4/21/2011

LSD Budget 2011-12 (1)

Posted by MJ

4/25/11

Seems the over abundance of comments have casued Blogger to only show new comments in the RSS feed again and nothing new in the post itself. So a new budget post has been created here: LSD Budget 2011-12 (2)

4/21/11

As a commenter noted: the LSD has posted some documents concerning the budget over at their website. They are only summary documents but at least they are something. As per my question below of where did the multimillion increase come from: "Employee Benefits" up $2.9M over last year.

4/14/11

The  LUSJ reported on the LSD budget that passed the board with a 8-1 vote.

...Adopted 8-1 Wednesday by board members, the $79 million budget would require a $1.5 million — or 4.8 percent — increase in the tax levy...

...Despite coming with a $2.2 million increase in spending, the budget also cuts 38.5 positions. Ten of those positions are retirements that will not be replaced, meaning 28.5 positions will be laid off.

“I think this budget still does provide quality and support for students,” Superintendent Terry A. Carbone said....

...The district lost $4 million in state aid and made $3.9 million in cuts, Carbone said. Lockport would also be using $3 million from its reserves, plus $742,000 from its appropriated fund balance. That would leave about $700,000 in the fund balance. The district was able to find $33,000 in savings with administration and $331,000 with the teachers giving up their career credit program and not taking raises outside of the step increases...

1) Overall spending still increased 2.2M. The LSD lost 4M in state aid but used 3.7M of the reserves and fund balance. That 3M is most likely not going to reappear again next year and will still need to be dealt with with.

2) The administrators gave up about 33k and the teachers 330k. If there is a 10:1 ratio of teachers to administrators they will have given up an equal amount of money. That 360k saved us 0.4% of our roughly $80M overall budget.

3) The article is a little hard to understand. It says we made 3.9 million in cuts. If these offset the 4M loss in state aid why the need for 3.7M to be taken from reserves and fund balances? If overall spending is 2.2M more than last year what are these "cuts"? Are they cuts in what would have been additional new spending this year? Would there seriously have been 6.1 million in structured cost increases this year? That's an 8% increase in last year's 77M budget. That could not be considered an acceptible cost structure. Will the same mess be staring us in the face next year regardless of state aid?


4/12/11

The Buffalo News reported on the continuing "Executive Sessions" saga and the LUSJ reported on the proposed realignment of the grades.
Phelps said she was told, “you will be informed of that when we get into the meeting . . . and then I voted ‘no’ on going into executive session.” The other seven members present voted in favor of holding the closed meeting.

“It seems like the Lockport model is to put the budget together, and then get public input after it’s final,” she said. “I should not be having any discussions on the budget that aren’t before the people. Executive session is not a dress rehearsal.”...
...He affirmed that the justifications for an executive session are few and must be openly disclosed to the public....
It is nice to see someone is taking a stand. Nothing is better than executive sessions to discuss the budget away from the public and subsequently making the proposed budget unnecessarily hard for them to access.

and from the LUSJ:
...Lockport is looking at creating five primary schools, one intermediate and one middle school. This would be done by keeping kindergarten through fourth grade students at each of the five current elementary schools and moving the fifth- and sixth-graders into Emmet Belknap. North Park would house all of Lockport’s seventh- and eighth-graders. Emmet and North Park would house about 750 kids each, an increase from the 580 that occupy each building now.

But the reorganization plan still needs some fine tuning, Superintendent Terry A. Carbone said last week...

4/7/11

The Buffalo News reported on what we should expect in the LSD budget proposal next week:
City residents can expect the School Board to present them next week with a $79 million spending plan for the upcoming year that raises property taxes and calls for the restructuring of the district's elementary school buildings.
Despite spending cuts of $3.9 million, the plan represents a 2.6 percent increase in expenditures and a tax levy increase of 5.8 percent based on current assessment property values...

...The district would save $1 million in costs by re-designating the two middle schools -- Emmet Belknap for fifth and sixth grades, North Park for seventh and eighth -- and using the elementary buildings to house kindergarten through fourth grade. Class sizes at the buildings would average 25...

...Eight positions in the district would be lost through attrition and an additional 28.5 full-time equivalent positions would be cut. Last year, the district cut 38 positions...

...If residents vote the spending plan down and the budget is forced into contingency, Carbone said she would have to recommend cuts that included the elementary band program, the school resource officer and library services. Transportation is currently provided to students who live a mile or more away from their school building, but that buffer would likely have to increase as well. "None of those would be good for our district or good for the community," she said...
Maybe we can cut a 100 more positions over the next few years before we can discuss concessions?

May 4th is the public hearing and May 17th is the vote. I wonder if the district will offer PDFs for the public to review before then?

3/25/11

To commenter below:



3/24/2011

The LUSJ reported on the measures to be included on the ballot this year:

1) The Sports Complex (Palace)
The complex would be a $5.9 million project, for which Lockport receives 93 percent reimbursement in state aid. Assistant Superintendent of Finance Deborah Coder said the project is contingent on Athletic Director Patrick Burke’s promise to fundraise $750,000 to help cover the unaided costs of the complex. Those would include the press box, locker rooms and concession stand.

Coder said Burke and his organization would have to raise $750,000 by June 30, 2012 to keep the complex alive.

2) Building Updates
The $18.9 million capital project would address concerns raised by the district’s recent building condition survey. Along with a number of renovations and repairs made to the schools, the project also includes classroom and cafeteria additions at Roy B. Kelley and a cafeteria addition at Anna Merritt Elementary. The additions are needed to reduce congestion in the schools, while two rooms at Roy B. Kelley would be turned into a library.
3) The Actual Budget
Board members also heard about something else on the May 17 ballot, the 2011-12 budget. Carbone shared the current version of the budget, a $78.8 million spending plan which is a $1.8 million or 2.3 percent increase from the current school year budget. It would raise the tax levy by 6.84 percent.

The budget features the reduction of 43.5 positions districtwide, including 10 retirements that will not be replaced. Carbone said the district was able to find $33,000 in savings with administration and $331,000 with the teachers giving up their career credit program. The district would also use $670,000 from its unappropriated fund balance and see a savings of $433,000 with its proposed restructuring, which would move fifth and sixth graders into one school while seventh and eighth graders would be in another. The district would have five elementary schools with kindergarten through fourth grade
3/18/2011

The LUSJ reported on the latest BoE meeting on Wed.
The way it stands now, the 2011-12 Lockport City School District’s budget would have an 8.21 percent tax levy increase. That’s after the district has cut $3.6 million out of the spending plan.
----------------------
The current form of the budget includes cutting the full time equivalent of 43.5 positions as well as a major reorganization. The district is looking at creating five primary schools, one intermediate and one middle school. This would be done by keeping kindergarten through fourth grade students at each of the five current elementary schools and moving the fifth- and sixth-graders into one of the two current middle schools. The other middle school would house all of Lockport’s seventh- and eighth-graders.

Trustee Diane Phelps didn’t like how much of the position cuts affected teachers and children in classrooms. Administration should shoulder some of the burden, Phelps said
----------------------
One of the budget lines discussed included using $876,000 from the district’s capital project reserve. The money would be used to fund two projects without raising taxes if they are approved by voters on the May ballot. Those are the $18.8 million capital improvement project and the controversial high school sports complex which would be around $5.9 million.

Both are expected to be acted upon by the board at its next meeting March 23 at Charles Upson Elementary. If approved, they would be on the May ballot for district residents to decide.

The educational system is broken as a whole. In this country we spend 3x as much real dollars (adjusted for inflation) to educate our children K-12 grade: 55k in 1970 vs. 155k in 2009. In return for this investment we have the same or worse scores in reading, math and science. Any of the juggling the board is doing now is only a yearly bandaid on the real issues, most of which are on the state level with its education mandates.

We need to educate/mold our children to be proud productive citizen's here and where ever they may roam later in life. We need to send them off with life long learning habits that along the way teach tangible skills that they can use,  be proud of  and use as stepping stones to new learning opportunities. We don't need bored trivia boxes striving for only good grades for the hope of some kind of promised future.

Last year's budget posts are here: (pre-vote) and here: (post board vote) and here: (post public vote). I made an error in my comments over on the sports complex post.

Please keep the Sports Complex in it's thread since it does not really affect the 2011-12 budget and there is a good amount of conversation over there already. I will delete comments if they stray off topic in regards to this.

I'll keep adding to this post with further articles to keep the conversation in one place unlike last year with it's multiple posts.

221 comments:

Luisa Smith said...

Read today's article in the Buffalo News:
http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/niagara-county/article371087.ece

Anonymous said...

No administrative cuts! Carbone is destroying this district. This Board gives her more money each year to systematically destroy the school district. Lower test scores, higher taxes, fewer teachers, fewer buildings, and all of her buddies retained in administrative jobs. Who's worse--the leader, or the Board?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Smith Are you running for a seat on the school board?

Anonymous said...

Yes, good idea with the school remodelings coming up, more connections for your family!

Anonymous said...

Please, I encourage all of you to email or call the board members if you are not in favor of what is going on with the budget. They will take your calls, they will listen. I've done it but they need to hear it from all of you too!

We know they need to make cuts, but the cuts should be equally shared from elementary to middle school to high school and especially at the Board of Education. While i think the re-org could work it is going to cost more money this year but will eventually save in the future, well that is not good enough and not worth the increase in cost this year.

Please look up the Schools web site with a link to the Board's names emails and phone numbers and make a difference instead of complaining on here only!

Luisa Smith said...

Anonomyous 12:05- If you truly knew me or my family, you would realize how absurd your comment is. First of all when you speak of "connections" for my family, I have no family that could possibly even profit from any kind of "remodeling" that you refer to.

Infact, contrary to the nepotism that you see so prevelant on many School Boards including our own, I would have no such motives in running except to help try and provide our students with the best possible educational opportunities that we can afford while being conscious of the fact that our community can no longer sustain the heavy tax burdens that will be placed upon us year after year. We must find innovative ways of cutting costs. One prime example would be the possibility of sharing services among other districts.

Another equally important issue would be addressing the lack of government transparency. It is extremely disappointing as a taxpaying citizen to attend a budget work session and not be provided with a copy of the budget being discussed. I can assure you that if I was on the Board I would have done everything in my power to have copies provided to the public.

Anonymous said...

And if things don't go your way you can always sue or just go to the DA, right?

And you might have noticed in the Buf paper today an article about how the state took away the incentives to share services between districts, so to go to that would cost money up front which due to the state cuts no one can afford.
Seriously though of course the paper might be wrong as they were with the article yesterday about open meetings. They had a few facts wrong in that article.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with nepotism when it gives Lockport people jobs. Personally I think Lockport people should be first in line for Lockport jobs.
I do have a problem with a school superintendent that lives in Brockport. To me, any high level person should be required to live in the district.
I do have a problem though with you promoting more low income tax free housing in Lockport which will result in more children (probably many low functioning ones too) and less tax dollars for the schools.

Anonymous said...

and of course you don't mind nepotism when it means more money coming into your household!

Anonymous said...

I hope people mind the Board paying her more each year to destroy the district just so they can keep a puppet who always lets them hire their family and friends. I heard they just reworked the seniority lists to keep the recent hires a head of those hired before them. That is going to be challenged in the future and cost a lot of money in legeal fees.

