Monday, May 04, 2009

Marc Schare: Worthington's answer to L. Ron Hubbard

Yes, Marc Schare convolutes logic and his positions as fast and as easy as L. Ron Hubbard in Dianetics.

Schare claims to be all about low taxes -- except his tax, of course. And, to defend his vote, Schare writes a mish-mash of nonsense in the style of Hubbard.

To quote Schare (from his website): "My core ideology is as fiscally conservative as it’s always been. I understand, probably better than most in this room, the mind of the “no” voter and what I’d like to do is spend a little bit of time discussing the numerous objections I’ve heard to this levy and while many are quite valid, why I don’t agree with them."

And this: "I truly regret the hardship that this levy may place on members of the Worthington community, and we have to acknowledge that the average $500/year increase will be a burden to many who live here."

So, Schare is a fiscal conservative only when it's for taxes he does not approve. Otherwise, it's spend, spend, spend. And, if you cannot keep up with Schare at the spending table, sorry about your luck.

The next time you hear Schare talk about being a fiscal conservative, grab for your wallet.

32 comments:

Marc said...

Jim:

As a frequent reader of your blog, I guess I'm honored to be the subject of a post. I am confused, however. This was you back in 2003 when asked about the significant problems facing Olentangy.

Fedako : Funding. Ohio's school funding system forces districts like Olentangy to return to their voters on a regular basis for additional revenue. Because the board recognizes the need for continued voter support, we operate an efficient school system that satisfies our mission. It is imperative that we pass the upcoming operating issue so that we can continue providing our students with a strong education. Additionally, the district has seen a loss in revenue due to changes in the state school funding system with additional negative changes being proposed. I will keep working with state officials for the benefit of Olentangy's taxpayers. You and I both know that the reality of being on a school board is quite different than having the luxury of taking potshots from the outside. I'm proud of my record in Worthington. In 3 years, along with others, I've taken the district that was projected to be requiring double digit millage increases every 2 years forever and moved us to a far more reasonable three year levy cycle, and that's with improvement to the program as well. As to this levy, interested Fedako readers should read the entire statement, available at

www.mschare.com


What is it you want, Jim. Are you looking for ideological purity? How do you reconcile your previous actions with your apparent "no levies are justified ever" views today?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Worthington, District administrators are lying in order to get the levy passed. Take a look at this: http://www.mschare.com/levyletter.htm

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

How do I reconcile my previous positions with my current positions? Easy. We are supposed get wiser as we get older.

This is not an issue of ideological purity. You claim to be a fiscal conservative yet you support this tax increase. And you gave the “so sad” response to residents who cannot pay your new tax.

It is true that in politics you sometimes have to hold your nose, but that does not absolve you from taking responsibility for your actions.

You support the tax increase. You have been quite clear about that.

You still seem to believe that you can claim that you are a fiscal conservative and support a tax increase. I say that is not possible. And politics is not a cover.

I've given my mea culpa. Will you?

Marc said...

Anon 12:22

That's a little harsh. I never said anyone was "lying". The statement on my web site speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Jim:

How wonderfully coincidental it was that you saw the light days (hours? seconds?) after leaving Olentangy's board. As I said, it is a luxury to be able to carp from the outside.

I need you to explain why fiscal conservatism is inconsistent with support of a tax increase. Even Ronald Reagan had a 28% income tax. Are you saying that President Reagan was not a fiscal conservative?

Jim Fedako said...

4:41 --

I served until late 2006. Read my blog postings from that year WHILE I was still on the board.

And only a tribal Republican would claim that Reagan was a fiscal conservative. Take a look at his budget trajectory and face reality.

Marc said...

But isn't that what Reagan did - face reality in an acknowledgement about what COULD get done in the face of an opposition congress.

If President Reagan doesn't pass your test as a fiscal conservative, you've got me - I guess I wouldn't either.

I'll ask again - why is fiscal conservatism inconsistent with support for a tax increase, and while you're at it, perhaps you can name a public official who would pass your test.

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

From your vote, you are as much a fiscal conservative as the other four members -- you are indistinguishable. If it help you sleep, call yourself the principled, conservative voice on the board. But you still must live with the knowledge that your vote will push folks out of house and home.

