RSS

Category Archives: Tax Cap

New Baltimore Taxpayers Sucked In Again by Teachers-Union-Owned-and-Operated RCS Board of Education

The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District and its Board of Education manipulated the timing and the vote to again shortchange RCS taxpayers and deprive them of their votes when, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, they pushed the vote on two proposals totaling and additional $30 million in tax burden on an already faltering tax base. So, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Social Services Recipients and Friends of New York State United Teachers, the Teachers-Union-Owned-and-Operated Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District approved an additional $30 Million dollars in indirect tax assessment they’re calling “Capital Improvement” for the RCS Schools. Let’s watch and see who gets the contracts for the so-called “capital improvements.”

New Baltimore Taxpayers Sucked In Again

taxation without representation

May be business as usual in Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk but New Baltimore doesn’t have to put up with it! Or do we?

We have just one question: When will the Town of New Baltimore smarten up and leave the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District, a failing group of schools with a corrupt board of education under a corrupt superintendent and move on to join the Greene County success story? When will the Town of New Baltimore town board finally get its act together and take the necessary steps to ensure that New Baltimore taxpayers are not playing the fool for a failing district that knows no bounds when it comes to spending and taxation. The RCS district is losing tax base a mile-a-minute and attracting non-taxpaying population. More properties are either going up for sale, being abandoned, or vacant in the case of commercial properties with more of the tax burden falling on Guess Who?!?!

Ravena has enough money to allow Cathy Deluca’s unlawful and failing Ravena Health and Fitness Center to continue losing taxpayer dollars to the tune of more than $6000 a month, and the town of Coeymans can give half the town away in concessions to carpetbagger business with nothing in return. But can New Baltimore continue to pay for Raven-Coeyman’s debauchery and free-wheeling spending addictions? We say NO!

raise-our-taxes

Don’t be a Newbaltimoron
(First used by Joan Ross, pseudosophisticate of New Baltimore, to describe her neighbors.)
The Editor

 

 Articles in Press

Stay Tuned and Stay Informed!

Retaliation in Local Government: Ravena Village council/board Violates Law & Dismisses Planning Board Member without Due Process or Public Hearing! and New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan removes Deputy Highway Superintendent vanWormer Because vanWormer admits he’s planning to run against Jordan. Ethics violations and retaliative human resources action = lawsuit!

Ravena-Coeymans Taxation and Water-Sewer Rates: Continuing indifference and unlawful billing! Should the NYS Attorney General, Comptroller, Inspector General get involved to straighten out residents’ dilemma? Another resident writes to this blog for help.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2015 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, AFL-CIO, Albany, Albany Schenectady BOCES, Alice Whalen, Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bill Bailey, Bill McFerran, Bitter Bob (Ross), Board of Education Member, Bob Ross, Brown and Weinraub, Bryan Rowzee, Burning the Constitution, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Chris Gibson, Chris Norris, Christopher Norris, Claude A. Wheeles, Coeymans, Coeymans Town Board, Corrupt Legislature, Dr Alan McCartney, Dr Alan R. McCartney, Edward "Teddy" Reville, Edward Reville, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eric T. Schneiderman, George Amedore, Greene County, Howard "Bray" Engel, Hudson Valley, Inspector General, Interim Superintendent, James Latter, James Latter II, Jason Hyslop, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joel Coye, John Luckacovic, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Latter-Hyslop-Brown, Mary Partridge-Brown, Matt "the Mutt", Matt Miller, Matthew J. Miller, McFerret, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Town Board Member, New Baltimore town council, New York, New York State Education Department, New York State United Teachers, Nick Dellisanti, NYSED, NYSUT, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Patrick E. Brown, Pete Lopez, Peter Masti, Politics, Public Corruption, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena Village Board, RCS Board of Education, RCS Central School District, RCS School Superintendant, Sarah Berchtold Engel, Sarah Engel, Selkirk, Shelly van Etten, Stephen Flach, Tax Cap, Taxation, Teachers, Teachers Union, Teddy Reville, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Wild Spending, William Bailey, William McFerran, William Misuraca

 

Picnic or Coeymanazi Rally? RCS Friends & More Endorse Their Candidates

RCS Friends and More Plan a Coeymanazi Love Fest to Endorse thier Own Special-Interest Lackeys to Run for Seats on the RCS  Board of Education !

