Thursday, October 16, 2008

And the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting goes to ...

And the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting goes to ... Becky Jenkins.

Wait a minute. Jenkins didn't put the district's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report together. The report was assembled and formatted by a paid consultant. That's right, a paid consultant -- your tax dollars at work ('cause the work ain't being done in the offices at 814 Shanahan).

Folks, instead of sending accolades to the district on a job well done, call the treasurer's office for the name and number of the consultant who is deserving of the award. Make certain that you pat the right back -- it's only fair.

Oh, and by the way, the award is based on presentation only. That's it. The award is not based on accounting practices or fiscal responsibility (whatever that means in government); it's based solely on presentation. So as long as the font and pagination are pleasant to the eye, the fact that Hooie recently spent somewhere around $1400 on hotel expenses is of no concern to the Government Finance Officers Association. Set the fund balance less the $1400 in the right font and it's good to go.

note: You have to love the choice of words in the ThisWeekNews article. Very 1984-ish. "Several" is used to describe two, while "more than one" to describe four. Here's what's odd: ThisWeekNews video taped the meeting and still couldn't get it right. Or did Amanda write the story for Kelley using district-speak? Hmmm.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the crap the district claims is a "significant achievement in fiscal management practices".

This is what they use to convince an unknowing public that their tax dollars are being managed responsibly.

As Jim correctly states, it is an award that is based on the formatting of a single, yearly report. This is a statement of fact and I challenge anyone to prove there's more to it.

The district pays an auditor. The auditor prepares financial statements; another consultant then compiles and collates the financial statements, adds verbiage and then produces the CAFR document. The district pays a fee to enter their auditor and consultant-created CAFR document into the GFOA contest. The district collects an award.

Hello? That the district hangs its fiscal management hat on this and not cost control and reduction is disturbing.

Based on these facts our treasurer and board are not just liabilities--they're hazards.

Here's the "School District" checklist for the dopey award the district just won. Judge for yourself:
http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/SchoolDistrictChecklist.pdf

Anonymous said...

Wow! $1400.00 for a hotel visit?
Where and for how long?
Where is it itemized?

Stan said...

What you people have wrong is this. No where in the announcement does it say that this is an award that shows they are managing your money well.

The article says "For the seventh consecutive year Olentangy Local Schools earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The GFOA Certificate of Excellence is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the district and its fiscal management practices.

The district first received this honor in 1997, and has graciously accepted the award on ten occasions. This award represents the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007."

You are interpreting fiscal management practices as something different than I see it. I see it as being transparent with the taxpayers which Olentangy truly is. There is no missing money which is more than I can say for districts like Columbus Public who are missing millions of dollars in cash and equipment. Olentangy can/will show you where every penny is spent. All you have to do is ask. Its all in the report.

Jim Fedako said...

Stan,

It's lipstick on a pig. The lipstick is the CAFR and the pig is the data. Ask for the supporting data and see if they give it to you. Good luck. That's one nasty pig.

Anonymous said...

Stan--Julie--whoever you are...please...

Who said anything about "missing" money. Don't try to distract the readers of this blog like how members of the board tried to distract the community with a bogus "dual track" superintendent search process so they could hire a crony.

You contradict yourself in your own statement. Once again: "its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the district and its fiscal management practices."

How else could one interpret "fiscal management practices" as anything else than "fiscal management practices".
The districts press release was misleading, as is all district press releases regarding this dumb award. If the district were truthful it would have read "fiscal REPORTING practices". Even then, we pay consultants to create the financial statements and put them together into the document. The only significant achievement here is that the district continues to fool the community into believing that they are effective stewards of the districts finances.

I find it interesting that there was absent the supplemental on budgeting, which the auditor calls out specifically as an area that he was ordered to audit or render an opionion thereon. Hmmm...
You

C.C. said...

The district has a difficult time hearing you, due to the excessive noise coming from their Red Ipod Shuffles purchased at the taxpayers expense.

