Saturday, October 12, 2013

Julie Feasel Follies (1) -- Olentangy Levy: Most inane comment from a board member

First published on February 29, 2008. At least the calendar can stretch a month ever now and again. Too bad Feasel can't stretch one simple buck. -- Jim 

Note: Is Feasel the Nancy Pelosi of Olentangy? Hmmm. Something to think about.


Olentangy board member Julie Feasel posted this comment on another
blog:

I just want to point out that Olentangy did make $6 million in cuts to future spending BEFORE even going on the ballot and we continue to look at how we can trim costs. (emphasis added)

Did you get that? The district made cuts to future spending when the issue is this fiscal year and next fiscal year. Is this her idea of cutting costs?

Really, why do I care that they cut projected costs, effective FY2010, when it's FY2009 that has the supposed negative balance (I say supposed as there is no real deficit -- read my previous post)?

Inane!

Just think about it: There are costs that can be cut, yet Feasel and company are waiting until 2010. And, they want to raise your taxes for such nonsense.

This is the logic which guides the district. Amazing!



note: According to Feaselian logic, I am a financial genius and a good steward of my money since I decided not to buy an aircraft carrier in 2010. I cut $1 billion in future spending. Wow!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

So...if I decide to not buy that $3,000 surround sound system next year I can advance some of that positive residual to now...and buy myself a red iPod guilt-free!

Is this how they justified spending $8,000 at The Lakes? Or did they simply say, "We DESERVE an expensive retreat because we make the kids excellent". Arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Jim, how do you cut past expenses? Of course you cut future expenses because those are the only expenses you can cut.

Jim Fedako said...

8:23 --

Look, anyone can "cut" future inflated costs. That's pure rhetoric.

You cut past costs in the past. Feasel never voted for any true cost-cutting change in the past -- she never reduced the burden of district taxpayers.

Pointing to some future cut is meaningless when you have spent like mad in the past.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:23--

How do you cut an expense that was never realized? I've seen managers get hammered claiming such foolishness. Calling future cuts to spending "saves" is a no-no. You can call it "cost avoidance", but never a "save"--because nothing was ever saved.

Cutting a "future expense" is like saying "I'm going lose now the 10 pounds I'm going to gain next year. Sounds silly, doesn't it? Julie Feasel's statement sounds just as silly.

What the district needs to do is reduce expenses by

A.) having board leadership that is interested in actually sitting in on district-OTA contract negotiations. Galloway and Feasel, as president and vice president, did not go to the meetings. As I understand it the former superintendent FORBADE them from attending--lol! The board's employee gave them their orders! That is not leadership. As a result the community/taxpayers had no representation in that smoke filled back room, and the district gave away the house to the union.

B.) Keep Supplies & Materials and Professional Services flat. Granted, there is growth-related increase in S&M due to building additions, it can still be better controlled. But Professional Services budgets can and should be controlled and held flat for the next few years.

What is going on in the board room is insanity. The board and administration are whistling down the train tracks, blindfolded. There is no oversight (not even non-serious oversight--which I would take!) There is NO oversight--just a board of fools flying around in their helicopter at 30,000 feet, which is going to run out of fuel if they don't begin to pay attention to these serious issues.

Anonymous said...

According to Scott Galloway at the last board meeting, the district has saved the taxpayers $40M so far this year through budget cuts on the new five year forcast.

If I do the math correctly, that certainly means we didn't need the levy to actually kick in and draw additional operating tax revenues from hurting tax payers THIS year, or potentially next year.

So which is it Scott (and Julie, since you just smiled with a big toothy grin while shaking your head up and down)? Are we cutting budget so we can cut citizens taxes in January or are you and the rest of the district falsely conveying the truth?

Anonymous said...

With proper budgeting one should not have to make cuts unless there is a sudden, unforseen/unforcasted change in the business environment--and the sliding economy is not an example of this b/c the economy has been declining over the course of at least two years. There is strike one. Strike two is that, if the district was able to make $40MM in cuts then that says just how badly past budgets, and the current one, were sandbagged. What is up with board oversight of the finances? Do they EVER look apply scrutiny to the budgets against reality? The budgets aren't so complex that a lay person would not be able to understand and rationalize them against common sense and simple logic. But McFerson and Galloway are business professionals and KNOW better. Those two have no excuse for the kinds of crap budgets that come out of our district. Those two--indeed the majority--are asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

"Not spending money that was going to be spent is a cut"

No. That is Cost Avoidance. If today I cancelled my cable subscription, then I cut my costs--those expenses were already being realized this fiscal year. If I schedule with my cable company to turn off my cable in 2010 then that's a cost avoidance. It may seem like semantics to you, but that's how companies treat it.