MJ said...

Transperancy is the biggest slap in the face.

Has anyone been able to get a copy of the PDF yet?

Anonymous said...

Nemi, Schrader, and Sandell claim that discussing Personnel issues behind closed doors is legal. Not sure I agree.

Also it was interesting the Board members are saying is was to discuss specific Personnel issues relating to the Budget, yet Asst Super Coder states it was “a special meeting, just a budget work session to do more work on the 2011-12 school budget.”

Then board memembers get upset when you email them about "assumptions or perhaps rumors", well what do you expect when everything is duscussed behind closed doors and the budget is not shared with the public in any kind of detail.

Anonymous said...

Using "Personnel" as a closed door meeting is not enough according to Open Meeting Laws. It has to be very specific!

Anonymous said...

They were threatened with litigation which is enough to allow them to meet privately. People who are lawyer happy cause problems, just like in Somerset.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later there will end up being a class action suit from taxpayers who are fed up with the illegal practices of the Open Meetings laws!

Anonymous said...

The project is a year late getting done the test scores are going into the tank two buildings were closed many te3achers were cut no administrators were cut last year or this year and the Board gave the Superintnendet a raise just for letting them hire thier family members. We need some new Board members who will show Mrs. Carbone the door. It may already be to late.

Anonymous said...

"They were threatened with litigation which is enough to allow them to meet privately. People who are lawyer happy cause problems, just like in Somerset"

so which is it, Personnel issues, Special Budget Meeting, possible litigation, no of which make it legal. I spoke to 2 board members and received 3 other responses via email and all told me it was to discuss specific personnel with regards to the possible layoffs.

While I understand and can almost appreciate their concern, they need to follow the rules and keep it out front and discuss in public. And actually I know of someone low on the seniority list and they say the worst part is not knowing. So lets be upfront about it. Take a note of what Newfane has been doing, they have been very up front and specific with their plan.

Anonymous said...

EXECUTIVE SESSION


2. An executive session can take place only upon a majority vote of the total
membership of the board taken at an open meeting (Pub. Off. Law § 105 (1)).
a. Because it can be convened only upon a majority vote of the board in an
open public meeting, a school board cannot schedule an executive session
in advance (e.g. Executive Session at 6:30 p.m. and Public Meeting at 7:00
p.m.) (NYS Department of State, Committee on Open Government OMLAO-3339, July 23, 2001).
However, the meeting‟s agenda can indicate that there is a “Proposed
executive session, subject to Board approval” or that “It is anticipated that
the Board will ac upon a resolution to convene an executive session (NYS
Department of State, Committee on Open Government OML-AO-2426,
Nov. 23, 1994).
b. The motion to go into executive session must identify the subject matter of
the executive session with particularity (Gordon v. Village of Monticello, 207 A.D.2d 55 (3rd
Dep‟t 1994), rev’d on other grounds, 87 N.Y.2d 124
(1995); NYS Department of State, Committee on Open Government OML-AO-3478, June 26, 2002).
(1) It is insufficient to merely regurgitate the statutory language such
as “discussions regarding proposed or pending litigation, without
identifying the particular litigation (Daily Gazette v. Cobleskill,
111 Misc.2d 303 (Sup. Ct. Schoharie Co. 1981)); NYS Department
of State, Committee on Open Government OML-AO-3654, July
10, 2003).
(2) There is no authority to go into executive session for the purpose
of discussing “personnel matters”. A school board does not need
to identify who it is going to talk about, but it must disclosed what
it is going to talk about (e.g. “to discuss the discipline of a
particular employee”) (see NYS Department of State, Committee
on Open Government OML-AO-3478, June 26, 2002).

Just thought I'd share....

We Deserve Better said...

I received the Open Meetings info direct from Albany yesterday. Two days of 'phone calls & I'm still getting the Party Line on the "working budget." No-can't give it to you-won't give it to you, etc. etc.
How are we supposed to ask legitimate questions when we don't know what they're discussing?

We Deserve Better said...

Albany is very interested in how this shakes out. Apparently Lockport is in the bottom three in the State when it comes to following Open Meetings and FOIA. This directly from the State agency which monitors such things.
If Lockport doesn't shape up with this Budget they will return. It's a two-for-one for them. Lockport and Newfane.

LockportGal said...

All the restructuring...layoffs..and that stupid complex will be up for a vote yet again. There is no way that a new complex will lure people to Lockport....the school district sucks and there are no economic reasons to move here. I dont mind improving the schools and bringing them up to date, but the complex is not needed, and I will be voting NO again. I am insulted that they think the voters are unqualified to make up their minds on this...and are nervy enough to bring it to the public vote AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

All the high school has ever been concerned with is sports. What about music? Students perform better in math and science if they have music and art isn't that where are scores are low? Why piss away my tax money for sports when my kid want's to learn to play the clarinet. Why hasn't administration okay'd a wage free like KenTon? Cut Cut Cut screw over the young everytime I'm ready to send my kid to DeSales next year!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel like they have backed us into corner with the Budget and Contingency Budget. If we don't pass the Budget and make them feel like they have done a good job, then they will just cut more like library, prek and half day k. When really if they just cut a few people at the top they could re-work more things and save more jobs overall. But no the Wicked Witch and her step-sisters will all be happy not to have to any additional work and hey they will get a raise too!

MJ said...

Music and Arts?

Look at the current capitol project which is mostly made up of the overhall of the auditorium.

As for the freeze, that is pry up to the union to choose betwen wage freezes or layoffs due to the contract.

LockportGal said...

Academics are suffering, thats what needs to be fixed...

When I was at LSHS I remember having so many choices and options of classes to take.

Anonymous said...

"Look at the current capitol project which is mostly made up of the overhall of the auditorium."

"Progress of Lockport High School’s extensive makeover can be seen in a number of areas, including the fitness center, the Locust Street entrance and the auditorium. The $23.5 million project also includes a four classroom addition, new music rooms, improvements to ventilators and mechanical systems, an art gallery, new windows, and new padding and bleachers in the gymnasium. The technology wing also will be moved and updated, the library renovated to make room for a computer lab and bathrooms will be added nearby"

MJ, you really should stop saying the current project is all for the Music and Arts program, there is a lot of work that is being done to benefit all students in all areas.

Unless you've seen a breakdown of the actual costs I would say that the new bathroom, fitness center, windows, bleechers, library/computer room and techology wing, cost more than the work on the auditorium/art gallery and music rooms.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the fact that 6-8 rooms in the newly built section may end up being used for the BOCES program....

Xavier said...

They had their "executive session" an hour and a half before the actual meeting. They refused to state that which they were going to discuss in that session. One Board member refused to vote to go into that session - Ms. Phelps, who was elected by write-in votes at the same time the Palace was voted down the first time.
The Buffalo News was there and was shot down when they attempted to get the truth. The Board lies. Go figure. The News reporter wrote a great piece on Open Meetings prior to last night and noted that Lockport City School District was one of the worst offenders in the area. The reporter was present last night, despite the statements of some of the Board members to the contrary, and was shut up when he asked questions of them. Just like the residents.
Then they come out and praise themselves for their work, none of which is allowed to be seen by the little people who pay the bills. I have a problem with public "servants" who go to such lengths as to keep repeating how wonderful they are. If they're so great, why won't they let us see what they do? Why is this necessary? If they were doing such a great job would they have to keep defending themselves? No.
Then a couple of them have the audacity to lecture the taxpayers for asking questions. Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Not according to Mrs. Schrader! Seems like she was especially annoyed with our wanting answers to our questions. No - they won't answer those.
They demand respect yet will not show respect to the residents. Their demands seem hollow to me. Treat the Board with respect - don't tell us anything but how great you are - but don't respect the residents.
Hollow, shallow and totally inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

It was kind of comical seeing how upset everyone was because of the insinuation of abuse of the Open Meetings Law. Like my grandma always said, "A guilty consience needs no accuser!"

Xavier said...

Your Grandmother is a very wise woman!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused, first you say, "The educational system is broken as a whole," and then give evidence as no progress on test scores since 1970 (and provide no reference for that number)--then say, "we don't need bored trivia boxes striving for only good grades." If I were grading your post, I'd have to say it's C- at best, and that you are simply preaching to people who already agree with you, offering them slogans and little else (and, slogans that contradict each other).

Anonymous said...

exactly!

What were the test actually like back in 1970 compared to today and more importantly who took them then compared to now. As we have seen many confusing posts about SAT and ACT scores with certain states not taking certain test, etc.

Also, if the spending didn't go up, do we know that scores would stay the same or maybe they would have gone down. Back in the 70's they most likely didn't score test for Special Ed students or those Special Students didn't stay in school until they were 17. To that same point the kids who were into school or weren't very good at school didn't go and it wasn't a big deal because they just went and got a job in a factory as soon as they were able. So the students taking those test were probably just the average to good students, where today a lot larger percentage of all 17 yr olds are taking those tests.

I would suggest you remove that graph from this thread "since it does not really affect the 2011-12 budget"

Xavier said...

Everything affects the 2010-2011 Budget as we're going to be stuck with carrying costs for another generation.
But don't tell that to the Board! They're perfect and wonderful and we're the dirt under Pat S's fingernails.
Don't lecture me sweetheart. You can't even get Pat to keep himself clean but you deserve respect? And no - you weren't elected. Remember that trick on the voters? You knew you wouldn't win, so your buddy Carbone promised you the empty spot that would exist 'cause you follow her blindly. What's that costing us? Neither of you, nor most of the rest of you care. YOU don't have to answer our questions - you sit on your throne and throw bones to the masses. I've had it.

Concerned said...

It's been said here before but it needs to be said again, X you need help. You def have some issues.

Xavier said...

No "issues" here my friend. Anyone who gets so worked up that she "takes umbrage" at the residents who are telling the Board they want more information so they can tell if the Board is doing the right thing, appears to "have issues."
If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen.
Have a lovely day...

Anonymous said...

If we are shifting grade four out of elementary buildings why would we need to add space to cafeterias at that level. More stupidity.

Anonymous said...

i love the call to take down the graph

because we all know how when teachers get health care for life, make gobs more money than the average taxpayer, and there are people who do nothing but fill out forms and go to meetings making 6 figures, it's only for the children.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love anon. 7:47.
"It's for the kids..." Okay Terry-so take a pay cut, or just retire, maybe then some things will be fo rhthe kids.

Anonymous said...

Who ever runs this blog why do you delete the comments that you do not like? If you had any guts leave everything on the blog and let the people make up their own minds. Not just follow you and all your negativism. This is why Lockport and Niagara County have fallen apart - to may negative people.

Concerned said...

Love the irony - this goof posted as "anonymous" -
"..Its idiots like the many posting on this site that cause all blogs to be taken down. People who hide behind "anonymous" postings calling out everyone who ....."

But I agree with the posters thoughts though about negative posters.

Xavier said...

