Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Opening the Spigot

Pass the levy ... open the spigot!

Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 ‐ 6:00
Olentangy Administrative Offices
Board of Education Conference Room
I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________
S. Galloway D. McFerson T. Meider J. Smith J. Wagner‐Feasel
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Approve Agenda
V. Board President's Report
VI. Superintendent's Report
VII. Treasurer's Report
VIII. Public Participation Session #1 ‐ For General Comments
IX. Discussion Items
A. "My Olentangy" Parent Portal 15 minutes
Keith Pomeroy
B. Middle School Schedule Presentation 30 minutes
Mike Nicholson, Gena Williams, Penny Stires,
Jim Wightman, Kathy McFarland
X. Public Participation Session #2 ‐ Regarding Action Items
XI. Treasurer's Action Items
A. Approve financials for February 2008 Exhibit A
B. Approve board minutes from February 2008 Exhibit B
C. Approve amended FY08 appropriations at the fund level Exhibit C
D. Approve amounts and rates as certified by the Delaware County Auditor Exhibit D

E. Establish new account: Hyatts Middle School Scholarship Fund ‐ 018 9202
F. Accept donations:
From: Chris and Brian Stump; To: Tyler Run Elementary School
Smartboard valued at $2,625.00
From: Levi's 4 Floors; To: Walnut Creek Elementary School
60 Carpet square samples valued at $30.00

Page 2 of 3
XII. Superintendent's Action Items
A. Specific Human Resource Items
1. Award certified contract to the following individual for the 2008‐09 school year, pending
successful background checks and receipt of necessary documentation:
Blackley, Michelle M., Olentangy Orange High School, Assistant Principal,
effective August 1, 2008, two (2) year contract at $79,000.00
2. Award certified contracts to individuals listed on the attached exhibit for the 2008‐09 school
year, pending successful background checks and receipt of necessary documentation
Exhibit E
3. Accept, with regret, for the purpose of retirement, the following certified resignation
for the 2008‐09 school year:
Miller, Daniel C., Olentangy High School, Business, effective at the end of the
2007‐08 school year
4. Accept the following supplemental resignation for the 2007‐08 school year:
Patton, Lisa M., Olentangy Shanahan Middle School, Girls Head Lacrosse Coach,
Spring Season
5. Approve supplemental contracts for individuals listed on the attached exhibit for the 2007‐08 school year, pending successful background checks and receipt of necessary documentation
Exhibit F
6. Approve pupil activity supervisor contracts for individuals listed on the attached exhibit for the 2007‐08 school year, pending successful background checks and receipt of necessary
documentation Exhibit G
7. Award classified contracts as listed below for the 2007‐08 school year, pending successful background checks and receipt of necessary documentation:
Beachley, Dewey F., Scioto Ridge Elementary, Custodian, 2nd shift
Ray, Hillorie M., Olentangy High School, Custodian, 2nd shift
Award classified contracts as listed below for the 2008‐09 school year, pending
successful background checks and receipt of necessary documentation:
Clemens, Kathleen D., Olentangy Orange High School, Attendance Aide
Priest, Julie K., Olentangy Orange High School, General Office Secretary
Ricci, Sheryl G., Olentangy Orange High School, Library Aide
Zipf, Kathryn L., Olentangy Orange High School, Athletic Secretary
8. Accept, with regret, the following classified resignations, effective March 14, 2008:
Hieber, Paul E., Transportation, Driver
Serpa, Melanie J., Olentangy Meadows Elementary, Playground Aide
Approve unpaid leave of absence:
Feasel, Michelle A., Oak Creek Elementary, Lead Custodian, effective February 26, 2008
through April 21, 2008
9. Approve resolution to terminate a classified employee's contract of employment, effective
February 11, 2008 Exhibit H
Page 3 of 3
XII. Superintendent's Action Items
A. Specific Human Resource Items, continued
10. Approve classified transfers:
Gross, Kirk J., from Liberty Tree Elementary, Custodian, 2nd shift to Hyatts Middle School,
Lead Custodian, effective June 6, 2008
Honaker, Neil A., from District, Field Service Technician to District, Head Field Service
Technician, West, effective March 7, 2008
11. Approve classified substitute workers as listed for the 2007‐08 school year, pending
successful background checks and receipt of necessary documentation:
Abdar, Ziba, Custodian (currently on staff as food service worker)
Neumeier, William J., Driver
B. Accept bids and approve contract with MT Business Technologies for the purchase of copiers
for Orange High School in the amount of $48,522.16. Exhibit I
C. Accept donation of funds from Oak Creek Elementary PTO for an outdoor classroom.
D. Approve tuition free attendance of non‐resident students who have reached their senior year and are no longer residents of this district: David Arra (LHS), Halee Culver (OHS), Tyler Eaton (LHS)
Executive Session
Motion by _______________________, seconded by _____________________, to enter into executive session at _____ ( ). m. to discuss the employment of a public employees and collective bargaining with employees.
The board reentered open session at _____ ( ). m.
XIII. Adjournment