Perhaps that explains it...could the device be required by administrators, as part of their incentive laced contracts...to help them drown out the questions of taxpayers, parents, and Mrs. Smith!

Until an official explanation...Just a thought to ponder!

Anonymous said...

STAN:

Go to the Olentangy website and read: "The GFOA Certificate of Excellence is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the district and its fiscal management practices." Fiscal management practices-- did you catch that STAN? The award has NOTHING to do with fiscal management- that's another award that the district has not ever won.

C.C. said...

Stan

Check out the winners in Ohio! I'll make it easy for you!

http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/07COAResults.pdf

Go to page 20 of 56..and you'll find your friends in the Columbus City Schools...They won the same award as Olentangy...and they (Columbus) "can't figure out where all the money from the last levy went"

The CAFR is a confirmed joke that only rewards the pretty paper, font and formatting!!!!

If I may paraphrase Jim...Oink, Oink!

Anonymous said...

COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOLS WON THE AWARD????

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

YEAH--GREAT COMPANY TO BE IN WITH.

IF WE WON THE SAME "FISCAL MANAGEMENT" AWARD THAT COLUMBUS CITY DISTRICT DID THEN WE SHOULD SEND IT BACK. IT MEANS NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

I see that Hilliard won the award, too. Interesting, since the citizens refuse to pass a levy.

So, if this award proves that tax dollars are being managed effectively then why do the taxpayers of Hilliard refuse to allow the school district the chance to manage more of their money?

Anonymous said...

Its all how YOU interpret what the article means. I see it as saying that "fiscal management" has more to do with than just how they manage our tax dollars. In this purpose, it is telling us that the district is very transparent in their fiscal practices. You can find every expense/revenue that this district spends. There is nothing unaccounted for. How many private companies do we see every year that have execs going to jail because they were caught embezzling money from the company. You don't see that here because they know where their money is because they manage it well.

You people on this blog cannot even recognize the good things in this district. They achieved the highest rating (yet again) on the state report card and raised their PI to the highest point ever. But this is still not good enough.

I have a better idea...let abolish all public school and give everybody a their taxes back to find the school of their choice. I guarantee that you won't be able to find it for the price of your taxes.

The fact is that Olentangy spends less per student than most other schools in Ohio, but still attains the highest rating on the state report card. Bad fiscal management? Sounds like good use of tax dollars to me and good investment for my children!

Stan

C.C. said...

Stan:

Give me my state portion of $5,500 per child plus my $6,000 and I bet you a quarter I can find a private school or two to educate my child.

Let me put it another way for you...if I were to have 2 $600 car leases, a $3,000 mortgage payment, $2,000 household expenses and I want to take the family to Europe for $7,500 and my whole family wants new IPODs for $49 each for the trip....all with income of say $8,000 per month....what should we do?

Cut the non essential, wasteful spending, pay the $7,200 in household expenses, and save the rest for the trip in a couple of years!

If I were a public entity...I would spend all the $8,000...then threaten to take the cars that take us to work, then go get a home equity line of credit (bond levy) and take the trip anyway, with shiny new Ipods and new outfits for everybody.

Your arguement of students achievement is another diversionary tactic to take readers away from the fact that this district has alot of money that can be managed more efficiently with proper review and oversite.

A book keeper who doesn't question anything is nothing more than a paper pusher. Perhaps the Treasurer should be more concerned about where the money is going and why, rather than why the public wants the public records, which they in fact own.

Stan....execs are going to jail because they signed off on the finances...are you suggesting that school board members that sign off on misappropriated finances should go to jail for doing the same?

What a novel thought....follow the Red Ipods!

Anonymous said...

Stan,


You are a moron.

Give me my tax money back and I make out like a thief in the night! Here's how... because I did the research and you didn't.

I pay roughly $6K in taxes that go to the school district. I could send all of my kids to any Catholic Elementary/Middle School in the area for less than $4000.