Thank you for spelling my name properly.
I don't have to "shut the hell up" for you or anyone else. You, once again, are wrong on the property issue - but that's nothing new.
Many people are interested in my opinion - seems as if only the Board and the Schraders are not. That works for me!
And what's the deal with your bashing the commentors who use "anonymous?" In case you haven't noticed, that's exactly what you're doing. When I have an opinion I don't hids behind "anonymous" like you (as if it's hard to figure out who you are.) It doesn't trouble me when regular ol' people use it - they're afraid of retribution from you and your buddies.
Oh - and did you know that "anonymous" means "lacking individuality," "no unique character or distinction" snd "drab?" The one I like the best is: "no distinctive character or recognition factor."

Xavier said...

I agree re: negativity too. Seems like everyone whose great-great-great grandparents were born here don't ever want anything to change.
We foreigners care more about this place than those folks. There have been many changes for the better in the last several years - see Main Street and even Dutch - but some people just like to whine for no reason whatsoever.
When I was accused of negativity a few days ago I was quite startled to learn of it. None here!

Anonymous said...

Xavier - you are so delusional - how the heck are you not hiding behind an id just like the anonymous people are? duhh! you really do need help.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear you are even stalking people you are so intent on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Not too much to be positive about. Test scores going in the toilet. Schools being closed. Teachers let go. Favortism in hiring (wonder which Board members family member will get the PE job that is so critical it must be added to a budget during a year everything else is being cut)? Administrators who are overseeing the destruction of the district all retaining their jobs. A Superintendent who does not know the first thing about running a district may soon head back to Monroe Co. handing over the job to the person who is expected to improve student performance (and has not been able to move things in a positive direction). If you have kids and you have a chance it is time to leave Lockport.

Anonymous said...

good.. the board should be bashed.. until such a time that they start taking cuts themselves not only did they cause the problem but they are making things worse

the teachers union stinks as well, they fight harder for their own greed than they do for education

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of hearing these Board Members try and defend themselves. I get so disgusted to hear that just because they are "native" to Lockport makes them superior or that they care more about Lockport than other residents. You are no better than the ones you accuse of being so evil and vicious. I've read all those nice FB entries and so have many, many, others.... too pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of all the uncertainty with this school district. Will the kids have art, library and music? Let us know - don't keep us hanging on to the last minute! DeSales is looking better and better. It might cost me something but at least my kids will be getting a better education!

Anonymous said...

I say bring on the Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, etc- or better yet vouchers!

MJ said...

Great debate on the Budget folks. ;)

1) As for the people questioning on deletions, it is rare. I'm kind of too lazy to try and clean this one up but I may go back later and do it. Please make sure your comments have posted (sometimes it takes a few clicks). I'm guessing that the cries of deletions are over comments that never posted.

2) Anonynous vs logins is tough. I want to allow easy commenting but I guess most places as they grow become harder and harder to keep up on cleaning up.

3) How does funding vs performance not effect this year's school budget? It is like any other business. You can keep pouring money into a broken process but it is rarely the fix. At any business those paying for the investment expect to see returns.

4) Negative? Seriously? I'm pry one of the most positive people about Lockport. All I delete is name calling, off topic etc. Try to post intelligently and respectful and your post will be safe. If you don't want to follow the rules feel free to whine all you want.

5) Which brings me to names. If you are not going to even post under your first name, do not be throwing out./guessing other people's names. I'm not familiar with any that get thrown around in these comments but it's wasted space calling out into the wind.

6) I may have to make a special post on this for the recent influx of school budget commenters. I would have hoped the blurb above the comment box would have been enough. Obviously not.

Anonymous said...

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/001779.html

Finland, according a major international survey, has the best educational system in the world. This study, in turn, comes on the heels of several others showing that Finland has the highest rate of teen literacy in the world, the highest percent of "regular readers," and the most "creatively competitive" economy. The BBC has devoted a whole series of features to looking at why this might be true.

The Finnish education minister says that heavy investments in education are a matter of economic survival for a small, affluent high-tech-based nation. Finland spends more per elementary, middle- and high- school student than any other nation on Earth, and comes in second on spending for higher education. School lunches, health care, most class materials and university tuition are all free.

Maybe it's the schools themselves. Students stay in the same school from about age 7 to 16. Schools are local, community-based affairs, with extremely low turnover in their teaching staffs and strong expectations on parents. Students are all expected to study languages, math and science (and in Finland, girls now outperform boys on science tests). Two thirds of them go to university.

On the other hand, maybe the secret is what they don't do: Finnish students spend less time in class than students in any other industrialized nation.

MJ said...

I cleaned up a bit quickly so I most likely missed some. please debate points. posts with personal attacks face deletion. its that simple.

You are always welcome to re-comment with just the points.

Xavier said...

@ Anon. 12:13 - if I correctly recall what I've read about the great schools in Finland - a whole lot of little things add up to a system as described. The one I found most interesting is that the teachers are paid more and/or not retained based on their student's achievement.
Both these issues should be considered by the LCSD. By throwing all the kids of a certain age into one school, which can be supported by some research, you're also dragging kids from the far corners of the District to one place. This will severely cut down on that school/family/neighborhood idea that served us so well 30-40 years ago. Sixth graders can't drive to their friend's house to study and play. I hope, in this instance, the Board is not making this change just to save a few nickels. There are other ways to save money, and think of the former DeWitt kids - they had to acclimate to one of 3 or 4 new schools this year - now you're going to make them change again? They're still not "over" leaving DeWitt which, in many circumstances, was the only security in their lives.
I read all sides of that argument and while I recognize many of the points the Board made when closing the school, I believe they all blanch in comparison to keeping that School open when the population of the students attending need some constancy in their lives.
Putting Head Start in, and now selling to Head Start, is not welcomed by the "neighborhood" as stated by the Board. Repeatedly. The neighbors HATE having Head Start in that building.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2010/06/07/daily92.html

Thank G-d for Niagara Falls, or Lockport would be dead last in Niagara County.

Anonymous said...

The one thing Finland has that we will never have is good parenting. Yes there are many good/great parent out there but they are not the majority. And its not even a Class or money issue. Many well off parents don't get involved enough and encourage learning at home. They think that is the TV's job.

In Finland they don't even start school until 7 and spend less time in the classroom. In Lockport/USA parents are upset that they pre-k is only half day and that there are half days for parent conferences because they expect/want "free" daycare. And that is not just the parents who struggle with their work schedule, its parents on welfare/unemployement not even working who don't even get up to out of bed to watch their kindergartner get on the bus and go to school for the first time.

So go ahead and pay the teachers based on how well their kids do. But if you really want to change things and REALLY improve test scores, we should give tax breaks/more welfare$ to parents whose children do well in school.

Anonymous said...

No one is rewarding me on how well I'm raising my kids. How about we stop rewarding parents on Welfare with more money with each child they have. Maybe then we wouldn't have so many children on Welfare who are raised by parents who basically are in it for the free ride!

Anonymous said...

I would love it they rewarded you for raising a good student and if they did you probably would try just a little bit harder.

And Anon 10:12 Finland does not have merit pay for their teachers and they have a very strong union too. One of Finland's best attributes is they don't have standardize test like we do, so teachers are forced to teach to the test, so real learning can happen. So their children are life long learners not worried about boring trivia boxes.

Anonymous said...

and now we are going to reward the welfare parents with million dollar apartments thanks to the Smiths!

Xavier said...

Hey anon 7:42 - haven't you read the rules YET?

Off topic and calling people out by name. You must have a serious problem with these folks who are in this ONLY to improve our schools.

Anonymous said...

People with small little minds would again prefer to bash people rather than staying on topic because they know they don't have anything intelligent to say. Pathetic again....

Xavier3 said...

Baloney you are in it to improve schools, you are solely in it to bash school board members and Carbone!

Anonymous said...

so nobody should talk about one of the sources of the problems in our schools so we can concentrate on talking about the problems in our schools??? LOL!!@!@!

Anonymous said...

We spend the most money on kids education and the results are not good. So we pay the teachers more and have them work less.that's the only answer. Teachers need more money. We should double there pay when they sit home all summer too.

Luisa Smith said...

I myself am involved because I care about our children's education. Since 2005 our academic standings have steadily gone down. As a parent and taxpayer in the community that concerns me greatly. We can't expect to keep increasing the pay of our administration with these kinds of results. Throwing money at this system obviously isn't working.

Board Members I ask you to please remember that you have a responsibility to the children and taxpayers of Lockport. I realize that you have a difficult job but it is becoming more difficult to keep up with the increases that are put upon our community, especially with the outcome that we are seeing. I have heard over and over that parents are more concerned with seeing our children succeed academically and are not as concerned with a sports complex right now.

Open government is very important. People want to know what is going on. Chastising people for asking questions or giving their opinions, is very disturbing. I'm sorry but the impression the public is getting is that everything that is presented to the board is taken at face value wihout question. Keep in mind that you are not working for Mrs. Carbone and that she works for you. I realize that many on the board feel beholden to her and that is quite unfortunate.

I suppose when I put my name out there, I should have been prepared for the bashing, it seems to be par for the course, and I can accept that, but bringing in Housing Visions over and over only shows what kind of character you have.

I will finish with a quote that seems to be posted on the walls of many of our schools and it goes something like this:
Character is what you do and who you are when no one is looking.

Xavier4 said...

I am sorry but houising visions is a real symbol of what is wrong with our school district right now. The reason our grades are down is the quality of the families that are in the schools now. We have become a very 'ghetto' type district with too many parents who don't care. Giving tax breaks and dollars to add more low income housing while decreasing the tax base is putting us further in the hole.
Ask any teacher that you do trust, I believe they will definitely tell you the kids in school now are nothing like they used to be, and the more kids we get the worse it will get.
It's not the teachers, the schools, the administrators - it's the parents!!
The Finland studies seem to fit right in with this theory too.

Xavier said...

And NOW we have Xavier "3 !?"

You really ARE dumb as a stump. Try to be a little creative, won't you? That would, at the least, make you a trifle interesting.

"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error."

Cicero

Xavier said...

Ah, you sneaked an "Xavier 4" in there. The kids in the schools now are still proportionately "good."
But the "bad" kids are HORRIBLE! They beat up other kids AND some teachers. They vandalize the homes on their way to and from school. They pull gravity knives on weaker kids. And NO ONE including ADMINISTRATION does a thing about it. I agree with the speakers who referenced the "bottom 10%" at the last meeting. WAY too much is provided to the hoodlums and not enough to the good kids.

It's the primary reason that the teachers, when they're in any danger of losing a benefit, drag out music, art, even football to rile up the masses. It's the masses who pay the taxes while the "bad" kids' parents don't give a good G-d dammm.
Why should they? Everything is handed to them - and their 13 year old pregnant kids. School? Wassat?

Luisa Smith said...

You apparently do not understand the project and it seems you have a preconceived notion of what it's about. It isn't and will never be anything like a 77 Main Street or the delapitated houses we have all over the city! This is geared to moderate to low income households which encompasses many people that you would not typically think of when you're referring to "what's wrong" here. Do you really think we want some kind of low income mess a block from our home? Absolutely not! This involved years of research, traveling, and a proven track record of them changing bad neighborhoods around in similar types of areas.

In the 20 years I have lived here I have not seen any improvement in this area, so please don't keep going... Deteriorating housing that still has barely been addressed is the problem here. Don't confuse HV as that. Btw-it is not "decreasing" our tax base here, infact it will increase it.