If it was real then what is the district waiting for? Why don't they begin cutting costs now (which they would have a legitimate claim to "cost cutting"). It doesn't occur to them to begin now because they're not serious about it.

Anonymous said...

Hey--it's for the kids. Even if it's lifting their lunch money or spiking their soda with tabasco.

http://www.murfreesboropost.com/city-teacher-charged-with-stealing-lunch-money-cms-19674

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/state/content/state/epaper/2009/10/08/1008hotteacher.html

Anonymous said...

What puzzles me is, how can the district just cut $40MM out of the FYF without analyzing the demand component. Anon said it was a cut...well...what demand was curtailed that amounted to $40MM. That they could reduce the FYF by $40MM "just like that" says just how much non-essential expense is in the budget.

If they can cut so much out of the FYF then why don't they just begin now? Because they really don't have any intention of reducing expenses unless they have to. If revenues were to make a dramatic return to pre-recession levels then that $40MM reduction to the FYF would be discarded.

That they don't freeze of curtail non essential expenses now (anything other than salary/bens) says just how phony the $40MM change to the FYF really is.

Anonymous said...

They are talking about increasing class sizes and cutting some classes including AP classes. Those are cuts that will impact the academic performance of the district and directly impact the kids.

I will contacting the board to encourage them not to make those cuts and either take it out of employee costs or consider an earlier levy to cover the lost state revenue if necessary.

I suspect my position will not be popular around here.

Anonymous said...

10:26
Are you suggesting that all classes are sacred cows? Take a look at the entire HS elective lists and tell me what joke courses you would like to keep...Jewelry Making? How to fill out a College Application? How to study in college? How to live in a dorm or rent an apartment? Yep....we have everyone of those in OLSD!

Are you willing to support an early levy to pay for 2.8 across the board raises this year?

Are you willing to give a treasurer 3 raises = to $14k in 10 months?

Are you willing to pay a gym teacher $63.00 per hour stipend to conduct an after school gym class that accomodates 13 kids in 2 classes?

Do you support lucrative administrative pay packages where you the taxpayer pays, 26% in retirement benefits and the employer share of medicare taxes?

I can go on for quite some time and not touch AP classes....perhaps you should get involved and find out where the money really goes before agreeing to an early levy.

You should've attended the Admin Retreat at The Lakes Country Club for $8k....but you probably didn't get an invitation from the PR Consultant...$50k in the last two years...did you?

Maybe you should look to bring new blood on the Board in November...they might actually solve problems before they get to this point.

Anonymous said...

2:05-
Just to clarify, Jewelry is a class. The other items you mentioned are part of the curriculum for one elective class-- looking at the website shows that there are no specific classes in the other items you mention.

That said, of course not all classes are sacred cows; they often go by the wayside due to lack of kids signing up for them-- happened to my child-- and I am told they rarely return after that point, so that is a good thing. Every school has elective classes, OLSD is no different than any other high-performing district in that regard. You can't strip district offerings to bare bones and expect kids to perform at the same level as the Bexleys, etc. of for the kids to be able to compete when it comes to applying to college. Have you seen that process lately and what is expected of kids?

Anonymous said...

2:05

Let me clarify with facts....which you obviously missed when you attempted to clarify......

From the Course Planning Guide 09-10 (http://www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/pdf/CoursePlanningGuide09-10.pdf)

Lifetime Fitness 1, 2!
Jewelry 1, 2, 3!
On your Own!
College Survival Skills!

And yes, I've actually seen the process....and all the kids I know did quite well in filling out their FAFSA and college applications....without have a highly paid teacher giving them tips. Oh and they didn't even earn class credit....oh the humanity!

And we wonder why the remediation rate is so high?

Anonymous said...

Jim....pardon my error mistake....I meant to address previous comments to 4:21pm

2:05 (7:37am)

Anonymous said...

My goodness. Smackdown.

Don't you love playing Whack-a-Tard?

According to "Anon 2:05", "OLSD is no different than any other high performing district..."
Hey Anon--how do you reconcile OLSD as "high performing" against the fact that nearly 4-in-10 graduates fail high school math and English on their entrance exams? We have at least a 36% remediation rate. What does that mean to you?

Anonymous said...

7:37 and 10:35

First, of all, to say "Whack a Tard" is beyond offensive and also immature. Do you really use that term as an adult? If, so think about what you have said. I am sure those who read this blog would not appreciate that comment, especially if they, like me, know and love someone who is mentally retarded.

