Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Olentangy saves tax dollars. What? My tax bill just went up!

I recently received the district's "Watching the Bottom Line -- Saving Tax Dollars" postcard. What I find particularly offensive is that this card arrived in my mailbox the same week as my increased house payment. So, if the district is saving tax dollars, why is my tax bill rising?

I know, I know, I have it all wrong. The district is reducing its expenditures. But, if that is true, where is my savings. Isn't that a fair question?

Of course, those savings have to be balanced against increased expenditures.

There is Wade's puffed and padded contract (something like $300K per year), the cost to employ the survey folks (approximately $40K per year), the cost for the communications department (approximately $200K year), and printing and mailing costs for this one post card (estimate it to be $30k per occurrence).

Then you have to add in the recent salary and benefits increases reaped by the administration (estimate it at $250K or so per year), plus all the other goodies befitting these supposedly selfless public employees.

Balance the claimed savings against increased expenditures and now you know why my tax bill just increased.

Hey Feasel and Meider, I know a few words and phrases that you cannot run on this fall: Fiscal accountability, controlling costs, etc.

note: I challenge anyone to prove that the district actually "saved" $840,000 per year due to the implementation of the Transportation Eligibility Policy in 2004. All you have to do is read the district CAFRs and find the savings. I can't. Why? Because no such savings were realized -- regardless what is stated on the postcard.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course the extra 1000 students in the district have no impact on costs.

It is all that waste and nothing more.

Jim Fedako said...

11:30 --

Ah, yes, the district apologist. Howdy!

None of the costs I mentioned are student-centered. None.

As far as transportation: I took student growth into account. Absolutely.

My argument is that no savings were realized. And you still haven't proven me wrong.

Hint: Read the CAFR. It will be challenge since it's written for eighth graders. But challenge yourself anyone. Be one of those life long learners I hear so much about.

11:39 PM

Anonymous said...

Jim--are you talking about the CAFR that is put together by an auditor, and formatted by another consultant?

...the document that is 100% consultant-created, but for which our fair haired treasurer receives an annual award for?

Little does anyone know that CAFR stands for Consulting Accountants For Rent.

They should really change the name of that rag to CRAPR.

Jim Fedako said...

6:39 --

Yep. My bad. If it wasn'r for consultants, our highly paid employees would have to work. And we can't have that.

Anonymous said...

So, we have a treasurer who makes--what--$105,000, or so...with bonus--another $2,000 to $3,000--with 25.5% retirement benefits, which is another $27,000...

Her competence in creating the 2008 budget was so suspect (that's being kind) that the board authorized the hiring of a "Budget Officer" to take over those duties...

So, we have a "CFO" who was discovered to not be able to budget competently...who received a raise while her responsibilities were reduced significantly...and our overall expenses due to this increased, due to added headcount.

Why wasn't the incremental expense of this Budget Officer included as an offset to the "saves" that were posted on that mailing?

OLSD is a $120MM annual enterprise--$600MM if you want a Five Year Forecast view, which is what the administration calls for on the mailing--and all they could show in saves is THAT???

The saves are bogus, anyway...notice how they say "adjusting staffing levels" instead of "eliminating staffing"? All these bozos did was shuffle the deck. But here's what I find hysterical. They preface this great idea with "...in recent years, the district has not created these positions..." They're counting prior years' "saves" (they're not even cost avoidance)--in the current year!!! Try getting away with that at work, or even at home (without your wife laughing you out of the house).

I'm just curious who put the mailing together--from copyrighting to layout to printing/mailing. This was not in-sourced. Was this an Avakian job as some kind of evergreen levy campaign? Given the kind of shananigans these people are used to engaging in I wouldn't doubt it.

Anonymous said...

10:31

They'll never tell you who did it!

"I don't know what budget Amanda got that from...but she did budget money in 0'10".

Becky Jenkins, 5/11/09

Anonymous said...

But Jim, we have to keep passing levies so that we can keep giving lucrative contracts to the teachers' union then in order to meet the escalating budget pass another levy then hand out another lucrative contract to the union, etc, etc. And if the cycle is broken we'll cut busing. It's the only way to "facilitate maximum learning for every student."

Anonymous said...

The district pays $30,000 in taxpayer dollars to mail out postcards touting "Fiscal Responsibility." Say no more.

Anonymous said...

Hey now, cut the district some slack. Just this week I heard our VP Teri Meider say, "I'm so impressed with the fiscal responsiblity of this district. Even though our costs continue to rise, we continue to budget less."

We're budgeting less! I'm checking to see if this equates to a reverse levy in three years where we get to vote on a tax repeal.

I don't know how many of you have seen the budget lately, but it isn't less than last year and next year isn't less than this year.

Several conclusions are drawn when pondering this assinine statement. Here are my thoughts:

1) Teri is so incompetent that she thought she won a seat on the the Merry Go Round at the Zoo. It ended up being a seat on the School Board instead. Who knew?
2) Teri is so sly that by making such bold and inaccurate statements with confidence, she believes she can decieve the district tax payers (again.)
3) What a profound statement from someone who never speaks at board meetings due to her evening nap schedule and dire need to catch up on email during the meeting.
4) Teri really is that stupid.

Anonymous said...

Teri Meider makes a 3-watt refrigerator bulb appear bright by comparison.

She speaks as if she has actually studied the districts finances. She hasn't. In fact, she and Feasel have repeatedly mocked board member Smith for analyzing the finances. In one meeting Feasel mocked Jennifer Smith by sarcastically saying, "oh--all this payroll information is so interesting!".

Seriously (I know it's difficult to read "serious", and "Feasel" or "Meider" in the same sentence, but...)--why do Teri Meider and Julie Feasel bother to serve on the board of education if all they do is say "yessum" to the administration? Why even bother to show up?

I've gone to enough board meetings to see Teri dozing, or texting, emailing or rolling her eyes at public speakers. When she disagrees with a speaker enough she'll collect the few dozen words she has managed to retain into adulthood and ask a stupid question--which is supposed to be a "clarifying statement", but who expects members of the board to obey their own rules, anyway. She is a disgrace and she doesn't have the presence of mind to even know how much of a jackass she makes of herself on the dais.

My dad was no philosopher, but on the odd occasion that he gave me advice I listened intently. One of the things he told me as a boy was, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and look like a dummy than to open it and remove all doubt". It wasn't original thought, but it was useful advise nonetheless. Teri Meider should heed the advice of my old man.

Hopefully the community will advise her that she's through as a board member, this November.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that ALASBO is giving the "Golden Rubber Stamp Award" to the OLSD BOE too!

Per their website --

The Golden Rubber Stamp Award is given to the board of a public institution who has the highest approval record on items brought before its purview for vote. Special attention is given to institutions that are 100% funded by tax payer dollars. Extra Special attention is given to institutions who don't read, comprehend, or in general terms understand in any way what they are voting on, but vote yes anyway. Extra Extra Special attention is given to candidates who vote "YES!" while sleeping, texting, or reading email. Super Special attention is given to candidates who can't even say "No" or "Nay" or who fail to ask a single question before voting "Yessum!" to every issue brought before them for vote. Super Duper Special attention is given to candidates who actually misrepresent the cost of the contract they are voting by more than 20% while claiming fiscal responsibility.

BOE Representative Jennifer Smith will be attending the event to accept the award on behalf of her tax and spend RINO board members.