Saturday, May 17, 2008

Who funds Olentangy for Kids?

I commented a while back about the fact that district vendors and suppliers helped finance the OFK campaign. "John" took issue with that statement, claiming that vendor or supplier money did not fund the campaign; the money was raised by residents and local businesses that supported the levy.

Well, here's the actual breakdown of the $59,490 raised by OFK (as filed by OFK with the county board of elections):

  • 32% -- Vendors and suppliers
  • 16% -- District union and staff members
  • 25% -- Developers
  • 19% -- McConnell family
  • 8% -- Community members

Hmmm ... See any conflict of interest with the first three listed above?

73% of the campaign funded by those with a financial stake in the outcome.

Comments "John?"


Anonymous said...

So, 75% of OFKs contributor base gave to the levy effort to “grease the skids” and not “for the kids”. BIG DEAL—it’s only a few hundred million out of our pockets, right?

Look at this way: the district (board, administration and its boosters) can now add “conflict interest” to its laundry list of tawdry misadventures. At least they’re being consistent.

1.) NEGLIGENCE: Approving hundreds (thousands?) of contracts without reading them first (there are easily a few dozen I could put under this one)
2.) UNLAWFULNESS: Violating the Sunshine Law (ahem…allegedly)
3.) UNETHICAL: Hiring a service provider who actually demonstrated to the board how they would act unethically on their behalf and of the community (…doing so in a meeting that violated Sunshine Laws, no less—ahem…allegedly)
4.) STUPIDITY: Attendance tracker for $69K, anyone?
5.) CONTEMPTUOUS: Terri Meider doing email and rolling her eyes during public participation is always nice to see. Not adopting a real public participation policy is proof of how scared the Board is to not have a policy excuse that keeps them from having to defend their nonsense.
6.) CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Hitting up developers, vendors and suppliers of the district for OFK campaign cash.

This is just a summary of recent low points. Please feel free to keep adding to the list.

Anonymous said...

4A.) STUPIDITY - Attendance Tracker Position is $79K, an 18K increase from the previous years salary.

Paul said...


You've hit on another common theme in the Olentangy and Hilliard stories. I wrote about this back in October of last year. It turns out that the biggest financial supporters for our bond levy to build $75 million of new schools included the company who would manage the construction of the schools, and Fifth Third Bank, who would be handling the bond sales.

When I talk about apathy being the key threat - this is the kind of thing I'm addressing. Our school leadership operates virtually without oversight because very few - only a handful - of people care enough to exercise their responsibility to hold these public officials accountable.

I recently had a conversation with a teacher who said their union was being run for the benefit of a few because most teachers don't bother to be involved.

The American system of representative democracy works only when the people are attentive and involved. I fear it will take a crisis - and a painful one at that - to bring the change needed.

That's the way nature works - anything worth doing is worth doing to excess. Then there's a catastrophe which results in a redistribution of power/wealth. The USA has dominated the last 60 years not because we were particularly wise, but because the rest of the industrialized world was bombed to dust in WWII. Once the rest of the world recovered and we had real competition, things began to change.

Germany and Japan were like forests destroyed by fire. It sucked to be there at the time, but in its place grew a new and stronger forest. We've become the old growth.

Maybe a controlled burn is in order...

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a financial interest in good schools. It also doesn't indicate where these people live, only they can afford to donate.

But then when grasping at straws to attack a good district with good fiscal controls, you really will grasp at anything.

The majority of district residents agreed with these donors and are happy they stepped up to help preserve our schools.

Anonymous said...

Anonymouse 10:24 said:

"4A.) STUPIDITY - Attendance Tracker Position is $79K, an 18K increase from the previous years salary."

I believe the salary was $69K, but he's receiving supplemental pay for coaching basketball. The coincidence of this former assistant principal being hired to track attendance, also being an accomplished basketball coach leads any rational person to believe that he was hired for his coaching abilities rather than his attendance tracking accumen (after all, he's not listed in the 2008 Who's Who of Attendance Trackers directory, nor is he an officer in the American Federation of Attendance Trackers International union.

This suggests that OLSD sought out an individual to pay him $69K just in order to be able to pay him $8K to coach basketball.


Anonymous said...

The new Attendence Tracker/ Discipline Officer was hired at $79K. His basketball coach stipend is additional.

Anonymous said...

As a contrstuction vendor that does provide products and services to schools I do not see a conflict of interest in promoting and helping to fund bond initiative's. Sure, I will probaly make money on the deal but the greater good is served by passing the levy to fund the schools.