Tracy R. said...

I am tired of the cavelier attitude that Scott Davis has with regard to who he really represents. I understand he could careless about the OSD as long as he gets what he wants personally and professionally. He doesn't believe he represents the taxpayers! It is really too bad that his legacy will be that of a bully. I also understand that McFerson, Galloway and Meider try to intimidate other board members who ask the right questions at BOE meetings with respect to spending. I also understand that Rebecca Jenkins (Treas.)reports whatever numbers she sees fit. What is Davis and his henchwoman trying to hide? McFerson and Meider brought Slick Davis to our district without the approval of the search committee so their egos are at stake if his actions are questioned.
I am hopeful that we can reverse some of the apathetic voters in our district. We need to teach them how to outsmart the bully. I hope to see you at the BOE meetings.

Anonymous said...

So running a school district is opening the spigot? Could you be a little more specific with what you feel is frivolous spending on this agenda? It's these broadside attacks and comments that really don't help your cause. You come across as a bitter person.

Tracy, the public spoke and I'd say they were far from apathetic. A large turnout approved of the running of the district by a good margin. Too bad they just don't agree with you.

Jim Fedako said...

No, about one quarter of the district voted for the levy. Of those, the greater majority were taken in by the threats of cuts (especially transportation).

It was by no means a "large turnout."

Anonymous said...

$80,000 in OFK campaign cash

$10M of cuts as threats

$6M in phantom cost reductions

The authority to waste taxpayer dollars with reckless abandon: Priceless!

John said...

OFK receives NO...i repeat...NO money from the school district. You all make it seem like their funding comes from the district. Never has...never will...

Jim Fedako said...

I don't think Anonymous was claiming that the money came from the district. That's well understood.

But, it came from somewhere. And, it came from vendors who benefit from district tax dollars.

cui bono

John said...

I too would like to know what you mean by "opening the spigot" with posting the agenda. Everything on here is a) day to day spending b) purchases for a new school building that will be opening this fall or c) the executive session to discuss the negotiations. I don't see anything "wrong" with this agenda...perhaps you can enlighten us oh glorious Mr. Fedako.

John said...

Do you know...for a fact (meaning..produce financial records) that this money came vendors? If not, don't make that claim. That is a spin and a lie.

Jim Fedako said...


In your world, it is all day-to-day spending. Just because it's spent doesn't mean the expenditures were appropriate. Folks like you refuse to admit that. Hence, the problem!

Jim Fedako said...


You exposed your agenda. How? You called me a liar before letting me prove myself.

Did you know that OFK sent a letter to all district vendors suggesting that they contribute?

But, you made me mad. I will request the OFK post election filing from the Board of Elections and put it here for all to read.

Thanks for the great idea!

John said...


I never claimed you to be a liar. I just get tired of you putting claims on your post that are not backed up by factual evidence. You suggest that OFK receives money from the district vendors, yet, you have never produced ANY documents proving that. From what I understand, many of the donations come from parents and businesses. Sure, businesses want the levy to pass. It means a supported school which makes people want to move here which creates a better economy for them. Why wouldn't/shouldn't they contribute?

I personally contributed $300 to the campaign. I think you are underestimating the support of the residents of this district. There are many residents willing to support OFK because of the positive work they do for the students every day.