Second, I was simply clarifying that those weren't course titles, not that that "stuff" wasn't in the curriculum, so I don't understand the need to name call, which discredits anything you might say. I was also not indicating that I thought those courses should be in the curriculum, simply that all school districts have electives and try to set themselves apart from other districts with those offerings. All districts have some course offereings that not everyone thinks belong there, high-performing or not.

In a previous post I also said that I didn't believe that those electives were sacred cows, either, but you didn't bother to read that-- you would prefer to call names. Do I think we need college survival skills or On Your Own, for example? No, I don't, but I also know that there are plenty of parents who are willing to allow the schools to do those jobs that they should be doing, which is why those courses exist in the first place... Do I agree with it? No. I would prefer that parents parent their children.

Last, OLSD is a high-performing district by virtually all standards that are available. The remediation rate you and others quote is misleading because it counts only public in-state schools, which doesn't account for the many private and/or out-of-state schools with higher entrance standards that OLSD students go to. Thus, the remediation percentage is smaller, but those figures aren't available, at least to my knowledge, but I haven't had the chance to research it yet.

Finally, students do have at least some culpability in remediation, as do parents. Are parents allowing their students to scrape by and barely pass because the kid doesn't or won't study or do homework? Are parents allowing them not to take four years of all core courses so they will be prepared? Is the kid just not into school? These things do happen and some kids don't learn as much as they could or should because they don't apply themselves. So... that could at least be a factor, albeit perhaps not a huge one. Does that excuse teachers from trying to teach them? Of course not, but not all the blame can go to the school district. Even OLSD has kids and parents who don't care.

Anonymous said...

6:53

In my community it is "Whack a mole", a popular childrens game in arcades, others have "Whack a banger"...which is slang for kill a gang member.

We must accept all in our community who come from culturally diverse backgrounds no matter how offensive it is to us personallly.

You are right...we should provide more classes to make up for parental responsibility...after all it does take a village to raise our children.

Lets add:

"Understanding Gang Violence in the suburban environment"

or "AP Proper Heroin Usage" or "Fake ID's for all"
or "Dealing with you authoritarian parents"

or my favorite

"Discounting real remediation statistics for ones that don't exist....a study in campaign manipulation by candidates who failed 34% of our children the last 6 years" ****warning this course deals in disturbing real numbers, no previous math required.

Perhaps if the district didn't offer blow-off classes...we might just force the kids to take real classes...becauses they won't have a choice!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

8:44
You really don't listen do you? You were basically disparaging mentally retarded people and then try to pass it off as equatable to gang members. Repulsive.

And, I didn't say that we SHOULD provide classes to make up for lack of parental responsibility; I said that is what is happening. I am not defending irrelevant electives at all, so I am not sure what your beef is. Not all electives are blowoffs, though. All AP classes, for example, are electives, in case you were unaware. Business classes are electives; should those go away? Some would say they provide great value in teaching students about free market economies, capitalism, etc. To others, they would be useless electives. What about CADD? Pertinent elective or not? Where is the line drawn and who decides? That's the million dollar question because the parents who pay taxes and want those courses are pitted against the parents who pay taxes and don't want them. It's a lose-lose proposition that will make some people unhappy either way.

By the way, parents CAN force their kids to take all core/college prep courses if they choose to. My kid does not take ridiculous classes like college survival skills and has a full schedule of demanding AP, honors and college prep courses. It can be done. If the electives aren't signed up for, they will go away, so it is up to parents to make that happen.

Anonymous said...

10:52

Obviously my attempt at sarcasm was missed...I was not the creator of Whack-a-Tard comment. Was that reference insensitive...yes...was it harmless....yes. I know of no one in this world who has never made an insensitive reference at some point in their life. You may be the first and I will refer your Anonymous deeds to the Pope for consideration of cannonization!

Now back to the issues that we agree...on kind off! Eliminating poorly attended classes is no guarantee of savings, as another fluff class is usually created. If you noticed in my reference I didn't say CADD, of Economics, or AP (except for the Heroin Class). If we eliminate wasteful offerings, we can eliminate the expense of the teaching position.

Now that's what I can free market economics and capitalism. Cut your costs, improve your profitability = lesser burden on taxpayer = better prepared students.

Its all rather simple. I doubt we have a majority of parents clamoring for the worthless fluff....actually I find parents are offended by the senseless offerings and waste, as it affects the good programs that help kids...such as AP.

At a recent board meeting where the BOE approved a $63 per hour stipend for an after school gym teacher, the Supt. talked about increasing the size of AP classes to save money.

Nice priorities huh?