Your Reagan comments are the ramblings of a tribal Republican. I bet you attended the Tea Party and believed your fellow politicians as they played to the grassroots. "Trust us, we Republicans got the message loud and clear. We are returning to our small government roots (until we get in power again, of course)."

Seriously, do some investigation of the Reagan years and prove to me that the size of government was reduced -- that government expenditures decreased. Go ahead.

Back to you. If your levy passes, snicker at the seniors on fixed incomes, as well as the single parents and unemployed -- all trying to make ends meet. You got yours and they pay your price.

All for the kids. Yeah, right.


note:

In your omniscience, you weighed a child's doctor visit, etc., against lower staffing ratios, increased salaries in a downturn, etc., and left the child wanting.

Oh, I bet you have some calculation that proves you made the right choice. Again, whatever helps you sleep.

Anonymous said...

Wow--the Worthington administration is really dishonest. Then again, it's BAU for these people. Are we surprised?

Our treasurer could learn a thing or two from Worthington's. Then again, I bet they already know each other.

Marc said...

Jim, in your haste to compare me with the second coming of FDR, you keep forgetting to answer my question. I'll try for a third time:

Why is fiscal conservatism inconsistent with support for a tax increase, and while you're at it, perhaps you can name a public official who would pass your test.

Honestly, the rest of your diatribe is nonsense. It betrays any sense of understanding about school funding in Ohio, what is and isn't possible under the collective bargaining statutes in a single district, the requirement to live up to contractual obligations regardless of whether you voted for said obligations etc.. Instead, you try to reduce a 3 1/2 year record to a single vote which is, in a word, ridiculous. I know you know better.

You can blast Republicans all you want, but the libertarian party is the best device ever creating for expanding the role of government in the United States. Rep. Kilroy, Senator-to-be Franken and countless other marxists across the country gained power because of your quest for ideological purity.

And you worry about how *I* sleep at night..

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

And your party's answer was Bush and then McCain? Enough said.

If your liberties meant anything to you, you would have feared McCain as much as Obama. You would have hated Bush's policies and agenda with a passion. But you tribal Republicans vote "R" and defend fascism as the alternative to socialism. Nice.

Try Ron Paul. Of course, he was against your war, your big government, your instrusive state, etc. He is stands against the Republican agenda.

To your point: How do you blame the state for your votes? I know, I know, you are just echoing the OSBA party line. "The world would be a utopia if only the state funded education differently." But where does THAT money come from if not from the wallet of your neighbors.

During your service, Worthington grew more and more expensive and expansive. You added programs even as your student population decreased. You defended each of those programs and now -- all of a sudden -- a tax increase is required. Hmmm. How did that happen?

Remember, you didn't vote NO. And you didn't just vote YES and remain silent. You are an vocal ADVOCATE for the levy.

In the end, as far as the taxpayers of Worthington are concerned, your fiscal conservative talk is going to cost them real money -- the very same as the liberal talk of your fellow board members. You are no different from those other members board. No matter how loud you protest.

note: Nothing absolves you from the financial harm you seek to cause your neighbors. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

Both of you convey exactly what's wrong with the republican party of today and why it will continue to be the minority party until a leader emerges that addresses rational people. As Jim knows, Ron Paul has come the closest.

But Jim, your propensity for blogging about religious morality and dogma might turn off rational people. I know many conservatives that feel like puking every time someone like James Dobson or Tony Perkins opens his mouth and wants the government to inject itself into the private lives of the individual. The legislation of morality is not a small government principle nor is the promotion of a particular religious sect.

Marc, your inconsistency on taxes shows what I consider to be a selfish mentality on the part of gop voters in this area. Apparently, you think that higher taxes are great only if they stay in your school district. But if the taxes are at the state or federal level they're bad because they may be spent on someone other than YOU. Also, you have not addressed the issue as to why it's OK for teachers to get automatic pay increases even in economic downturns when the rest of us get nothing. Where is the additional money supposed to come from? My dinner plate?

While I don't necessarily subscribe 100% to conservative principles I believe that both of you could benefit greatly by reading a book by Ayn Rand or even a modern conservative like Andrew Sullivan. To me, conservatism should promote a smaller, less-intrusive government at all levels and regarding all issues.