You can call the cuts threats, but I call it good fiscal responsibility. Nobody has ever said that the cuts were required, but the district did need to plan for the next school years if the levy didn't pass (the deficit grows by leaps and bounds in the coming years if the levy didn't pass).

Sorry, the football teams will stay. Maybe you don't know this, but the thousands of tickets that are sold for football games, I would assume, pay for those programs. Also the pay-to-play fees.

Sorry...this is multiple posts in one to some other posts you have made.


Jim Fedako said...


You wrote, "That is a spin and a lie." If you claim that my statement is a lie, you claim that I am a liar. It's as simple as that.

I really don't know why folks pretend they mean something else when making such comments. Have the conviction to back up what you believe. Don't state something for effect and then back away. And, don't obfuscate your real meaning. State it loud and clear.

Regardless, I am still mad. And, once the report gets filed in a few weeks, I'll request a copy and post it here. Your name should appear on the report IF you actually wrote a check. We'll find out soon enough.

Do you still want to wager that there are no vendors on the report -- as you repeatedly claim? Or, will you continue equivocating; softening your stance?

You stated: "Nobody has ever said that the cuts were required ..." Of course they did. That is why, on their website, OFK stated that the cuts were mandated.

I notified them that such a lie was a campaign violation. They changed the comment within hours. The original page is posted on this blog for you to review.

And, Davis did claim that the cuts were mandated. Read the papers once again. Speak to the reporters.

All levies have deficits. Even the one YOU foolishly voted for. Isn't it disengenuous to state that "I cannot support deficit spending" and then turn around and support deficit spending at the polling stations?

So, you think that the football team is self-supporting. Have you ever included the cost of the stadium, field, weight rooms, all the coaches, etc. When I served on the board, football was never a money maker. But, that is reality bumping up against your beliefs.

Want to wager about football being self-supporting?

What is ironic is that while YOU claim I never back up my statements, you never back up yours.

At least I provide the links.

But, I can only lead a web suffer to the link, I can't make them click over.

Anonymous said...

Let's get back to the original post.

Jim, what do you believe is wasteful in this agenda?

Anonymous said...

1.) OFK hit up the districts vendors which is unethical and is a conflict of interest. How could a vendor of the district have said "No" to an OFK solicitation, and how can a vendor who gave NOT expect favorable treatment? It’s nothing short of reciprocal extortion. Somewhere, Jack Abramoff is pining away for Andy Kerr’s job. Oh, the possibilities!

2.) OFK actively solicited the teacher cadre to do a lot of the heavy lifting (read "propagandizing") for them. Again, this was unethical and a conflict of interest. Elaine Eddy was absolutely giddy on election night: instead of hearing the cheers of victory she heard the "cha-ching" of the district's cash register opening up for the teachers and the union she represents. After all, who can now say "No" to them after all the "hard work and money" they put into the campaign (Ms. Eddy's election night comment to ThisWeek).

The organizers of OFK ran a well-organized campaign--the best that $80,000 could buy--but it was highly unethical and hurt the district in key areas that are vital to keeping costs down and our procurement practices honest.

What escaped many, many people in the district--particularly the younger residents who had never experienced a school levy before--is that the levy that just passed is now on the books ad infinitum (that means "forever", for you Olentangy grads reading this). This point was not uttered once in the papers, and certainly banned from being spoken in OFK headquarters. Many residents believe it's a replacement levy and that it has a life a few years and will then replaced with another. Wrong. The levy that just passed gets added ON TOP OF the existing levy, and so forth.

Thanks for the memories of a clean and virtuous campaign, OFK! (Olentangy for Krooks). My wallet will never forget it! (nor forgive)

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:

Gee, let’s start with the Asst. Principal for $79,000. Are we up to having three per high school yet, or is it four now? There should be no more than one asst. principal per school. Two makes sense in the Olentangy “educator” mindset, though: the principal has two shoes to polish; two hands and feet to manicure, etc.

How about the supplemental contracts? Stipends, no doubt. The Go Fish play my neighbors’ kids recently performed in cost the taxpayers $1,200: $800 for the music teacher and $400 for the assistant…for 40 minutes of their time (so much for it having been “for the kids”). We probably pay a stipend to a teacher to manage the stipends.