You Will Be When You Learn About These Candidates!

You Will Be When You Learn About These Candidates!
And for very good reasons, too!

[Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Sarah Engel, friendsofrcs@yahoo.com] The Deluca-Dominated and Teachers Union Sympathizer Facebook Group, RCS Friends and More, Has Announced a Political Picnic to Endorse Three Special-Interest Union Sympathizers, Who Are Runing for Seats on Our Board of Education. The group RCS Friends and More has publicly announced their endorsement of James Latter, Peter E. Brown, and Jason Hyslop as candidates for the board. Here’s why you should reject all three.

Fairness Starts with Thinking. Fairness Starts with Truth

Fairness Starts with Thinking.
Fairness Starts with Truth

Anyone who has followed this blog will know that we have consistently raised our opposition to anyone being elected to be a board of education member who is a teacher, a retired teacher, or who is closely related to a teacher. We feel very strongly that such people will find it difficult or impossible to vote impartially on issues that are not supported by the teachers or the teachers union, and will oppose any issue that the teachers or the teachers union opposes. This guarantees a dysfunctional board of education inappropriately influenced by special interests and not by the concerns of the community, residents, parents, and taxpayers at large. That’s UNFAIR.

Think of it this way: We don’t allow family members or friends of the accused on a jury deciding the case, do we? Why would that be?

We have also consistently said that if the teachers or the teachers union has anything to say that might sway the board of education vote, it can be said like any other interested resident or parent or taxpayer from the speakers podium during public comment. That’s Fair.

In addition, if the board of education needs or wants the specific input of the teachers or a teacher, the board can request that a teacher to attend ex officio, that is without voting rights, at board meetings or be called in on an advisory capacity to provide the teachers'(not the unions!) perspective on an issue. That’s fair.

Those are all very sensible and practical ways of avoiding the obstacles we have experienced over the past several years when the RCS board of education has had teachers, retired teachers, spouses of teachers, close relatives of teachers march in lockstep and vote as a group rather than individually. This is very detrimental to the board’s effectiveness. That’s UNFAIR.

But what can you expect from them? They’re only human. They would feel like traitors if they voted against a family member or their friends and colleagues. It’s only natural! I, you would, too, if you were asked to vote against your wife or co-worker.

So, that having been said, let’s look at the candidates supported by the RCS Friends and More Facebook group, who are putting their candidates on exhibit at a “public” picnic at Hendrik Hudson Park on Saturday, April 27.

First of all, we should mention that the RCS Friends and More is a Facebook group that is dominated by “Dirty-Hands Jerry Deluca (of board of education misinformation and Coeymanazi infamy) and Cathy Deluca (of Ravena Health and Fitness Club infamy) and the group around the Delucas. What this means is that the RCS Friends and More is dominated by a very nasty and questionable group, even though it may include some very fine people. We advise caution if you’re considering getting involved with the group. They don’t have a very good reputation for tolerance or neighborliness. That’s UNFAIR.

You know what to expect because the RCS Friends and More group have already identified the picnic as a political event when they write in their announcement:

We are pleased to endorse all three candidates who are highly skilled and competent to serve on the RCS Board of Education.

And you already know it’s going to be a love-fest of propaganda and wolves-in-sheep’s clothing circulating among the visitors. Here’s what they write in their announcement:

These candidates are committed to ensuring that the students of RCS receive a quality education at a reasonable cost to the community and taxpayers…and intend to run on a platform of returning respect, quality, and integrity to the RCS School District.

Well, apart from being extremely vague and ambiguous, it doesn’t tell us very much that anyone really can get their teeth into, and is only commonsense that we would expect such attitudes in the candidates. Isn’t it? Again, the candidates are telling us WHAT they are going to do…so far no one’s ASKED us.

And let’s not forget that this is the same group that behaved generally uncivilly and disrespectfully at board meetings like a bunch of cattle, shouting, standing on chairs, shouting across the aisles, pointing fingers from the speakers podium, whining, complaining, accusing, etc. etc., and making a spectacle of themselves. It’s the same bunch that got the RCS CSD into a pickle with their behavior at the polling places and their nasty campaign tactics that got the district investigated.  And now we’re supposed to believe they’ve made a 180 degree change. Why should we believe anything’s changed? It’s still the same group and the leopard can’t change its spots!