Why don't you check out the article on Trek? They won't be paying any taxes for 5 years (You can thank the IDA) and the GLDC seems to be investing $400,000 more to make it ready for them to move here.

Xavier5 said...

I know you are ADDING more low income housing to the area then currently exists, and you are not providing enough parking to have working families live there. I know no other neighbor is going to be getting $1,000,000 per house to rehab their property, so why would they. I know you are adding some apartments with 3 bedrooms, lot's of kids and won't be paying school taxes (which is the point of this thread).
So why do you think adding more low income housing to your already over-saturated neighborhood is going to do for it? You are just adding to the problem. Why didn't you just propose something using the same tax dollars that would have promoted home ownership and conversion back to one or two family houses? That's the on;y way to save you neighborhood (other than a huge fire!).

At least Trek is bringing jobs to the city, people who have jobs and might spend some money in the city, not just hang out at soc services! I'd much rather give tax breaks and $9,000,000 to companies willing to put people to work here, not give them more porches to hang out on!
Now that is how to save oour schools and neighborhoods.

MJ said...

Low income housing needs to be provided. Until a system is put in place where each town/school district is required to carry it's share of the region's poor, older areas of concentrated poverty will continue to get this type of housing since they have a disproportionate amount of substandard housing and low income residents. It creates a wave of disinvesment that knows no bounds. Look what has crept into Cheektowaga. It's not soley a municipality/school district problem - it's a regional planning problem.

And as always: the $9M in low interest loans and grants are not for anything we desire. They are state and federal funds/programs for the purpose of low/moderate income housing

Xavier6 said...

and the $6m from the state is to be put into school facilities.....

but it's not the cities job to bend their own rules to fit the low income housing in, unless the champion of the project is one of the ones bending the rules. again, people in glass houses can't complain about others spending tax dollars(hv vs. schools), or others on a board doing favors for each other(hiring vs. changing rules for pet projects).

Anonymous said...

Never blame the kids for a lack of leadership. This district is going the wrong way. The Board, and the carpetbagger Supt. need to be held accountable!

Anonymous said...

Blame the kids parents!!!

Xavier said...

OKAY! Now we see "Xavier6" AND "xavier."

Anon. 5:45 appears to be the only one here who has a valid opinion and is not just jousting with those they don't agree with.

OOPS - Just noticed "XAVIERO!" God you're boring.

MJ said...

I removed the fake one. Commenters can type in any name. If you want to "keep" a name create a google account etc. It is unlinked to a profile so it's easy to tell.

Xavier said...

My "Xavier" comes from a Google Account, MJ. It's actually xavierd......@gmail.com as Xavier is a family name going back 5 generations now. James Xavier D...... was my great-grandfather. I've had this address for at least a couple of years.
These folks are just attempting to be irritating but, as noted, nothing they do is gonna bother me. As a wise friend noted, who has dealt with this couple for years, "consider the source."
I'm sure you'll appreciate my not spelling out the whole address. I don't want them spamming or spying on me, which they've also done before.
YOU have the one I usually use and I know you won't give it to them. Actually, it's accessible by anyone who wants to look in any number of places, including City Hall.

Pretty pathetic of them, no? At the very least they're not very imaginative and apparently concerned that others might take me seriously - as they should. These "tricks" are nothing new and are getting rather boring.

Thanks for your help, as always!

Anonymous said...

"
Share of budget devoted to teacher salaries 36.4%
"
"
Total rank, 15th out of 98.
"

but only for the kids

"
Superintendent's salary $154,916
"

keep fin that chicken

Anonymous said...

Superintendent's 2010 income was $181,694. (not including benefits!)

Anonymous said...

cost per student was around $15,000 - which was in the lower half of the other schools.

Xavier said...

...and our students' test and pass/fail rates are falling through the floor.
GREAT job Board of Education! (That's all we're allowed to say - you sure can't criticize them or they will take umbrage and attempt to learn you some manners in front of 350+ people, not to mention the television audience. THAT's very brave of her - oops - them...)
I wouldn't have a problem with anyone's salary if our students' educational NEEDS were being addressed - even to the point of the Athletic Director working on programs that will help ALL the kids LEARN. It's proven that participation in sports, music, art, etc. helps the students achieve their highest academic potential.
Maybe he should have been working the past few years instead of "working" only on the Sports Palace.

MJ said...

(clean up)

Xavier10 said...

MJ - you missed cleaning up X(0) personally attacks Pat Burke. This shouldn't be allowed either.

MJ said...

(claen up)

Anonymous said...

cool rss comments only again

is it a personal attack to say an elected offical is doing a crappy job not in the best intrest of the public?

granted xavier acts as if he was off of his nut alot but saying someone is doing a s#itty job with taxpayer money isn't much of an attack

Xavier said...

I'm not at all "off my nut."
It's just sad that some people are so afraid of the truth that they feel they have to libel me.
Why are they so afraid???

Anonymous said...

did i say that you were?

do you know what the word libel actually means?

"libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image."

"There are several ways a person must go about proving that libel has taken place. For example, in the United States, the person first must prove that the statement was false. Second, that person must prove that the statement caused harm. And, third, they must prove that the statement was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen."

if i posted that you, a specific person who is know to be [blank] is certifiably insane, a danger to themselves, their family, and should be avoided at all costs due to a risk of life and property, you MAY have a case if you can prove damage was done

if i posted that you sound like you are off your nut, not only is it clearly stated that it is an opinion, but 'sounds' is a lot different than 'is'. also, good luck on getting a legal definition of what 'off his nut' is.

the fact that you think that i posted that you "act as if [you] were off [your] nut alot" as me being "afraid of the truth" wouldn't help your defense either.

G.I. Joe said...

"The truth...? You can't handle the truth."

Jack Nicholson.."A few good Men"

Xavier said...

I can handle it because I know it and it comes to pass. Those unfortunates who choose to believe the lies are really setting themselves up for a big fall.
We can't even TRY to "fix" things around here if we don't agree on what is wrong. Sure - it's natural to have disagreements and discontent - but there's a line when things are just plain wrong. That's the kind of stuff that should be seen by 95% of us regular folk. The other 5% are in like Flint and live off the system.
GREAT movie. I love Nicholson & I think that was the first time I really noticed Kieffer's ears are really odd!

Anonymous said...

xavier luisa mj aaaaarg who else will comment....oh never mind no one lese is listening . that is OF course...if Paul, I HATE THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, Black is responding then nothing gets deleted . just where is harding ave. extention anyway. i hope that is not where your nomination petition has as your home address. 'cause i cant find that street.is that road in the trailer park...?

Anonymous said...

it's a similar street - it's real close to ray Lee - where he has to hear the anthem every night - lol.

Xman said...

X - the problem is you have some valid points but due to your obsession with the BOE and your nasty comments (such as 'lick my boots') everything takes your posts as a crackpot spouting off.

Xman said...

meant 'everyone' not everything.

MJ said...

If everyone could keep on topic instead of making it personal to each other or putting school-yard put downs in their comments I wouldn't have to waste my time trying to clean things up and they in turn would not need to feel slighted that I deleted such "important truths".

And yes, there is nothing wrong with criticizing elected officials. But 1) there is a difference between intelligent criticizing and juvinile complaining/mocking and 2) it holds a lot more weight when the things they do right are acknowledged, even if they are few.

Xavier said...

I'm hardly obsessed with the BofE - I despise those public officials who abuse the Open Meetings law, i.e. The Board of Education, then treat their constituents like dirt. I only became "involved," as it were, when the issue was brought to my attention.
Subsequently, after the scolding, it has amended its practice and appears to be a little more accommodating. I don't take credit for that - but I'm sure The Buffalo News has something to do with it. It still needs improvement.
The over-the-top remarks made by Mrs. Schrader were despicable. Her behavior/attitude made my comment, to which you refer, called for.
I can't think of anything good they've accomplished lately. How about you tell me a few? I'll be the first to commend them.
The teachers, most of them, are not on my list. They have an extraordinarily difficult job and most try to do their best under less than ideal circumstances. Many are on auto-pilot.

Xavier12 said...

Yea, sure you are not obessed with them ... right away they are the bo"F"e? You obviously have a problem and I do seriously worry you might be stalking them,
The major good thing they have done is that I believe (I might be wrong) that going back 4,3 and 2 years ago they had negligible tax increases, I believe in the 1% area. Last year they had a budget with the same tax rate as the contingency budget that was adopted, after losing (again, I believe) $4M in aid. Then this year they lost another $4M and we will have around a 5% increase whether we vote yes or go to contingency again. I think thats a good job. The only fault I have is that they didn't cut enough administrators, I think they did cut 2 or 3.
And then you say you aren't criticizing teachers, yet "many" of them are on auto-pilot??? again, when you don't even realize when you are slamming people. You should talk to someone about it.

The Phantom said...

...If residents vote the spending plan down and the budget is forced into contingency, Carbone said she would have to recommend cuts that included the elementary band program, the school resource officer and library services. Transportation is currently provided to students who live a mile or more away from their school building, but that buffer would likely have to increase as well. "None of those would be good for our district or good for the community," she said...


In other words, we'd better vote yes or how will we sleep at night. Threats. So sick of hearing "You'd better, or else."

How come there is no mention of cutting the sports programs?? Libraries, band, the school cop. Why can't sports bear some cutting?? I know, because then we wouldn't vote for the sports palace! Do they think we were born last night??

5.8% at current assessment rates. That will all change in June when the assessments go up. So sick of it all...

Concerned Citizen said...

EXACTLY....and why did they give Carbone another $5000 increase in her pay too??? They and she are still not getting it!

Anonymous said...

Her budget proposal is a disgrace. No administrative cuts. The schools are a real mess and the Board does not have a clue how bad things really are right now. They better wake up and make a change at the top before it is too late. The Board President should stand up to the witch and tell her to submit a real spending plan--not one that hold citizens hostage with the threat of losing valued programs if they do not keep all of her administrative buddies. What a mess

Anonymous said...

How'd last years moves work out. Lots of cuts, much higher taxes, many teachers cut, no administrative reductions, lower test scores. Thank your Board of Education cause we really hit the jackpot. Try my new plan for a year. Anybody have an confidence in Terry Anne 'Bone head?

Concerned Citizen said...

How can the president of the board stand up to her when his wife is employed for the district? How can most of those members even do their job properly when they're beholden to her??

Anonymous said...

The expenditure per student graph is pretty slim proof that "the education system is broken as a whole." What does that mean, exactly? As whole, do you mean public and private, magnet and charter, and by that do you mean all subjects, all activities, the equipment and physical plant... I'm trying to figure out what you are complaining about to engage the dialogue here, but the post is not very coherent, is vague when it is coherent, and lacks any substantial proof. It seems like some people really just don't like school, and it skews their worldview.

Xavier said...