All of us in the private sector are continually challenged to do more with less. It forces us to innovate within out positions and drive efficiencies across our organizations. The product of this is a stronger, healthier enterprise. I just wish to God every district employee could experience what we have to work with, every day. Maybe I’ll propose to my corporate leadership a “Take A School Administrator To Work Day” so that you in the “education sector” could understand what a real, market-driven environment is like. Then maybe you would begin to do more with less and end the silliness we see on the board Agendas, meeting, after meeting, after meeting. That you are unable to at least imagine the folly of all these spend requests tells me that you’re clueless.

Scott said...

Nice post, 5:01AM Anonymous. Let me add that OFK presented only the so-called facts that supported levy passage. OFK said nothing about Davis' salary and bonus. OFK said nothing about the average annual district salary increase. OFK said nothing about the best health care plan anywhere. OFK said nothing about staganant and declining property values within the district. OFK said nothing about the Olentangy taxpayer vs the other taxpayers in this county.

The lesson to be learned here is that without organized opposition OFK propaganda is assumed to contain all available facts. Most voters are simply uninformed. Organized opposition is necessary to present the other side of the issue. Only then can each voter make an educated choice.

In 3 or 4 years I'll no longer have children in this district. Therefore I'll be willing to participate in an organization created to fight this runaway taxation. Why not now? I always fear some type of retribution against my child. The good old, "Why does your dad hate us?" question. That's not something that I can risk whether my fear is justified or not. But look out next time...

Anonymous said...

To correct some mistakes in other posts:

Both active high schools have two assistant principals. All other buildings have one. The newer elementary schools have none.

OFK is not controlled by or run by the district. It is a volunteer, stand-alone organization and vendors can donate to it like anyone else. There is nothing unethical in their operation or the campaign they ran.

I don't know about your neighborhood but property in mine has continued to appreciate. It is too early to tell how the market will be this year (2008). Property is selling but taking a little longer. Given the market, that is pretty good. I'll pay a couple hundred more in taxes to get a 2-3% yearly appreciation in my home, that more than offsets any tax increase we've had. The fact is, Olentangy Schools helps the property values in the district, not hurt them.

Taxpayer of 3 kids said...

Great post Scott!

Unfortunately, I have kids in for 12 more years, but am willing to help. We have to fear Czar Slickness, Cheering Meider and Feasel, Clueless Scott, and his Eminence Dimon, as well as the silent 6th board member, when the redistricting issue strikes again next year!!

So, this levy isn't collected until January 2009, what happened to the $2 mil deficit this year, and the deficit for the beginning of next year?

Maybe John can explain the instant deficit coverage without additional revenue pumped into the budget?

The OFK campaign finance report will show the truth...oh the anticipation!!!!!

Scott said...

To 6:52AM Anonymous,

I don't know where you live but I don't see anyone selling his/her home for more than it was worth a couple of years back. If you can do that consider yourself lucky. A home in my neighborhood, slightly smaller than mine, recently sold for about 13% less than the amount my home was appraised 4 years ago. I'm willing to bet that I've lost nearly 10%, at least 5%, off my home value in those 4 years.

So don't assume that all home values are increasing. Haven't you read about the economic situation in this country and specifically in Ohio? Especially regarding real estate? If your home is appreciating consider yourself either a shrewd real estate investor or lucky.

John said... must also be reminded that the economic state of Delaware county is much different than that of the state and that of the country. As we were reminded by a letter from the county auditor, delaware has seen the effects of the economic slowdown, but our housing market is still pretty stinkin' good when compared to the rest of the state.

My home is still gaining value...60% in the last 5 years...oh...wait....housing slump...60% is a horrible return on that investment..

Jim Fedako said...


You may not want the auditor to find out. Houses have only increased (on average) 32% in the last 7 years in the district.

You may have found the real deal, but you are not the average.

Of course, to have an average, many houses gained less than 32% in order to offset your gains.

But, value is nothing unless a willing buyer is making the offer. So, your paper value is worthless if you cannot sell.

Anonymous said...

How many of you actually went to the meeting?

Personally, I find Jennifer Smith as one of the better Board Members. She had a lot of questions about the financial update that pointed out a number of incsonsistencies. She is a fighter!