Well, the truth is that they are full of turd matter. The bunch that makes up the RCS Friends and More group—or at least the ones who dominate the group—are the very ones who mislead you regarding the 2% tax levy and were pushing for a 3.5% tax levy! “Reasonable cost?” One of the group’s leaders, Jerry Deluca, confused tax rate with tax levy in his public statements, and his wife, Cathy Deluca, another leader of the group, came out with a public statement correcting him! No facts, just loads of a hot air from balloon-shaped people. One of the group’s leaders, Jerry Deluca, again, in a public statement, admitted he know how people were voting—votes are supposed to be secret, aren’t they? And these are the people endorsing Latter, Brown, and Hyslop. Forget about it!

Calling It What It Is!

Calling It What It Is!

So, let’s look at their candidates whom you’ll have an opportunity to meet at the so-called “picnic” a picnic that will probably be a surveillance operation and a precious propaganda moment for most of the group’s leaders. The picnic is going to be a Coeymanazi pep rally.

The Best Place for James Latter

The Best Place for
James Latter

latterWe’ll start with James Latter, who  is an employee of the Saudi Arabian company, Sabic (as is Jason Hyslop). Latter, who is a current board member, and who has been highly visible to most of us as a whiner and a someone who just simply can’t get his facts right. He’s been caught with his pants around his ankles so many times we don’t have space to list them here. But you will recall his multiple scandals last year, his recent repeated “I don’t like the budget” at the special budget meeting (but he never gave any reasons Why? he didn’t like the budget). His insistance on voting on a grant issue without the board having had the time to read the lengthy application. And the list goes on. His sole function on the board is to oppose the other side and to vote like a robot with the teachers union. This is a useless pile of flesh on the board and he needs to spend his time at Weight Watchers, not on a board of education.

Peter E. Brown

Peter E. Brown

Peter E. Brown. We won’t waste space on this shady character. To be entirely honest, Brown’s wife, Mary Partridge-Brown, does some good in the community: she helps out at the high-school library, she does book drives, etc. To deny that she does good things would be just dishonest. It’s not what she does in the open but what she does behind the scenes that bothers us. She recently announced her husband’s candidacy on Facebook without even giving his name. He’s a lawyer (one attorney, the school-district attorney, is enough on one board of education). Mary Partridge-Brown is very close to Matt-the-Mutt Miller, who is the teachers union (NYSUT) dog in the district. Peter E. Brown is discussed at length in our article about Brown (click on the link below).

As far as we know, Peter E. Brown has never attended a board of education meeting. As far as we know, Peter E Brown has never addressed the board of education in public comment. Now he wants your vote. This is a candidate to avoid at all costs.

Jason Hyslop is a relative nobody. But what is clear is that he is (1) a member of the RCS Friends and More clique, (2) he is friends with James Latter (they both work at the Saudi Arabian company Sabic and they’re both endorsed by RCS Friends). That in itself labels him quite nicely.

Jason Hysop

Jason Hysop

Hyslop is right on one count though: The average parent and community member is not well represented on the current board. The present board has one retired teacher, Alice Whalen, who continues activity in the schools; one active teacher, Howard “Bray” Engel who is married to a teacher Sarah Engel; two members are closely related to teachers, James Latter is married to a teacher and Edward “Teddy” Reville (he’s married to Howard Engel’s sister). No! The average parent and taxpayer is not sufficiently represented on the present board: there are simply 4 too many members who are or have very close relations with teachers and the teachers union, that is, Matt-the-Mutt Miller and NYSUT. In other words, almost half of the RCS board of education is representing a special interest group. That’s not right! Mr Hyslop’s own statement:

It quickly became clear that the average parent and community member was not represented on the current board. It is my opinion that this representation is crucial to have a more well-rounded and diverse board and, ultimately, a better foundation for our children’s education.

Jason Hyslop

Jason Hyslop

We agree with you Mr Hyslop! And, in view of your endorsement by the Deluca-dominated RCS Friends and More, and your connections with James Latter and Sabic, we don’t think that you are the man who will make the board any more representative of the community. In fact, we think you’ll have a negative effect on the board.

We recommend that RCS residents and voters avoid Mr Hyslop because of his inconsistency and his questionable relationships.