Right. What do you mean with "bo"F"e?" "BofE" is simple shorthand for Board of Education. Period.
I am NOT stalking anybody. Never have, never will.
The taxes went WAY up last year and will again this year - the year just prior to Governor Cuomo's proposed "cap" on school taxes.
My primary concern, as mentioned, is their failure to comply with the Open Meetings Law. Why they do this one can only guess - but it can't be good.
Then to have a Board Member chastise those of us who brought this issue up, together with ANY other complaints anyone else had, was totally inappropriate. She went on for 20 minutes telling us how awful we are for asking questions!
You're WAY too touchy. You've got to stop parsing my comments to pick out anything you can point to that you think makes me look badly. It's not going to work.
Sounds as if we actually agree on a lot of things. Go figure. They (Terry) really worked them well - & no, they can't complain - too many of them have relatives in the schools. To proffer another budget that only allows us to vote "yes" and get stuck for a 7% increase, or vote "no" and get stuck with a 7% increase. She, and the Board, are NOT listening to the people who can't afford another 7% increase - especially with the re-val going on. We're already scrambling to pay our bills - and robbing Peter to pay Paul. That is the sum of my major concerns. It stinks when those who are supposed to be looking out for us, and our kids, don't pay any attention to us - nor do they pay much attention to our kids.
It's a sin - then to listen to them yell at us is unconscionable. I'd do anything I can to help them, but they don't want our help-all they want is our money and that's getting mighty thin. Perhaps they don't realize just how bad things are out here-their salaries are over the top and yes, NO losses in Administration, and let's put all the emphasis on the bloody Sports Palace. Keeps our little minds off the important things. She's good-gotta give her that-problem is she's good for herself and her buddies-not for us and our kids.
Have a lovely evening.

Anonymous said...

union thugs

how is it legal that my tax money is being spent on lobbyists, political advertising campaigns, and 'donations' to political parties & politicians?

the only way lockport will not in the top 15 of pay will be to break the unions

if you are in it 'for the children' wtf do unions have to do with it?

MJ said...

I don't necessarily have a problem with collective bargaining and it has its merits for worker safety etc. But when has seniority puts those with the best talents in the proper positions? And most of the time it becomes a huge bureaucracy onto itself with its own internal dysfunctional politics and self interests. It eventually hits a wall where it either reinvents itself or kills itself off when the business/etc goes under/moves. The only difference here is the residents are forced customers who will pay no matter what. There is no school choice. So we are left with no reinvention of the educational system or employment structures.

We can decline paying more (or for an unsatisfactory product) by moving to a different district and that process has played a huge role in the decline of older areas as those who cannot afford to move make up a greater portion of the district and skew its performance results. This then further increases the costs which everyone still shares because the state picks up a large portion of the education tab.

I am referring to most schools. More so public since they are the most rigid with the least amount of freedoms in how/what they teach. This may be good for a factory with a monotonous product but children are not a monotonous product.

List/link me some positives on the "factory model" of education or the "consumption view of knowledge" beyond making it easy to give standardized tests and spit out numbers for judging success rates.

We are developing individual children, not building exact copy robots to do a certain task over and over. People with their individual talents, creativity, weaknesses, etc deserve more than to be crammed into standardized routines, be those teachers or students.

Any "investors" who would not question a 3x (inflation adjusted) expenditure increase for relatively no gains would soon be left with nothing to invest. It's even more important when the product is our children.

I'm afraid the system is too big and has too much inertia to see change anytime soon. So it’s either keep feeding it more money or reduce the number of factory workers.

Xavier said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Once again music gets the ax if the budget doesn't get passed. How about sports programs? Music has piles of research to show that it, among other positive benefits, shapes young minds in a way that they are better able to understand math of all things.

Increase my taxes? Sure, but divert the money to arts programs, not yet more athletics spending. Until then, it's a NO from me.

G.I Joe said...

Anon..I agree. music is the greatest gift of all...but a poorly educated kid can't become a musical Millionaire,but he/she can become a sports celebrity. When was the last time you saw an article in the Buffalo News about a former student from this area having a chair with the Boston Philharmonic for instance? But you probably heard a lot about Patrick Kane playing for the Chicago Black Hawks. ( not to say that Kane was a poor student). It's all about money. Sports brings fame, notoriety and cash to a school district in a way that no other activity does. It's a fact.

Anonymous said...

GI Joe - I am on the 'sports' side, but I think music is important too. Your argument about pro sports is laughable though, maybe 1 out of a million kids make it big in sports. The real benefoit of sports is the discipline, time management and team work it instills in kids.
The music they will cut in a contingency budget is elementary school I believe. There aren't any sports to cut at that level, we don't have any. We also don't have as many modified sports (for the 6-8 graders) as other schools. They are cutting some modified teams by combining schools since before this both North Park and Emmett had teams, so with the re-organization sports are being cut.

G.I Joe said...

Anon..my son played sports at a high level including College Hockey. I played college baseball and was an NCAA official, and I have a relative who was an executive in the NFL. Don't lecture me about the value of sports. I know the value from the discipline and dedication perspective, and I've experienced and know well, that very few make it to the "show".

My point being in my first post is that there is a bigger carrot out there for sports success and recognition. That's why it's attractiveness is wider spread among the population, and why it gets so much support. Not many get to chew on the carrot. but they all have the dream.

With that said...when the ax falls and it's time to cut, the pain should be felt equally by all department. Not just sports, and not just music. ALL DEPARTMENTS

Anonymous said...

yes because music has nothing to do with "discipline" and "dedication"

hell, more people can learn "discipline" and "dedication" through music then ever can through sports

you can be clumsy, nor not built for a particular sport and still play music

Anonymous said...

yes all 50-100 who participate in music vs. the 600 kids who participated in sports!

G.I.Joe said...

Why don't you Anonymous posters at least pic a fake name...it looks like you're debating with your self.

I've done um both...sports is large motor skills music small motor skills. It's apples and oranges.

we're starting to have a culture-less society.

Guns..sports...money...The BIG 3 turn-on's

Anonymous said...

When there is no leadership at the top (Super and Board) we end up having budget choices that pull the community apart. It does not have to be a matter of athletics vs. music if we cut administrative overhead. The only reason we need so many administrators is because none of them really contribute anything of value. How about we vote down the budget and all propositions and vote in a new Board with a mandate to fire our useless Superintendent. She set it up so we had no choice but to take the ugly budget she wants to ram down our throats. The Board went along with that plan. Does anyone rmemeber Carbone's mentor Chris Neal bringing back the exact same budget that voters had rejected and trying to force it onto the public? It ended up being defeated by a much wider margin the second timeand she got the message and resigned. We need to come out and send a message to this arrogant woman that she is not needed around here anymore. Vote it all down. Vote in anyone new. Stop giving a useless leader who has done great damage to our community raises in return for her destructive impact on the district.

Anonymous said...

600 kids in sports are you talking about phys ed as well?

but eh, who cares, just let the music kids to to one of the local music teams that are all over wny and they can play with them

the anon right above me has it right, we pay too much in admin costs and don't spend money on students wisely.

Anonymous said...

How much more will we pay for the additional bus transportation to get all district Grade 4 and 5 students to North Park? Neighborhood schools used to be valued in our community. The only thing more important than additional bus costs is the Superintendent's annual raise.

Xavier said...

Music is more accessible to more children than sports-once you're out of grammar school at least.
I enjoyed sports-all the way to the Olympic Trials in swimming(okay-so now you all know who I am)AND ice hockey through High School and College. I'm a "girl" and I'm past 50.
MUSIC?? Took me everywhere from Toronto to Washington to New Orleans in High School to Boston, New Orleans and AUSTRALIA as an adult. A lot of geeks are in music-the kids who couldn't make it in sports. I was lucky to make it in both but did NOT continue swimming after the Olympics. I didn't want to get in another pool for the rest of my life. I rarely have.
Music? It still is a very important part of my life. I stayed in the Tonawandas Post Legion Band until I became a Mom at 32. Can't make rehearsal twice a week and play concerts and march in parades 3-4 times a week in Summer when you have a baby.
So what's more important for OUR kids? Music, Art-you know, the kind of things you don't need to be built like a linebacker to succeed in-and who will enjoy it the rest of their lives. NOT the linebackers-the musicians. The linebackers can't walk by the time they're 30.
This Superintendent is worried only about herself. How much money can she get? How about Ken-Ton which has everyone from Administration to the Aides to all in between who have turned down raises? How to keep her Union buddies happy? What's her deal? Why does this Board go along with her? They are elected and get NO PAY! Why do they tolerate this person? They all got in this for the good of the children - NOW? WHY do they tolerate this woman?
Because they're all in her thrall, they all must go as quickly as possible. SHE must go but these folks won't do it. WHY? Only they know.

Anonymous said...

so to get the budget approved all we have to do is have them get rid of carbone?

G.I Joe said...

Xavier..we can spend all day explaining the virtues of music, but if someone is only here to argue about an issue then they will dispute everything you've eloquently stated..the Tea Party slash, burn, cut, and remove philosophy is popular and there are several scores to be settled. Get rid of Carbone? go ahead...but I say to you people if not Carbone...then who?

Oh by the way I hate to bruise your ego...but I still don't know who you are.

Anonymous said...

The current Board got into this to have control over who get jobs. In return for them being able to hire who they want (family and friends) Bone head gets a raise every year even though she has fewer buildings to operate, fewer teachers to supervise (with more administrators to handle that duty) and fewer kids and parents to worrry about. It does not matter where we stand in WNMY on student performance--oe how much damage she does to the future of our community--the deal is we hire who we want and the witch gets a raise-everyone is happy.

Xavier said...

Oh, Joe - just ask any of the Board Members - but that presumes they actually listened to me at the last public meeting.
Some kid who swam in High School and College gave a spiel on how swimming has improved her life and we NEED this Palace. (I didn't know there was a new pool in it.)
I arrived late, was racing to get there, & when I spoke to Ms. Coder (a very reasonable woman) she asked me if I'd like to speak. I thought it would be at the end of the session. Well, it was 5 mins. later. For some reason I went off on coming in third at the Olympic Trials and we had the worst pool in Western New York.
That was the meeting at which Marietta launched into a screed as to how awful those of us who questioned them are. It was really rather entertaining, thus my smiling at her throughout her decretive. I guess ya had to be there...

G. I. Joe said...

I'm all ears..what's the solution?

Anonymous said...

Fire them all and let G-d sort them out.

Xavier said...

A Board which has the chutzpah to get rid of that woman. A Board which has the strength to deny the Unions which actually control the District everything they want and more.
I think any current contract can fall due to the enormous financial changes which have been wrought City, County and Nation wide.
Other Districts, and States, are doing it - why can't we?
There are many teachers willing to make cuts and, also, participate in the process which determines that which would be the least damaging. No one asks them - other than those who owe their jobs to this Board and Superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Again Xavier you do not know what you are talking about. There is no new pool for the "palace" as you call it. If you people would only look at the facts and not make things up to turn people against everything. Again the negative people speak. Prove that you were an olympic swimmer. Maybe we should name the "palcae" Xavier Stadium!

Anonymous said...

didn't xavier really say that there was no pool? perhaps you yourself should actually read what was written, and understand the intent.

union thuggary strikes again folks, but who will be left to pay your salary and benifits when you've chased every nonunion member out of town?

MJ said...

...

Xavier said...