In my opinion, the Catholic Schools provide a better education, despite having 30 students per class. If I want to excersize that option, I have to pay their tuition, on top of the taxes I pay into OLSD, even though I wouldn't be using the districts services in any way, with the possible exception around bussing. Collectively, that makes for an expensive grade school education.

Please research before typing non-sense!

Anonymous said...

"I have a better idea...let abolish all public school and give everybody a their taxes back to find the school of their choice. I guarantee that you won't be able to find it for the price of your taxes."

Can we who have already educated our children get our taxes back too?
We paid taxes for government schools AND paid big bucks to send our child to a private school.
Our child is homeschooling her child but has to finance the government brain laundry anyway. Her daughter just turned 6 and reads at an eighth-grade level. She didn't need a government employee to spend 12 years teaching her child to read. She did it at home in a short amount of time using a few phonics books. It's a hindrance to most children to be part of the government's "reading" instruction. Our grandchild will be spared the Socialist indoctrination from the government system. She will be taught real math and real history and the truth about what our form of government is supposed to be. She will not be part of DIAPRAX training in government SOCIAL STUDIES classes.

Anonymous said...

How about T-shirts for awards.
Shirts that read STUPID for school supporters and shirts that read I'M WITH STUPID for employees. Or maybe it would work the other way around also. Could also be sold for fund-raising.

Anonymous said...

So what is with the RED IPODS?????

Please.....do tell.

Anonymous said...

9:33PM

Because the award is for fiscal REPORTING, not fiscal management. The Hilliard Board of Ed has been irresponsible with taxpayer $$. But the spending/revenue is all accounted for in the proper columns- so they won the award. YIPPEE!!

Anonymous said...

My, my...Stan is unhinged.

See, Stan, if the district was transparent then it wouldn't be playing games with Smith and expense reports; they wouldn't have planned and attempted an illegal, secret superintendent search; they wouldn't be lying through their teeth about what makes up Olentangy's "cost per pupil" figure (having far more teachers with less experience than others in our peer cohort). But our district does spin, it does lie and it fights tooth and nail to remain counter transparent.

The phony GFOA award that represents "a significant accomplishment by the district and its fiscal management practices" is yet another example of the districts never-ending campaign of deception.

Anonymous said...

Wow, $6,000 in school taxes, I wish I could be so lucky to have such a large and expensive house. Somehow that statement doesn't buy a lot of sympathy from me.

I would not trade my kids' Olentangy education experience for any parochial option around. Olentangy offers a much better education experience. I've seen that with my experience and I've heard from people who switched from both private and parochial schools to Olentangy, they have no regrets and feel the education in Olentangy is superior.

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me the district is buying iPods with our tax dollars...

Jim Fedako said...

12:04 --

"Somehow that statement doesn't buy a lot of sympathy from me."

Your emotion is envy, which you turn to theft at the ballot box. And it is what is turning this nation toward socialism.

Take a hard look inside your soul. Envy is a sad state of mind.

C.C. said...

12:04

What an ignorant comment...luck has nothing to do with it. You have no clue about me...what I have done...how I have invested...what a bunch of psycho-babble!

You are welcome for the subsidy to cover your kids per student cost that the district advocates.

Without mine and many others' overtaxed properties, you wouldn't have the funding that you have!

I'm not lucky...I bust my tail darn hard to pay the mortgage for the property I bought 10 years ago! The sad thing is, the tax rate has grown far faster than anticipated...as it will increase over 25% next year!

Keep it factual! Your taxes are just as high!

Taxpayer of 3 said...

Olentangy is just the best...better than any private school...cause my friend told me so.
12:04

I can't believe any of this silliness that talks down Olentangy!

Olentangy does a pretty good job with our kids...but to state so emphatically, a knock against private schools...What a joke!

Get out of the OFK world and read a few real studies!

Anonymous said...

I think I'll take my kids out of Columbus Academy and park them in Orange High because Anonymous 12:04 PM tells me so.