What You See versus What You Get

What You See versus What You Get

We hope it’s clearer now that the candidates being endorsed by the Deluca – dominated and teachers union sympathizer group calling themselves RCS Friends and More are candidates that will be sockpuppets for the special interests of the teachers and the teachers union. These candidates, James Latter, Peter E. Brown, and Jason Hyslop, have already branded themselves by their relationships and the endorsement by RCS Friends and More. They are candidates that will not adequately balance the board and will not represent the average parent and community member on the board. We know that from past experience.

Friends, the Delucas, Latter, Brown, Hyslop, Partridge-Brown, Miller, the Engels, Whalen are all in bed together.>/big>

The “Friends”, the Delucas, Latter, Brown, Hyslop, Partridge-Brown, Miller, the Engels, Whalen are all in bed together. It’s a real cozy bunch.

We’ve been fortunate in past months, since the last budget vote, the last board of education elections, and the hiring of a professional administrator, Dr Alan R. McCartney, and we have been able to experience the difference that a board majority that truly represents the average parent and community member can make a difference. Jeff Lukens, Mike Robbins (vice – president), Judy Sylvester, Rodney Krzykowski and John Vadney (president) are not teachers, they are truly representatives of the average parent and the average community member. They have done great things over the past year and, if we put other non – special interest people on the board—not the likes of candidates endorsed by RCS Friends and More—, we can watch this district SOAR. That’s FAIR!

Bullshit Stops Here

Bullshit Stops Here

But PLEASE! Don’t let us discourage you! Please attend the Coeymanazi rally and  picnic the 1st Annual Friends of RCS Picnic is this Saturday (April 27) from 3-6 p.m.  at the Henry Hudson Park Pavilion. You’ll meet the clique, the candidates, probably get your mugshot on Jerry Deluca’s cell phone, maybe even get your name in the official Coeymanazi gazette, the Ravena News Herald. If it’s a nice day it may be an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, just don’t stand downwind of the piles of bullshit that will be walking around!

The Editor

The Editor

Read Other Related Articles on this Blog. Just click the links below:

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Abuse, Accountability, AFL-CIO, Albany, Alice Whalen, Bill Bailey, Board of Education Member, Board of Regents, Bob Ross, Bray Engel, Brenda Biance Pommakoy, Brian Bailey, Brown and Weinraub, BULLSHIT, Candidate, Capital District, Cathy Deluca, Cecilia Tkaczyk, Claudia Verga, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Dawn Dolan, Dawn Rogers, Deceit, Deluca-Warner Fitness Center, Diane Hughes, Diane Malecki, Donna Leput Hommel, Dr Alan McCartney, Edward "Teddy" Reville, Edward Reville, Eleanor Oldham, Elections and Voting, Elizabeth Smith, Elsie Proper Croteau, Friends of RCS, Gerald Deluca, Greene County, Gregory Darlington, Hakim Jones, Harold Warner, Howard "Bray" Engel, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Irregularities, Voting, James Latter, James Latter II, Jason Hyslop, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Joan Ross, John Luckacovic, John T. Bruno, Joseph Edward Tracey, Josephine O'Connor, Karen Miller, Kathleen Ryan Gill, Lies, Lorraine Misuraca, Marlene McTigue, Martin Case, Marty Case, Matt "the Mutt", Matt Miller, Matthew J. Miller, Mayor Bruno, Melanie Lekocevic, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Michelle Waldenmaier Koeppel, Mike Varney, Misconduct, Misinformation, Moose Misuraca, New Baltimore, New York, New York State, New York State Education Department, New York State United Teachers, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, NYSED, NYSUT, Office of the Attorney General, Pete Lopez, Peter Masti, Phillip Crandall, Property Taxes, Pudenda David Soares, R J DEsposito, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena Health and Fitness Center, RCS Central School District, Richard Ianuzzi, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Sarah Berchtold Engel, Sarah Engel, School Budget, School Taxes, Selkirk, Smalbany, Small Town, Tavia Rauch, Tax Cap, Teachers, Teachers Union, Teddy Reville, Thomas A. Boehm, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Transparency, Union Representative, United Federation of Teachers, Vote NO!, Voting Irregularities, William Bailey, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

 

More Dysinformation Misinformation by the Ignorant Pundits


The “Just Curious” Trivia Question:
Who can identify the stupid blond female Coeymans cop who was sitting in a Coeymans patrol car parked on the wrong side of the street (at the end of Russell Ave.), no lights on, car’s nose stuck out in oncoming traffic on Main Street, forcing Main St. traffic across the double line into the oncoming lane to get by her. She was slurping s.t. from a paper cup.
Spotting Time: Saturday, April 20 at 10:07 a.m.
That must be Coeymans’ idea of public safety, right?


