous said...

so everyone listen up; forward thinking to guy means sports over education and doing what ever the boe told you was a good thing to do

and everyone else just stinks and wants lockport to turn into a 24 hour beer fueled concert

you heard it here first folks.

guyfawkesNov5 said...

anon..thanks for respecting my opinion.
how very typical sir.
What's the matter..the truth hurt a little tiny bit?

Ya that's what I said "sports over education"..ya that's what...oh...I didn't say that? oh Anon # 625 must be mistaken. He stands corrected. Oh I said " everyone else stinks" oh...I didn't say that? Wow 0 for 2...nice average.

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