I'll have to spread the word because everyone else who sends their kids to private schools at great financial cost seem to be fooled as I was.

Thank you, Anonymous 12:04 PM.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, $6,000 in school taxes, I wish I could be so lucky to have such a large and expensive house. Somehow that statement doesn't buy a lot of sympathy from me."

You too are a moron. Please find Stan and have a moron party.

I'm not looking for your sympathy. I take full responsibility for my actions and decisions and the outcome associated with them..... regardless of the outcome.

"Luck" is available to everyone, even you, Mr/Ms Envy. The knowledge, skills, ability to identify "luck", and the willingness to accept the risk and make the sacrafices associated to "luck" is NOT. Luck itself is really opportunity. If you have not challenged yourself to gain the skills to identify and CAPITALIZE on "luck," then live in your small and inexpensive house. I've challenged myself, sacraficed personal time and pleasures, and committed myself to attaining what seemed like the impossible. I have earned what I have through hard work, fiscal discipline, and a willingness to take risks that others wouldn't.

For that, I seek no sympathy.

Stan made the false claim that no one could find a quality education at the current cost per pupil Olentangy is "charging" us. The real truth is that I can, very easily, find a better education for less money. Let's leave my tax bill out of the equation... $6K is peanuts compared to the Cost Per Pupil that OLSD touts as "an excellent value."

$8800 is twice the amount that it would cost to send all of my kids to a Catholic school. Let's assume that I have two kids. At OLSD's CPP, it takes the district $17,600 to educate my children. St. Michaels would charge me less than $4500 for tuition.

Is OLSD providing 4 times the educational value?

I didn't think so.

C.C. said...

4:45 Anon

From a district itemized expenditure report. Purchased for a Senior Administrator.

APPLE COMPUTER INC - PB231LL/A iPod Red Shuffles $245.00

Anonymous said...

cc:

You forgot the "Merriam-Webster for iPod" from Micro Center for $19.99

Gotta have that!

To the district employee who bought dictionary software for your iPod with my money...here's your word for the day: "GRIFT"

What are we going to find next? Bluetooth Wireless tablets for SmartBoards? Oops--that's right--the district buys them, too, for $1,994.

Being able to teach a class wirelessly from the comfort of one's desk is vital to the learning process, you know...I think Mike Nicholson calls it "Virtual and Remote Cognitive Transfer". It's a necessary component to "Formative and Summative Assessment", of course.

It astounds me that so much nonsense abounds in Olentangy. For the life of me I just cannot understand how people can live in that world.

C.C. said...

7:34

Perhaps we could go to Bravo and spend $275.00 to discuss further grifting of the taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

Why go to Brava when you can go to a State Park and discuss it on your canoe trip?

Anonymous said...

Hey--why not eat Bravo from a canoe while teaching students wirelessly from a Bluetooth Smartboard tablet?

The motto of the district should be "With Your Tax Dollars Anything Is Possible".

Anonymous said...

1:01... you are a genius.

Please run for the board in November. Our kids need people like you.

Anonymous said...

This is not quite on topic but is related. Down in Fairfield County there is a little town called Lithopolis. In the town is The Wagnall's Memorial Library. It was built by Mabel Wagnall's nearly a century ago to honor her family, of Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary fame. Mabel set up a foundation and for many years scholarships were given out to children who graduated from the Carroll school. Things went along quite nicely until a couple of decades ago or so and then things went bad. The men who sat on the board and the man they hired to run the place operated like Olentangy's board and school employees. After they all lived high and spent, spent, spent the whole shebang went south. They sold off some of the old paintings that had been there all those years. Then they started begging and borrowing and they had already cut way back on the scholarships for years leading up to the final mess. So now, instead of benefiting the area residents they are a drag on the residents. And those who brought all this on just went on their way, unrepentent. They were arrogant and secretive all the while they were messing up.

Anonymous said...

1:34 PM - Thanks, but no thanks.
If I was on the board I'd be dropping F-Bombs like a B-52 over Tora Bora.