You can fight and win ONLY if you have good information about the lies of the enemy!

You can fight and win ONLY if you have good information about the lies of the enemy!

This article is NOT intended to provide tax or legal advice. It is purely for general information and discussion purposes. It is not being provided to assist the reader in making specific or general decisions regarding specific tax questions.
If you feel you need tax or legal advice regarding the subject matter discussed in this article, please consult with a professional tax advisor or with a licensed attorney. Thank you for your visit and understanding.

“Fitness Club Floozie” Cathy Deluca, “Dirty-Hands” Jerry Deluca Should Keep Their Cakeholes Shut if They Don’t Know What They’re Talking About!

Caution! They may talk but they're solid wood, nothing in there but dead wood!

Caution! They may talk but they’re solid wood, nothing in there but dead wood!

That’s the impression we get when we hear Cathy Deluca or Jerry Deluca or any of the teachers clique speaking: It’s like watching a ventriloquist’s dummy talking. We know it’s a dummy and we know someone else is doing the talking but we still watch the dummy and listen to what it has to say. Go figure!

Who's doing the talking?

Who’s doing the talking?

At the April 16, RCS board of education meeting, “Dirty-Hands” Jerry Deluca waddled to the speakers podium to “Give his voice” to the discussion.  Here’s what he had to say:

Deluca: “If we cut the budget too much this year, we will pay for it next year by cutting programs or raising taxes…You cannot continue to cut this district to the bone…Just because we have some extra money doesn’t mean we have to just cut the tax rate.”

Now, I want you to note that Jerry Deluca refers to the “tax rate” in his statement.

Cathy Deluca, of course, has to get her two cents into the discussion and in a public statement writes:

Cathy DeLuca: “After watching the video of the BOE meeting it appears that some people are confusing the tax Levy with the tax Rate. Understandable, it can be quite confusing. Please understand that the tax Levy is NOT the same as the tax Rate…it appears that with a tax levy between 2% to 3% we would have a tax RATE of -5% to -8%, YES that means a Decrease in your tax bill. The key word is tax “RATE” not levy.”

Can you two Delucas get it straight for just once in your lives? It seems that the local loudmouths, Cathy and Jerry Deluca, don’t know what they’re talking about and, although they’re cohabitating, they don’t seem to communicate much.

[Editor’s Note: While the two Delucas, Cathy and Jerry, give a lot of advice about taxes etc. neither of the pair has any qualification or training to give such advice. Neither has training in accounting, finance, or law. Neither of the Delucas has been licensed or certified by any agency to qualify them to give such advice or information.]

What Cathy doesn’t mention is that her own partner, Jerry Deluca, is actually the one person, not “some people” Cathy, Your husband, Jerry Deluca, is the one who is “confusing the tax levy with the tax rate”! Bring it where it belongs, Cathy, right at home, your husband doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But that’s nothing new, is it?

house moneyHere’s another point you residents need to keep in mind regarding the so called speakers at the April 16, 2013, RCS board of education meeting:  The speakers were almost exclusively teachers and all stand to profit from a higher levy (more than 2%).  By profit, I mean receive personal and professional enrichment; I mean they personally profit from more programs and fewer cuts! (It’s highly unlikely that RCS students would notice any change at all with a lower levy!) Here’s what they had to say (not in order of speaking):

whalen

Alice Whalen: Retired Teacher and Board Member Wants More!
I’m completely against the 2%
Why is she talking to a water bottle?

The first speaker: Sarah Engel is a teacher and the wife of sitting board member Howard “Bray” Engel (but she seems to be silent on both points). She wants a higher than 2% levy. Why? As a teacher and wife of a teacher, she stands to profit.

Maureen Perrot, identifying herself as a “faculty member,” “taxpayer,” and “parent”–in other words, someone who stands to profit from a higher levy–spoke in favor of a higher levy (more than 2%).