The first time I heard a pool mentioned was when the young lady swimmer said there would be one in The Palace.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no provision for a new pool. Her mentioning it had me scratching my head. Hence my comment.
I was never an Olympian - more's the pity. If you'd listened, I came in third. They take two. Barring a broken arm or typhus, I was not going to go. Then Jimmy Carter decided to boycott. Lot of good that did - the only people he hurt were the athletes.
Quit making ME the issue and stick to the Palace why don't you?
How about some answers?
1. Why won't Terry and her buddies take a cut, or at least refuse an increase in pay? Many teachers are in favor of this - I've spoken to them. They would then do the same.
2. Why are 95% (admitted exaggeration) of the BofE's meetings closed to the public with the excuse that there will be one or more of the exceptions to the Open Meetings statute in play? The Board is breaking the law.
3. Most importantly - Why aren't the residents involved in the actual Budget process? Seeing as we're paying the bills, shouldn't we be allowed to participate & not just have to accept Terry's list of "I Want?"
The current procedure has your Uncle Buddy picking out a car for you - then handing you the car and the payment book. This is really irritating when Bud picks out a clunker for $25K and YOU'RE on the hook for it - including necessary repairs.
None of us would do this for a stupid car - WHY do we allow these people to get away with this when we're talking MILLIONS and, more importantly, OUR CHILDREN!

Anonymous said...

now we will get four more of dutchies dupes on the board, it must be cheaper to run the dupe squad than pay for a full page edition cover.what a way to get your girlfriend a super intendants job.

Anonymous said...

I do not know who is going to get the job I just know that Bone needs to go before the whole district goes down the toilet. Putting a budget before the Board that is really ugly then threatening you with something worse if you don't vote for it is sheer desperation. How do you like that for $185K per year of leadership. She messed up Lockport HS how did that make her qualified to be Superintendent. What deal did she cut to get the job.

Fed Up Lockportian said...

Oh Anon 11:39 Isn't it funny that when our last budget was voted down, the board seemed to blame Dave Ulrich for the outcome? Did it ever occur to you that just maybe the taxpaying citizens are realizing how inept our school board is and want what is right for the people of Lockport? Unfortunately it takes tough times like these to open the public's eyes and see what they've been allowing to go on year after year. When the biggest chunk of our taxes goes to education and we are asked to throw more and more money at the system knowing that next year will be "bad" and the following year will be "worse",(according to Clark Godshall) it's time to get serious! We can't afford the status quo.

It's also pretty sad when we have to layoff many of our teachers, aids, and assistants and now we're going to hire a gym teacher next year that just happens to be an immediate family member of a board member that is seeking re-election. The nepotism has got to stop! These people cannot be objective if they tried.

We finally have four people that are willing to throw their hat in the ring and run for school board, and people such as yourself must try to discredit them somehow by saying Mr. Ulrich is behind all this. I think you're giving him just a little too much credit here.

I'm glad that this year the incumbents will have some opponents to go up against and give us all a choice for a change.

Xavier said...

Fed up - are you willing to share a name? If not-I understand. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ulrich is blamed due to his putting a 2 page ad in the paper blasting Carbone the night before the vote with a lot of un-truths in it, such as quoting many district numbers which were actually fraziers not carbones. It was too late to rebut at that point. You can ask to, but supposedly some board members got phone calls the next day allegedly from him bragging how he got Phelps elected and will be getting the rest of his gang on. Plus it's known he has been trying to get his girl hired as a supt. supposedly he tried newfane until it was found she wasn't qualified.
again, all rumors but isn't everything else on this board?
Who is the gym teacher getting hired and who are they related to, or once again is this just a rumor?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm let's see....with all the illegal activities that continue regarding teachers pushing the budget and sports complex on our students and making them pawns, and questionable goings on with the board in their meetings practices I think there is more to be worried internally than Mr. Ulrich and his two page ad, how about the ad the Teachers Union decided to send out? You guys are looking for a scapegoat. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

Xavier said...

None of these "new" people have a connection to David. To accuse them of this is childish.
What they DO appear to have is the determination to run this school system properly - at the least w/o breaking a whole bunch of laws. They're the kind of people we need. Not the same old same old who are in it for the goodies they can hand out to family and friends.
One would think that the returning Board Members of LAST YEAR would have learned a lesson with the election of Ms. Phelps as a last minute write-in. They obviously didn't. Elect the Gang of Four and they'll have no choice.
Terry has f'd us with yet another budget which is exactly what she wants. We can vote it down over and over again and every contingency budget will have what she wants. Any way you look at it we lose.
Hopefully, the new Board will allow the little people (us) to be a part of drawing up future budgets. There are a lot of very smart people left in Lockport - most would be willing to help with this sort of thing.
If they don't act properly or as they've promised? THEY get fired first chance we get. (& we don't allow them to use the friends and family plan, either)

The Phantom said...

So, according to the paper, if the budget is voted down, the only change will be that the busing limit for middle school will be 1.5 miles instead of 1 mile.

So why am I voting????? No say in the tax increase. Shoved down our throats.
No say in the reorganization of schools. Again, shoved down our throats.

So yet another symbolic vote. Makes NO difference what we vote, the results will be nearly identical.

Great. Thanks. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

who is running for the board?

Anonymous said...

phantom > that's how they game the system every freaking time, and boe supporters just bend over and don't even ask for a kiss afterwards

destroy the union, and you will finally see someone with balls in power

Anonymous said...

If a budget gets voted down perhaps to a certain extent it would be "symbolic", however it is the cockiness of the superintendent and board to assume that they have us and because it's for the kids we'll just vote yes and accept it. What needs to happen is they need to be afraid that the public may vote it down and consider scaling back on some serious things. Right now they still keep blaming Ulrich for putting the district in a contingency budget plan.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been a great gesture if the superintendent and other administrators would have said that they understood the pain we were feeling right now and decided not to accept any pay increases especially during this contingency budget year? That alone would have probably gained a lot of respect among many of the school district's employees and taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the paper is presenting the full story (as usual). I believe if the budget does not pass, they may look to cut library at the elementary level. And possibly other non-mandated programs (but only the non-mandated educational programs for children, not sports, that would just be wrong!).

So basically we have no choice but to pass this budget or the kids suffer (more).

MJ said...

Some points:

1) They went and cut the budget almost as far as they needed to legally. It is not really cutting a budget though. It's just limiting the spending increases structured into this year. In a way the contingency budget is similar to the tax cap in that we can force a minimum spending increase. They most likley feel that we are prone to vote no on almost any increae so they knock it almost all the way down to start with. Partially commendable?

2) What we can not do is force an overall spending cut. Nor can we force how they cut (layoffs vs raise freezes etc.) In electing new members etc the public needs to make clear what they expect and get pleges from them that they will follow through.

3) Budget increases and tax increases are two separate things. Just because they keep the budget increase small, loss of state funding etc still results in a laregr tax rate increase to cover near the same costs as last year.

4) I'd love to hear an official stance from the teaching union and the head of the administators what they favor: cutting bodies or freezing wages and why.

Anonymous said...

anyone know who is running?

Xavier said...

Well said, MJ. If you don't understand this charade-check out his post, above, which breaks it down very well.
I agree that if the Budget does NOT pass they will cut back on educational services for our children, i.e. Library, Music, AP classes, clubs, foreign languages, etc.
They will NOT touch athletics. They're even going to hire a Board member's son to "teach" in the Athletic Department. Odd, no? Somebody's kid gets a new job with lots of bennies when they're allegedly FIRING 20-30 actual teachers, not just absorbing retirements?
You'll be so concerned about your Kindergartner walking a mile and a half to school you won't vote "NO!" They KNOW this! They don't give a sh*1. You don't matter to them - they do what they want.
Carbone has already said as much when she's scolded us. How wonderful this Board is because they've drawn a proposed budget which includes librarians, etc. SO - if you want your kids, or anyone's kids, to enjoy music or the library you MUST vote for the budget. If it's turned down - these will be lost & it will be YOUR fault - but NOT athletics!
I must admit that proposing a cut to athletics while shilling for this stupid Palace would be a trifle disingenuous... But scaring you so you vote "yes" for everything, or don't vote at all, which will surely give them everything they want, is bush league.
Their proposed Budget and the Contingency Budget are remarkably similar - just like last year's which raised taxes +/- 7%. In two years taxes will increase by 14%-they've got to sneak in as much as they can before Cuomo's cap!
That doesn't include the tax increase we'll be faced with due to the revaluation of our homes. How anyone can abide some government geek telling them ANY home in the City of Lockport has increased in value, I sure don't know. Many of my friends and cohorts have already had their homes reappraised by professionals in order to combat any increases.
I was a ""government geek," and, trust me. I was NEVER there to help you.

Xavier said...

@Anon 9:04 - strikingly, I think the US&J has been treating this rather fairly. Certainly more fairly under the new Editor than it would have done under Timmy No-longer in the newspaper business Marren.
The Buffalo News has been a champ! I can't remember any issue at all up here that they bothered to follow-up on unless it was crime and/or tragedy. READ THE NEWS = it's all in there.
And, yes, I guarantee you that Bob Freeman and the Office of Open Meetings or whatever he calls it IS looking harshly at this Board. But none of this will fix this tax increase. VOTE NO!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mrs. Carbone just so you know Bob Freeman is an attorney and was responsible for helping write the Open Meetings Law. Shame on you for not bothering to look into that.

MJ said...

The proposed cap has nothing to do with capping the tax rate. It only affects the tax levy, which makes sence. The tax levy is what remains after all other revenue sources are applied (state funding, grants, etc) to the approved school budget.

This leaves an interesting scernario: the state reduces thier funding (say 4% of the budget). This would require a 4% tax levy increase to just maintain the same current school budget. If capped at 2%, would this automatically force a 2% reduction in overall spending or would be allowed to hold the budget static?

And as an FYI: if everyone's assessment went up 10% across the board, the tax rate would drop in relation to it in order to fill in the budget. The tax levy is a hard figure (say $35M) which is then devided by the total assessed value of the area to get the tax rate. Just because assessments go up does not mean the school automatically gets more money. We would have to pass a bigger budget.

Xavier23 said...

OK all you haters, now what? The increase is below 5% despite losing $4M in state aid. They made major organizational changes to schools to save money. TEACHERS GAVE UP RAISES AND EDUCATIONAL CREDITS for next year. Yes, the union helped out! Administration is taking a hit, though a small one. The lowest paid employees are taking the biggest hit of course, more teacher assistants and aides are being laid off then anyone else.
But overall, can't you haters say this isn't bad for the cards they were given? Sure it could be better, I would have liked to see at least one administrator laid off but...

MJ said...

cleanup

MJ said...

I'll add today's article to the post later and may add these points:

1) Overall spending still increased 2.2M. The LSD lost 4M in state aid but used 3.7M of the reserves and fund balance. That 3M is most likely not going to reappear again next year and will still need to be dealt with with.

2) The administrators gave up about 33k and the teachers 330k. If there is a 10:1 ratio of teachers to administrators they will have given up an equal amount of money. That 330k saved us 0.4% of our roughly $80M overall budget.

3) The article is a little hard to understand. It says we made 3.9 million in cuts. If these offset the 4M loss in state aid why the need for 3.7M to be taken from reserves and fund balances? If overall spending is 2.2M more than last year what are these "cuts"? Are they cuts in what would have been additional new spending this year? Would there seriously have been 6.1 million in structured cost increases this year? That's an 8% increase in last year's 77M budget. That could not be considered an acceptible cost structure. Will the same mess be staring us in the face next year regardless of state aid?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me if it is true, I thought I heard this at the last meeting however there is never any paperwork to show the public this, is it costing us an additional $1M to restructure the 5 & 6 and 7 & 8 schools?