Continuing to feed the teachers' union monster in no way promotes conservatism. On this point I agree with Jim wholeheartedly.

Jim Fedako said...

8:19 --

Please don't put me in the same political boat as Dodson, etc. If you have read this blog enough, you know that I do not seek to legislate morality.

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

By the way, I am not a Libertarian.

And I do know how school funding works in Ohio.

That you use school funding to defend your positions shows that you prey off of the public's lack of understand of school funding to your advantage.

Jim Fedako said...

8:19 --

Back to you: How does a Randian attack discussions of religion? Rand is really nothing other than a form of religion.

I find it ironic that you can fault me for discussing religion when you are discussing the very same.

Marc said...

Sure, but you seriously try to equate Bush with Kerry and Obama with McCain and any such comparisons are ridiculous. Sure, the GOP abandoned core principals and, feeling betrayed, you pick up your ball and go home and assure the election of Marxists for years to come. Way to show em, Jim. That'll teach em..

And you're right. Imagine a school board member actually trying to offer kids a choice. 2 unique business programs, an alternative middle school and a raft of elementary school initiatives, all accomplished without increasing headcount. The horror of it all..
I'm sorry - I thought choice was a good thing - that you wanted students to have a choice. I think I read that somewhere..

I use school funding and the Ohio Revised Code to defend my position because my position is based on the law, but I'm always willing to be educated, so.. let's hear the Fedako solution to this:

1) District negotiates with Union
2) Contract passes, I vote no.
3) Levy necessary to pay for contract.

So.. in Fedako-land, we don't put the levy on the ballot. What do you suppose happens next?
=================================
Anon 8:19

Please re-read my statement when I voted against the union contract. You can find it here:

http://www.mschare.com/speeches/s101308.htm

I specifically address the use of the index and step increases.

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

If your board approved a contract when it could not show sufficient funds, it violated state law -- and common sense.

Marxist or a fascist? Not much of a choice is it?

Hey, Clinton did a better job protecting liberties than Bush.

The programs that you so graciously offered are at the expense of your neighbors. The choice you provided was yours. And now you demand others pay for it. That makes you a liberal.Can't you see yourself in a true light?

I have a good sense on how you handle the bill at a restaurant.

Marc said...

If your board approved a contract when it could not show sufficient funds, it violated state law -- and common sense. Jim, you know what a levy cycle is. You know how it works. Either you're willing to entertain a serious discussion or you have a different agenda. The only way your previous post makes sense is if we abandon public education completely because you can make the "why should your neighbor pay" argument about any aspect of public school.

Which would like to discuss?


I have a good sense on how you handle the bill at a restaurant. Really? Care to share?

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

I hope you are joking about your lack of knowledge of 5705.412.

I'm shocked that you let a contract be approved without sufficient resources. Some watchdog.

Your treasurer and board president are liable. And you owe your community an apology.

It's tough to have a "serious discussion" when you don't understand the rudimentary issues.

Marc said...

Jim, what in my last post hinted that we approved a contract without sufficient resources? Your entire last post is a non-sequitur. Easier than a discussion perhaps, but not as interesting.

I'll offer one more chance to get back on track. You claim that I can't be a fiscal conservative and still support some (as yet unspecified) level of taxation. Are you saying that the appropriate level of taxation is zero, regardless of purpose. Do you hold that view only for public education or does it extend further. If the number isn't zero, what should the number be?

Oh, and how would I handle the check at dinner?

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

Is this not a syllogism of sorts?

1) District negotiates with Union
2) Contract passes, I vote no.
3) Levy necessary to pay for contract.

Are you not implying that the contract requires the levy? Hence, you need the levy to fund your contract.

Or, are you simply conflating topics for a purpose?


This is about you and your vote, and your subsequent actions and statements relative to that vote. But, just like Paul, you do not want to take responsiblity for your actions.

You freely admit that you added costs under the guise of student choice -- or whatever. So, you are no more a fiscal conservative than the others on the board. And now you want to discuss principles. Please.

Take responsibility and honestly portray yourself.

And recognize that the financially strapped folks in your district (children included) will suffer for your programs, etc.

Snicker at them. You got yours.