Elizabeth A. Varney, another public school employee (but didn’t mention this fact) and a member of the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS), got to plug for the higher levy.

The second speaker: A lovely little 5th grader, Maddie McTigue, was apparently put up on exhibit to sell middle school programs and to put in a good word for a favorite teacher and her program. I think it’s scandalous to use a child to parrot the agenda of the adults! It’s downright abusive! That’s downright devious, putting a child up to pitch your agenda! Shame on you! Parents and teachers!

The third speaker was our local double-dipper, bully-monger, NYSUT union rep, Matthew J. “Matt the Mutt” Miller. It’s only natural that he run at the mouth in favor of a higher levy because it will benefit his constituency, the teachers, and their union, the New York State United Teachers a.k.a. NYSUT. But he had the gall to act like a Joe Average taxpayer and flaunted his own tax returns (When was he last audited, I wonder?) as “proof” of something (We’re still not sure what it was to prove. Maybe his stupidity and insincerity?). According to Miller, 2% is “imprudent” and he wants a levy between 3-3.5%. But please note, readers, anything over 2% can cause complications in the number of votes required to pass such a budget.

New York State United Teachers Matt Miller's Godfather

New York State United Teachers
Matt Miller’s Godfather

Did you know that NYSUT filed a law suit to prevent the tax cap? According to NYSUT president Richard “Dick” Iannuzzi:

“… whether children attend a low-wealth or a high-wealth school district, they should be able to receive a quality education and local voters should have the opportunity to decide how much money their district spends on education.”

“We believe very strongly in the principle that every student, no matter where they live or go to school, should have the opportunity to receive a quality public education,” Iannuzzi said in a statement. “In challenging the constitutionality of the tax cap, we are fighting for that principle, just as we are fighting for the democratic principles of ‘one person, one vote’ and for the right of citizens, through local control of their schools, to determine for themselves how much they want to spend on their own community’s schools.”

What You See versus What You Get

What You See versus What You Get

That’s a pile of teachers union bullshit!  Pretty words hiding an ugly message. Like powder and paint hiding someting you don’t want to see. We think this means that the teachers union, NYSUT, wants no cap and wants to go hog-wild on the property owner with taxation. What it’s saying is that if you own property, you need to foot the bill for your local social services recipien’ts’ children, even if you have no children. Now is that fair? but that’s the teachers union and Matt Miller talking about your property and your money.

According to our analysis (Yes. It’s oversimplified): Those who want a levy of more than 2% can benefit in two ways, at least:

  • If the higher levy demanded by the teachers and the Delucas is approved by the board and the voters accept the budget, the teachers and the teachers union benefit by having more taxpayer (property owner) money to spend.
  • If the higher levy is approved by the board (the deadline for the budget  is April 26, 2013) and is sent to the public for the vote and fails, the Coeymanazis will blame the present board for putting out a budget that is too high, and the district will have to go to the contingency budget. Not a pleasant thought and that could mean more negative publicity for the community and the district.

[Editor’s Note: For those of you who want more information and greater detail, please visit the links below.]

Either way, the community and the district suffer…that is, the taxpayer suffers.

Did you know?

new york property taxes cap

That 2% you’ve been hearing so much about is only a small part of the so-called “Tax Cap Law.” In reality, it’s just one part of an eight-step formula that determines the maximum allowable tax levy the school district can pass with a simple majority. You can read more about the process of how the levy is determined here:

NEW YORK STATE’S PROPERTY TAX CAP A Citizens Guide
Understanding New Yorks Property Tax Cap

This is a short video put out by the Bethlehem School District:
Understanding New York State’s New Property Tax Levy Cap
But keep in mind that the video was produced by an organization with a bias in favor of schools, teachers, and superintendents. But despite all that, some of the content is helpful.

Since the state government allocates a portion of property taxes received each year to the various public school districts and the government also provides tax relief to property taxpayers in the form of a credit (STAR), the relief is in the form of the school levies credit. Tax rules govern the annual levy and relief.

property taxEvery property owner must pay the school levy property tax even if he has no children attending public school in this state. And, as the law now stands, you may own property in the district, such as if you are a business, but don’t reside in the district and you will not be able to vote on the budget! Now that’s fair, isn’t it? This is based on the government reasons on the founding principle that all children should be educated at the public’s expense (this actually is a Protestant, Calvinist, principle that entered the government’s principles). Since the state and local governments have the legal responsibility and mandate of managing public education, it levies taxes for this purpose.