Joy said...

What I got out of the meeting last night was that the taxpayers are hungry for more information and want to be a part of the process! I hope the BOE sees that we SHOULD be a part of the process and not just shown the end result of what they came up with.

I am afraid that we have to vote yes. It seems curious that the BOE doesn't explain what happens under a contingency budget. You still have your taxes raised, but you get less. You are not punishing the BOE, or sending them a message. You are making them cut even deeper while your taxes still go up!

I feel that they did a good job with the budget (would have liked to see more than just Modified sports cut though). Trust me, it hurts to say it...

The most important thing is the EDUCATION of the children.

Anonymous said...

I guess none of our know-it-alls here know as much as they say, no one seems to know who is running for the thankless job of trustee!

Anonymous said...

we don't have to vote yes

sorry parents but if we tick off enough of you, maybe you won't be voting in the same types of clowns every time

Anonymous said...

This is still a terrible budget. It indicates there was no long term thinking a year ago on how to realy restructure to become more efficient. Two major restructurings in two years means last year was a big mistake. Why do we operate a separate facility with a seperate administrator for pre-K. We moved 5th grade out of elementary buildings. Didn't this district used to value neighborhood schools yet we send our youngest kids to one location just so TAC can find a role to justify keeping her friend that helped her mess up the Luff case. Next year when TAC is gone the real problems with this plan will emerge--including her use of reserves that won't be there to keep taxes artificially low next year. All those concerns are not as big a problem as the attitude of telling voters to back this ugly mess of a budget or I will give you something worse--again we pay this lady over $200K counting benefits and that is the type of leadership she gives Lockport. Count me as a hater because I realize changes need to be made new Board new Supt. Vote this mess down including all of her propositions. This community deserves better and we aren't going to get better unless it all goes down in flames. Neal got the message that it was time to leave I guess Carbone has not been listening.

Anonymous said...

Are all of you willing to take a pay-cut at your jobs? Are you willing to work mine? Before you run your mouths, how about you step into an educators shoes and deal with what we deal with on a day to day basis.

When was the last time a kid pissed on your desk chair? Or you had a young kid tell you to fuck off? We don't get paid enough to deal with the shitbags from Lockport that enter our rooms.

Get rid of public assistance and then we can clean up the mess this place has become. I will take a pay cut and give up my benefits when the rest of the welfare cases do the same.

Anonymous said...

In the last three years companys in this area have taken a 5% to 10% pay cut just to keep people working.And the also have been using a program called workshare.where companys pay a percantage and the state pays a percentage
i believe its a 30% percent cut in pay but we keep our benifets.And when it comes to workshare you damn well better do your share of work.Things are tough all over time for the white collar workers to feel the pain also .
Not sit behind a desk and say we are educating our future .but the numbers dont look like you are doing your job at that .My job industry is fabricating welding machining thats what i chose you chose your comfy little corner try doing my job for a week and we will see where you and i stand

Anonymous said...

Um, if you don't like the job or the pay, Aldi's is hiring. Nobody is forcing you to keep the job...

Anonymous said...

It is is obvious you lack education my dear friend. I suppose that educators failed you too? I think that would be one hell of an idea though. I am willing to bet I could do your job and then some...

Personally, I think it is people like you that we should blame. You are not educated. Your kids are probably not educated. And then you place the blame on white collar workers who actually went off to school for 4+ years. I have paid my dues and deserve my pay check. You want to teach? Call the the BOE and ask for a chance to stop in.

Who do I contact to fabricate welding machines? I know a great guy in the business who could use a new one.

Anonymous said...

I have education.Do you know the weld codes do you know what a micron is? Do you know bend allowances of the top of your head for different metals and different bend radius .Do you know the differences between ID bends And OD bends.Do you practice trig math all the time which i do. because it involves an education.Do you know the tensile strength of materials .
Did you ever take a state welding test to be certified you have know idea what it involves.Have you ever learned G code or maz control do you know what M0 means? It means stop cause you have no idea about the real world.

The Taxpayer said...

Higher education does not automatically equal greater intelligence nor common sense. It also does not make your job any more important than another. Higher education does not demand respect, it still must be earned. And it obviously does not bring with it class or refinement, as shown by the post above at 8:15pm.

G.I. Joe said...

Wow...stop and read some of this back and forth this is all pretty pathetic. A Middle Class hard working guy and a teacher going at each other on the local blog. Welcome to the world of Anonymous posting. I hope Anon 5:00 PM is not a teacher. Nice mouth. I hope you resign today. Sounds like you might be a threat to children.

Lockportians.....you can all unite around one simple fact...that you should be embarrassed by what you've written and read here today.

Anonymous said...

i could rattle off a bunch of things that someone else doesn't know either, whoop de freakin doo-da, but your comment begs the question, if the anon 'teacher' knew more about 'the real world', would MO mean something different?

but don't like the job of teaching? don't teach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw0aBkt8CPA&feature=related

smash the unions and we can take back our schools

smash the unions and we don't have to pay off a drunk to keep her out of the classroom

Anonymous said...

ok rocketboy

MJ said...

I believe a great number of people have seen pay cuts, wage freezes, 401k match freezes etc at thier jobs. Some have seen them resume and others not yet. It's how the company survives to see a better day when the economy rebounds. It's what happens when you can't tell your customers that they are going to pay no mater what. It does not matter how hard you work, except for the fact that the company may come out stonger long term.

Please stop the direct fighting or I'll be forced to delete. It's funny how anonymi feel like they have to defend something personal.

There are all kinds of traits, qualities, knowledge etc that have value in different areas. Booksmart, streetsmart, etc all have their places and are all marketable.

Karen said...

A 5% increase in school taxes on a home that costs $100,000 equals an increase of $138/year which ends up being $2.65/week. I don't mind giving up a couple cups of coffee each week to support our community.

Anonymous said...

Yes however, the problem arises when you're city tax, county tax, gas prices(which affects all kinds of other things...)all go up and you aren't able to make anymore money, then what?
Mrs. Carbone said her heart goes out to the young teachers that will have to get laid off and have mortgages that they won't be able to pay, but what about us? What about the fact that there are many of us that are just staying above water with all the increases we have to deal with? Maybe $113 to you is not a lot of money, but consider the fact that that is compounded on last year's increase and who knows what we'll see next year. We have to be better prepared and start seriously coming up with a strategy.

Karen said...

I agree that we need to come up with a strategy and that the public needs to be way more involved than they are now in the budget process. The people of Lockport need to have the ability to be informed (transparency) so that they are able to see all sides of the issue and then be able to make an educated decision about the budget. Ideas to save costs need to be brought to the attention of the board throughout the year (not just when the budget vote is a month away) so that they may be implemented into the budget and next year's budget will then be financially easier for everyone in the community to handle.

G.I Mo-Joe said...

The "Know it all Factor"

Some of you just don't get it. Whether it's the City Council, BOE, or any other governing body around here, "they know best". They think we're all dumb and don't know anything. Behind closed doors they're laughing at you.

They are condescending and treat most opposing views as a necessary part of the process, kind of like cleaning up after your dog.The ego's around here are huge, and because they're convinced they know what's really good for you they think they are protecting us from ourselves. You can prepare all you want, and for as long as you want to to try and change the direction of things.This bunch understands only one thing. Being voted out of office.....you need to convince them that they will lose their position if they don't address the issues. Nothing else will make them budge. Believe it...

Anonymous said...

wah wah wah - you people make me laugh. You complain about the boe members who were voted in to a non-paying job which they probably spend 20-40 hours a month doing. You complain about a $100 tax bill increase(and thats for a $100,000 house) even though we lost $4,000,000 in aid. Maybe you should be complaining more to the state about how badly we were screwed compared to other school districts, because we aren't a low poverty city believe it or not (but once HV comes in we probably will get enough low income families to qualify - lol!)!

Xavier said...

Ah - HV Again... I'd almost forgotten about it~
So sorry you had to throw it in at the end of your screed. You really should give up the "wah wah wah" bit. You might as well sign your name.

Anonymous said...

You complain about your 20-40 hours a month of unpaid work being on the board. Ok, then step down and let someone else do the work. No one is twisting your arm to do it. Of course you won't because of the arrogance of thinking no one could do it better. Or is it maybe your buddy couldn't thrive without you?

G.I Joe said...

Complaining about Housing Visions..almost as original as posting under Anonymous...

Very courageous.

X-person said...

-despite what Xavier thinks I am not on the board
-it wasn't a complaint about the hours, it was stating that the jerks on this board should recognize peoples volunteers efforts and not just sit back and criticize.
-and can't you people take a joke, didn't you catch the lol at the end?
-oh and posting under GI Joe, that really is a lot different than posting under anonymous - sure, everyone knows who you are - geez....
-and you should all quit your whining! wah-wah -wah!!!

Xavier said...

I never said you were on the Board. I do not believe you are. But I do believe you are a nasty person who enjoys shooting down anyone who has an opinion about those on the Board with which you do not agree.
You are shilling for the Board. That should be above you - but we've seen in the past that it's not. You're irrelevant and that kills you.

Xavier said...

You're right Joe - right back to Housing Visions, with which I have NO connection, but perhaps this anonymous person is concerned that the guy who does have his hat in that ring will soon be in another ring with him.
I'd have thought that by now he'd give up the mean and nasty version of himself and at least pretend to act the gentleman before the next election. He blew it last time. Apparently he didn't learn a thing.

G.I. Joe said...

Hey..Listen ............posting anonymous or with any nom deplume is OK by me. I comment on issues, not people. Some of the "Anon's" take personal shots at people. They partake in name calling, and use profanity. If I do that call me out!

Fact is I don't..keep to the issues and stop bullying people because they have a different opinion.If you're going to attack someone then have the "stones" to post under you're real name.

Xavier said...

Agreed - please know that many people know exactly who I am based upon the personal attacks on me.
If I thought they were important I wouldn't take it out here - although the "shut your pie hole" comment was inappropriate. I guess I'm only human.

MJ said...

When relating to the boards one must remember they do have a job to get done. They could (and do) listen but at the end of the day 20,000 voices are not going to give a clear answer. and the voices heard are usually the ones who disagree since those who agree don't really have a reason to chime in.

Many boards are volunteer, some like planning and zoning are $20/month, and even the common council's pay doesn't seem worth the effort that is needed. I guess people have many reasons to join but I doubt money factors into many of them.

The biggest issue here is the lack of transperancy during the initial budget discussions and even after it has been presented to us. People are angry to be in the dark.

Questions like mine above (was there a possible 6M increase this year and why?) have no way of being answered.

Last reminder on the "personal attacks" or I'll have to do a lot of cleanup and I hate to lose the actual parts of the comments that are on topic.

Xavier said...

That awful word "transparency" is the same request we ask the Board of Education to follow. They don't hold the nuclear launch codes and there are a lot of good people out there who would be willing to help.