Marc said...

Jim, I'm not sure if there is anything I can say that will move you to the broader, more interesting point, but I'll try one more time.

1) I take full responsibility for voting to let Worthington decide if they wanted to tax themselves.

2) Our new programming was cost neutral. The levy was to pay primarily for salary and benefit increases for staff. I believe that statement would be true for all school district operating levys to various degrees.

3) I voted against the salary and benefit increases. After those increases were given, to not allow Worthington residents to decide whether to fund those increases would be wrong. The alternative, assuming no union concessions, would be to eventually start cutting programs, which is one reason why I voted against the contract to begin with.

I am a fiscal conservative. I believe in public education. By definition, public education requires some degree of taxation. All fiscal conservatives who believe in public education must therefore believe in some degree of taxation.

That said, are you interested in defending your original comment that you cannot be a fiscal conservative and vote to put a levy on the ballot? Are you saying, by extension, that it is impossible to be a fiscal conservative and support a tax for any reason?

This could be an interesting discussion if I can get you to stop hurling barbs and start discussing ideas.

Paul said...

Isn't it true for most school districts that their five year forecasts show a negative cash flow in the outlying years? In essense, they build their long-term budget knowing that either additional revenue (ie a levy) or reduced spending will be required in the future.

Marc understands, as do you and most of your readers, that the relationship between our communities and the employees of the school districts has to change. The current approach is unsustainable - the cost of salaries and benefits in our school districts is growing much faster than taxpayers are willing to support. The State of Ohio will not be the white knight to bail out what are viewed to be among the most affluent districts in the state, although this is what the OEA hopes.

The Governor's proposed system is little more than a strategy to shift the preponderance of funding for school districts - 90% of which is consumed paying salaries and benefits - from local taxpayers to the State.

The OEA has fought for a long time for this because they don't want local taxpayers to have a say in their salaries and benefits - they want all that to be determined by state legislators who can be influenced by the OEA's substantial campaign support.

Sadly, Americans have become apathetic about the governance of all levels of our public institutions. As a result, our school boards are filled with candidates who are endorsed by, or at least overly friendly to the unions.

But that may be starting to change. Jennifer Smith in Olentangy, Marc Schare in Worthington for example. But they struggle from a minority position. As Marc said - he voted against the last union contract, but it was adopted by the Board regardless.

When that happens, change agents such as Smith and Schare must then do what they given the new situation.

When the Hilliard board approved the last HEA contract, the choice became: a) let the Board gut the district by making punative cuts to programs and services; or, b) pass the levy and make a strategic retreat and regroup for the next fight.

The latter position is the one I advocated, and the one you choose to distort.

I pitched the idea to both the Board and the HEA to suspend their base pay increases (not their step increases) for one year, which would free enough cash to allow programming to continue without layoffs. Neither seriously considered it, because pay adjustements are not on the table as a potential solution as far as they are concerned.

I agree that it is troublesome that passing a levy means putting a burden on those in weak financial situations.

But you know what - things wouldn't be like they are if more people got involved and demanded change at every school board meeting. Nor will anything change if they keep re-electing the incumbents. There are 80,000 people living in our school district - why don't more than a handful show up at school board meetings?

I truly don't care whether I ever get elected to the school board. In fact, I would prefer that three or four more people would step forward to challenge the incumbents in our election this fall. But I won't sit by and let the incumbents run unopposed.

If the people of our community choose to put the same folks back on the Board this fall, then my battle is over, and I'll rest comfortably knowing that I offered to serve and was told no thanks.

PL

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

You keep claiming that a levy is needed to pay for the new contract. If that were the case, Worthington broke state law. When I note that, you back off and say the district has sufficient funds to pay for the contract. Which is it? Was the levy to pay for the contract (violation of state law)? Or was the levy for some other purpose? You can’t have it both ways. How about some honesty and transparency for once?

You didn’t just vote to let Worthington residents decide for themselves (a nonsensical claim), you voted and then actively supported the levy.

In the end, you agreed with the same millage recommended by the administration. How can you then differentiate yourself from anyone else on the board? If you are a fiscal conservative, so are they. One big happy fiscally conservative board, wouldn’t you say?

Paul said...