Tax Cap: In 2011 the New York state legislature passed, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the historic property tax cap. The law requires the local governments and school districts to raise taxes no more than 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. As important is that the tax cap is not a dictate from Albany.  Communities may raise or lower property taxes according to the needs of the community. If the taxpayers want to pay more taxes they can, and they can override the cap with a 60 percent vote for schools and by a 60 percent vote of the governing body for local governments.

Tax Rate: The rate at which your local government determines your property will be taxed. For example: You own a home assessed at $100,000. Your tax rate is $30.00/1000. Your tax bill will be $3,000.

Property owners often confuse property taxes and assessments. For instance, some taxpayers attempt to “grieve” their taxes. You can grieve your assessment, but not your taxes.

Assessments not taxes – Assessments are determined by local assessors when they determine the value of your property

[Editor’s Note: We have it on unconfirmed information that the Town of Coeymans will be announcing on or about May 1, 2013, the news that single-family homes in the town of Coeymans are decreasing in value. Do you wonder why? Just check out the town’s feeble-minded plan for rezoning! Or would you want to live in a place that gets the pubicity that RCS has been getting from the Times Union? Sure, everyone likes Nazis, especially everyone wants Coeymanazis to run their lives for them! Sure buy property in the town of Coeymans and regret it for the rest of your life…]

Tax levy – is the term used to describe the amount the school board, town board, etc. needs to recoup to meet their budget requirments. If the budget goes up (more staff, more services, more programs, more spending) the levy is likely to go up. If staff, services, programs, spending are cut, the levy is likely to decrease to zero or even become negative. (The terms “tax levy” and “to levy taxes” are only distantly related; they are not really the same.)

Taxes are determined by school boards, town boards, city councils, county legislatures, village boards and special districts.  These jurisdictions are responsible for taxes, not assessments.

  • Your assessment could increase, and your tax bill decrease.
  • Your assessment could increase, and your tax bill remains the same.
  • Your assessment could decrease, and your tax bill increase.

For example, the illustration below might help to understand this:

This figure illustrates how tax assessment, levy, tax bill interact. source: Assessments vs. Taxes

This figure illustrates how tax assessment, levy, tax bill interact.
[Source: NYS Department of Taxation & Finance, Assessments vs. Taxes]

(If you feel your assessment is too high, you should discuss it with your assessor and consider contesting it.)

So, you see, dear readers, it’s confusing only if certain people want to make it confusing. I guess they figure if your head’s spinning and your ears are ringing you’ll do anything just to make it go away. Even vote they way they want you to vote. We’re here to make certain you vote as an informed voter and not as a ventriloquist’s dummy.

[Editor’s Note: If you want to read about how the state formula works for figuring out the levy in relation to the tax cap, here’s an interesting read from the NYS Education Department: Tax Cap Guidance (NYS) March 2012.]

Listen Carefully to Reason, Not Ignorance and Hype! The Editor

Listen Carefully to Reason,
Not Ignorance and Hype!
The Editor

P.S. for John Rousseau, who  recently publicly commented that he

” …had some time so I thought I’d pull out some old records and do some ‘math.’ Did a quick random sampling (that’s an actual statistical term, for all you math-folk) [Editor’s Note: Very impressive, John; thanks for prejudging everyone to be ignorant! But maybe you should take a closer look at the socio-demographics—that means the affiliations and the composition of the board at the time, John.]

  • animation_turkey_head_looking_aroundUnder Scott Hughes – 98%
  • Under John Bonafide – 99%
  • Under Gerry Deluca – 99.875%*

That’s as far back as my records go. I’m sure they aren’t completely complete. But why should accuracy get in the way of statistics.
Mathematically speaking, those guys were pretty good too, right?”

Wrong! All that your figures show is that you’re a sure winner when you play with loaded dice or with a stacked deck! All you have to do is get your clubmembers on the board and Hey, MAGIC! The numbers soar! That’s not statistics nor is it math. It’s Coeymanazi politics!