Clearly, we were unable to change the way they work this year, but there's hope for the future.
A retired teacher approached the podium at the last meeting and spoke to them eloquently from the entire set-up (Board UP on stage with citizens down on floor) to the fact that he had never seen a meeting of public officials of any kind where there is no "back and forth" between the people and the entity on the stage.
That the Board reads the entire "Procedures for Resident's Forum" which I find insulting prior to allowing anyone to speak - particularly when they point out that they are not required to allow us even three minutes to speak our piece and the President has the right to have anyone removed... (& don't forget the egg timer!)
When I, literally, bumped into two Lockport Police Officers who were there (hired) to provide security to the Board, I sat and spoke with them for quite awhile - the Board was off in "Executive Session." They've had local LEO's at at least the last three meetings. Why are we paying for that? Even they thought it was silly.

The gentleman echoed many of the other people I've heard speak at meetings and on the street.
The RESIDENTS MUST be consulted throughout the entire Budget process. The worst is that we are handed a Budget to vote up or down without having had any input. We are also threatened with the worst case scenario which they then add to when they get our attention, i.e. music.

I understand their's is a difficult job - but they willingly entered into it for whatever reason, and they work for us.

G.I.Joe said...

well said Xavier...like an old diaper...it appears that we're in need of a change.

Xavier said...

GREAT ANALOGY!!

Xavier1 said...

The big thing you have wrong, they don't WORK for you, they volunteer their time for you. You elect them based on their views. Do they really have the responsibility to talk to the 20,000 residents of Lockport to get their views, or are they supposed to vote how they feel, since you elected them to do that.
Get off your high horse, run for the spot instead of complaining, or accept what you get!

Xavier said...

Well #1, aren't you special. They do work for us and one of these days they'll realize that. Probably after they're defeated.
One can be of great assistance without running for a seat on the Board. OOPS - they won't accept volunteer help! They're outright rude to those who attempt it. What on Earth are they thinking? Some people are able to accept questions and/or criticism without it devolving into a Kindergarten brawl. Then they chastise any resident who dares speak against their position.
I suspect that there are too many benefits and those are what keep the same old crowd in there. It's like a weighted lottery whereby they can give jobs to their friends and families.
I truly believe that all of them began with the intention to improve the education of our children. Somewhere along the line they fall prey to whatever the kool-ade of choice happens to be the flavor of the month.
THEIR lives would be made much easier if they kept us informed of what they're doing all year long. The perfect example of this is the Sports Palace which rose from the dead to become this Board's priority - until the people showed them that, overwhelmingly, they did NOT want to vote (again) on this thing when our buildings are crumbling and Terry Ann is threatening to pull languages, AP, band, other music, etc. etc.
We're not idiots nor are we children. We CAN help if they ask for it. To the best of my knowledge over the past 20 years, they have never asked. That's a shame.

Xavier2 said...

Yes, they do ask. Every April they ask you to fill out a petition and run, unless of course you would rather stand on the sidelines and criticize.

And thats too bad you don't like the sports complex, there are many people who do and hopefully they will all come out and vote for it. The odds are long for it to be approved, imho because of people who are ignorant of the facts that this won't cost us any more in taxes/costs than we currently pay to maintain the facilities and the FACT that we have already paid taxes to the state for this facility, or if not this facility than another one that will be built somewhere else with our tax money.
Again, your complaints about it should be with Cuomo for not depleting this fund and transferring it to the operational expenses of schools - but since he didn't we would be fools not to use our tax dollars on ourselves instead of another school district.
So keep complaining on the sideline in the tradition of other famous Lockportians (i.e. Kugler, Kearns, Stoll, etc.) who sat back and did the easy thing by criticizing!

Xavier493467842 said...

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

MJ said...

I don't believe you need to serve in politics to participate in politics.

Also, just because someone was voted in does not mean they were given license to do as they please.

The best way to show the difficulty of the budget process is to discuss it with the voting public, take their concerns into account, make a balanced decision and ensure the documents are easily accessible. It's not done by throwing out big numbers that don't make sence without data backing them up, offering a "scarier" version and making documents sparse and a burden to obtain.

A simple PDF on the LSD website of the complete proposed budget with a smaller summary is not much to ask and should even be a legal requirement.

Anonymous said...

MJ I think the overall concern is the transparency in government, be it city, county, state, federal or in this case school district. People want to feel like they know and understand what they're voting on. When they have questions or concerns they don't want to be attacked or made to feel as though they have attacked the leaders that they have questioned.
I've seen it happen too many times with the Mayor of Lockport, Town Supervisor and most recently with the School Board. I know they're only human, but it's a shame and I do hold them at a slightly higher standard. After all they represent us, the voters.

Quite frankly I appreciate seeing all the people voice their concerns, I may not always agree but hey that's what this country is all about.

Xavier said...

And if something prevents you from running, yet you want to contribute because you have a lot to offer? We're not ignorant people - most of us anyway - but there are some who are physically prohibited from running for dog catcher. (Sorry, Joanie)
I'm sick of hearing nothing more than "if you don't like it run for office or shut up." That's not what this Nation was founded on. Time for the School Board members to do what their constituents want - not what THEY want.

Xaviert123 said...

Then you contribute in a positive manner where your opinions will be respected, not a belligerent one where you are just end up labeled a troublemaker.
And sorry, I didn't realize you were that handicapped that you couldn't run.
And finally, you elect people who you believe will 'vote' your beliefs, if they don't you elect others (or run yourself). Elected officials can't poll every constituent, they need to vote their own values.
I have always found elected officials will listen if you talk to them reasonably.

Joy said...

The 2011-2012 Proposed Budget is now on the LCSD website

http://www.lockportschools.org/lockportschools/cwp/view.asp?A=3&Q=341778

Xavier said...

It would be lovely to be able to speak to the Board privately - IF it would garner any answers to our questions instead of the oft repeated party line.
Perhaps you didn't get the memo re: the two heart attacks and congestive heart failure at a relatively young age. There's a lot more but I won't bore you. Short answer: I can't. Otherwise I would consider it if enough people were in favor of my doing so. I do serve on a couple of VOLUNTEER commissions and have a wealth of professional and personal experience to bring to the table and would be happy to help were I asked. Instead, anyone who disagrees with this Board is treated like the dirt under their fingernails. I suspect your "apology" was tongue in cheek and not sincere. If I'm wrong, please advise and I will retract my snottiness. I LOOK "fine," therefore most people don't realize I'm really rather restricted - but that's not really anyone's business, is it?

G.I.Joe said...

Xavier-123456789 10 11 and 12..The " I was elected so I'll make the decisions from the election day forward" attitude is bad policy and deserves to be challenged.

Almost every elected official claims they speak for the "people". The most they can claim legitimately involves a split in the electorate. There is rarely a mandate. So they NEVER represent the "people". The politician claiming he/she represent all of the people is a fool or a liar. Second and most important...situations change during a candidates term in office. An office holder elected in 2008 faces a much different set of challenges in 2011. So...the school board member that isn't flexible, and can't adjust to the changing financial and social climate,is no longer in touch with MOST of the people responsible for electing them to office in the first place. We have all of these little "fiefdoms" created by local officials. I hope they enjoy being the "boss".

'The greater the power the more dangerous the abuse".....Edmund Burke

Xavier said...

"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."
Aristotle
At least I don't shut up when told to. Thanks Joe

Xavierxx said...

I feel sorry for you, being a world class athlete and having such health problems at a young age.....
There is a difference between constructive criticism and criticizing. Your venomous attitude towards the baord doesn't lead to them accepting your ideas as constructive criticism.

G.I.Joe said...

well XavierXX (?) when people feel like they're being ignored or made a fool of, they generally will ramp up the rhetoric to get someones attention.Could it be that the BOE is not being responsive enough? I would suggest the BOE move away from the " sit down and shut up..we know what's best for you" strategy...It's not working.

Xavier said...

Thank you, Joe - and to "xx," I am a very nice person and never enter any situation with a "venomous attitude." You certainly don't "win" anything with that behavior - especially a Judge or Jury.
I was asked to become involved with the Board as I am a rather accomplished person and some thought I could help. So did I.
Then I am met with the cone of silence and, as G.I. Joe puts it, the Board's "sit down and shut up...we know what's best for you" attitude.
I'm no spring chicken and have spoken before and to a plethora of governmental and legal authorities. I have NEVER been treated with the scorn and derision shown to me by this Board. And this all before I even open my mouth.
I do not believe the reading of the "rules," in their entirety, is necessary and find it insulting. Throw in the Board does NOT follow Roberts' Rules of Order as claimed. I am further insulted by the ominous ticking of the egg timer. The worst? No back and forth between the Board and we civilians. And do you really think that two police officers are necessary? That's insulting as well.
Consider that no one could present "constructive criticism" in 3 minutes. Even were that possible, there is no feedback - only silence. It leaves the impression that you won't accept any criticism, constructive or otherwise. It definitely proves that you don't care what we have to say and will do it your way no matter what your constituents want.
At the last Open Meeting, I was chastised for a minor breach of etiquette before the meeting even began. I apologized nonetheless. I was called out by name by the Captain while his comrade to his right was pointing directly at me. Pointing is rude. Has any member who personally attacks a citizen ever been chastised? Then, for some reason, although I signed in at about #4, the President calls on me first. This startled me. Then I trip going UP the stairs (embarrassing) only to, once again, have to wrestle with microphone issues. By that point I think I'd forgotten my own name. (Not to mention the very serious family matter then in flux.)
I have reviewed my statements after each meeting and do not see me as having a "venomous attitude." I AM frustrated. I don't think you comprehend how we feel. We feel that we are being ignored. The gift of those three minutes is worthless. It is seen as another CYA by the Board. Otherwise you would participate in a discussion of ideas.
Just because I've known Bob Freeman for years does not mean I was threatening you. I didn't tell him to come here - I haven't spoken to him in years. Others sent The Buffalo News TO ME - not vice versa. I am from Buffalo and know a lot of people. But, I've lived here for 20 years, my child made it through LHS and is doing VERY well, thanks in large part to a few teachers, one Administrator and Mrs. Riester-sadly missed in her retirement.

If you would really talk to us and show US the respect we've earned simply by showing up, things would go a lot more smoothly. As it stands, we aren't working together for the betterment of our schools and, thus, our children. If you would relent on some of these antiquated "rules," even quit reading them to us all the time, I know we would make progress. Not remain mired in mutual disrespect.
I have never meant to insult you. If I have, I apologize. I do feel as if I have been singled out to be the whipping boy. Why is that?
"I feel sorry for you" is not an apology.
If you meant to apologize for your unkind treatment of me, "I feel sorry for you" is not an apology in my book.
You have my numbers. Feel free to call.

Xavier said...

The quote from Aristotle, above, sums up my personal belief that if you don't bother to vote you have no standing to complain.
As to "world class athlete," I came in third - "they" only take two and in that instance no one went anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I heard that there are two new candidates that picked up petitions. One seems to already have many family members already employed by the distict. Here we go again...... Wake up People! Your objectivity is compromised when there is family involved- it's only natural.

Xavier said...

???

Anonymous said...

I wish someone else would run. Its either the devils you know or the new devils you don't know yet are the only choices.

Anonymous said...

The new ones that have announced are kinda scary if you ask me.

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