The Worthington school board could almost surely pay for the new union contract by cutting other programs, even if no levy was put on the ballot.

That's essentially what the Hilliard school board said - they'd cut everything but the pay grid if the levy didn't pass.

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA LOL - Nice last sentence, Jim! :))

One big happy fiscally conservative board! AH HA HA

Thanks for the laugh!

Jim Fedako said...

Marc,

Three final points:

1. Your latest post (unpublished) is the standard line of every board and administration. Assume the expenditure line is a given, then try to raise sufficient revenue.

You all whine about cuts to the very programs (and expenses) you have been adding over the past few years.

It's simply the Columbus cuts ploy: The superintendent proposes a huge increase in her budget, then the board begins discussions on the cuts that have to be made in order to reduce the size of the levy. Cuts?!? To programs that aren't even instituted?

Simply return your staffing to your 2000 level and stay off the ballot. Oh, wait, your liberal heartstrings are plucked by that statement. Can't let the staff ... er, kids ... suffer. Sock it to the taxpayers, many whom are also parents.

While you call yourself a fiscal conservative, you are just another face on the Worthington board. Seriously, you sound the same as your fellow board members.

And I bet they like you. I bet they want you to stay. Why? So they can play the "Even Marc supports the levy" card.

2. You believe that your district should sit on $3000 per Worthington household in order to keep levy millage down. Does that even make sense?

You believe that your residents' hard-earned money is better kept in the district account than in their own accounts.

3. You want to defend your vote on this blog. Sorry, you will have to campaign for your seat on your own site.

And, if you lose, I doubt that anything will change in Worthington. Unless, of course, a true fiscal conservative voice runs and is elected.

Marc, You are the OSBA ideal-type board member, ready to institute new programs and champion levies. And you call that being fiscally conservative. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

People who actually know about government schools and the history of them and the waste in them and the evil done by them would never support them. Close them down and save our Republic. Though it's probably too late for that.

Anonymous said...

7:14 - Were you educated at home, then?

Paul,
I see what you are saying about the current system being unsustainable, but how is a growing district such as Olentangy, which is still adding nearly 1,000 students a year, reduce costs for contracts even at no salary increase? I know that there are too many electives, for example, but even if they were reduced to a more reasonable level, the district would still need to add teachers, specifically at the elementary and MS levels because each of the graduating classes over the district is now over 1,000 students and the number of teachers at the HS level would need to grow again to meet those needs.

Say that 10 teachers were eliminated at the HS level at each building by elective reducing programs and increasing class sizes to maximums. There would still be a cost increase year to year with no salary increases simply to cover the growth. And like it or not, there really isn't a choice to have no electives. Colleges look for that. Ask any high schooler who is going through the application process. Colleges want to know what they have done besides study English, math, science and social studies.

Jim Fedako said...

10:37 --

Growing districts also receive additional property tax and state revenue. If the district cost per pupil was around $8,500, Olentangy would NEVER need a new levy.

That's right, the amount of new property taxes and state revenue would offset the cost of the new student.

The issue arises simply because we assume the current expense level (and its assumed growth) to be the givens that must be funded.

The question that always goes unanswered is this: Why is a school counselor or librarian worth $135,000 in employee costs for only 203 days of work? Are teachers really worth $125,000 per year for 183 days of work (less three personal days, 15 sick days, snow days, etc.)?

Those questions were rhetorical. The answer is they are not worth it.

But, as long as you assume that they are, districts like Olentangy will always need new levies.

Paul said...

I generally agree with Jim's last comment. On a marginal basis, the cost of an incremental student is nearly zero for the school district. However, at a rate of 1,000 new students/year, there will indeed be new cost, but it doesn't have to be more than the incremental real estate tax collection + the nearly $6,000 per student in incremental state funding (provided the district isn't 'on the guarantee' which serves to make the incremental state funding near zero).

PL

Anonymous said...

10:37

Elimination of 10 positions at each high school teaching ridiculous electives is a great start.

Tell me one college that wants to see electives like Jewelery making, Acting..Outdoor wellness...Corn hole....yes I said corn hole!

I think they want to see foreign language, computer science, economics, music. That's why students at private schools have better preparation and placement into colleges than Olentangy!