I was dissapointed to see the other board members unprepared in this area. In fact, it appeared as though she was the only one prepared to review the finances. Everyone else seemed to have a "it's all good all of the time approach."

When Jennifer lobbed question after question, it was her who ended up back on the hot seat with comments like "Next time, maybe you could email these before hand so the auditor can have answers prepared for you." and a follow up comment of "or maybe just meet with the auditor one on one to have your questions addressed."

It fealt like the other board members were uncomfortable with the way she was stepping up to point out issues and they sat their without any issues/comments/clues. Jenkins didn't have good answers to all of her questions, but most seemed fair (without any prep on my own I was left with perception as my only guide.)

Given the recent levy passage, as a Board Member, that is one area I would have been 100% up to speed on.... assuming I cared about fiscal responsibility.

Taxpayer of 3 kids said...


Jennifer Smith is the 5th Board Member and a darn good addition. She will challenge the other four members quite well.

The silent 6th member which I wrote of is the former Board President who created a full time job for himself as facilities director, and sometimes acting Supt.

The Board doesn't like public challenges, it doesn't reflect their desire to "speak as one voice"

Scott said...

Regarding the property values in this county all that I can tell you is what is happening to my own property value. And I'm not fibbing.

60% in the last 5 years? I've been in this district for roughly 6 1/2 years. If I had to guess, my house has appreciated about 10-15% during that time. 2% annualized. And a lot of it due to a very nice fence and a patio. Seems that I'm pulling down the 32% average...

I guess that it will be a good thing for me when the auditor comes around.

Jim Fedako said...


I am up 15% over 8 years. That said, before the market downturn, I was up 25% to 30%.

Anonymous said...

New homes don't sell well because for the money, a buyer can go build their own home. That has been a problem for this area for the past ten years. Someone builds a new home and tries to sell it three years later and doesn't understand why they can't for a 25% profit. This is especially true for expensive $500K+ homes which we have quite a few in the district.

Ten year type homes tend to still sell and hold their value. It takes longer now but they are still selling. Our home as appreciated an easy 2-3% since we've bought it and homes in the neighborhood are holding their value unless they are dumped for expediency purposes.

Jim Fedako said...

2 to 3% is a far below the 60% mentioned by another poster.

Anonymous said...

He hit the lottery. Depends on where you live. If he lived in a legacy house where an expensive development grew around him, I could see that type of appreciation.

When we moved in the Realtor said to expect 3% and they were pretty close. The appreciation in my house has paid for any tax increases by several multiples.

Jim Fedako said...

Unlike you, I do not want to pay for appreciation with tax dollars ... but to your point ...

A quick calculation shows that I have already lost over one third of my appreciation in taxes.

Of course, this is aa junk calculation as I cannot realize any appreciation until I sell ... but I have been force to pay taxes all along.

Anonymous said...

But you've made two thirds based on the value of the area and one prime reason this area is desirable is because of the quality of the school district.

Jim Fedako said...

See ... it's idiots like you that keep taxes rising.

Why settle for my measly return? Let's up district expenses, raise taxes, and watch our property values rise.

That's why the market and economy are doing so well. The government is creating credit out of thin air, raising the debt, etc. Your logic really works.

Are you that simple?

Anonymous said...

No, you are the simple one either by design or accident we are not yet sure.

Our appreciation is because the district has a reputation for providing a quality education at an extremely fair price. Buyers compare our property taxes with other desirable districts like Dublin or Westerville and see the value of southern Delaware county and the Olentangy school district.

Jim Fedako said...

When district costs and tax rates EXCEED those of neighboring districts, what will you be saying?

It amazes me how simple some folks are.

Everyone one notes that the district runs more programs than our peer districts, and they note that our pay scale is relatively high in the out-years. This we agree.

Then, the same folks somehow believe that the district will be able to control costs for ever.

But, district costs and taxes are relatively low because the staff is the least experienced in the area.

And, since more programs equals more staff, and since older staff means higher costs, Olentangy WILL be more expensive than Bexley in the not too distant future.

That is a fact.

What will you be saying then?

note: consider that Olentangy used to be the absolute lowest, now its middle of the pack. Note a trend?