Moreover, if Rousseau has that much time on his hands to do that kind of statistics he really needs to find a life.

JR, You're a Dancing Turkey!

JR, You’re a Dancing Turkey!

* Judging by the number of “significant figures” John Rousseau is a member of the Deluca fan club, and is an outspoken contributor to the Times Useless blogs.

This article is NOT intended to provide tax or legal advice. It is purely for general information and discussion purposes. It is not being provided to assist the reader in making specific or general decisions regarding specific tax questions.
If you feel you need tax or legal advice regarding the subject matter discussed in this article, please consult with a professional tax advisor or with a licensed attorney. Thank you for your visit and understanding.
 
12 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, AFL-CIO, Albany Schenectady BOCES, Alice Whalen, Andrew Cuomo, Assessment, Bob Ross, Bray Engel, Brian Bailey, Bryan Rowzee, Budget Cuts, Budget Presentation, Capital District, Cathy Deluca, Child Abuse, Claudia Verga, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Conspiracy, Deluca-Warner Fitness Center, Dick Iannuzzi, Donna Leput Hommel, Double Dipping, Dr Alan McCartney, Dr Alan R. McCartney, Edward "Teddy" Reville, Edward Reville, Eleanor Oldham, Elizabeth A. Varney, Gerald Deluca, Greed, Greene County, H Andres Jimenez Uribe, Hakim Jones, Howard "Bray" Engel, Hudson Valley, Immorality, Impeach Cuomo, Irresponsibility, James Latter, James Latter II, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Joan Ross, John B. King, John Luckacovic, John Rousseau, Karen Miller, Marlene McTigue, Matt "the Mutt", Matt Miller, Matthew J. Miller, Maureen Perrot, Melanie Lekocevic, Mike Varney, Misconduct, Misinformation, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New York, New York State, New York State Education Department, New York State United Teachers, News Channel 10, News Channel 6, NYSED, NYSUT, Pam Black, Pete Lopez, Program Cuts, Property Taxes, R J DEsposito, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, RCS Central School District, RCS Teachers Association, Richard Ianuzzi, Sarah Berchtold Engel, Sarah Engel, School Budget, School Taxes, Schools, SeeThroughNY, Selkirk, Shame On You, Smalbany, Student Abuse, Susan K. O'Rorke, Tavia Rauch, Tax Cap, Tax Levy, Teacher on Student Bullying, Teachers, Teachers Union, Teddy Reville, Union Representative, United Federation of Teachers, Vote NO!, Wild Spending

 

In All Fairness…

Warning: If you are a student or a minor, please leave this blog now.

The Residents of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and the New Baltimore Community and School District Deserve Much Better Than They’re Getting.  The Only Description of the Situation that Comes to Mind is:

The Scandal is Everywhere!

This Blog, with the Cooperation and Collaboration of Many Residents has Recently Exposed the Snow Job and the Finagling that’s Been Going On and the Deceitful, Misinformation That’s Been Published and Circulated in Recent Weeks in Public Statements Made by the Teachers Association and in Letters to the Editor Written by the Major Perps and Pervs and Published by Needful Pulp Fiction Backwoods Reporters.

We’ve exposed the scandal of immorality in the major fingerpointers in a campaign to drive a fine member of the Board of Education from his elected seat; the very ones pointing the fingers were booted off the Board ostensibly because of their immorality and poor performance. As Matt Miller about his FaceBook promotions and his statements before and after the elections. But sit down when you do it.

We’ve pointed out that those very fingerpointers were the ones who saddled the RCS school district with a swimming pool that is worth as much to this community as a refrigerator is to Eskimos; built of materials that can’t withstand the stresses of blasting in the quarries behind it and so poorly designed it cannot host competions. Ask Jerry Deluca about this! (While you have him cornered you might want to ask him about the Coeymanazis and their secret meetings conspiring to undermine the democratically elected RCS Board of Education!)

We’ve argued against the disproportionate influence of the teachers and teachers association on the RCS Board of Education and how they favor anything the teachers association asks for and obstruct anything that might not be in the teachers’ interests. We’ve argued that teachers, former teaches, and the spouses of teachers need to be booted off the board and now! There has to be a level playing field! The Board must be able to exercise independence and autonomy in making its decisions and that is impossible if special interests have voting power on the board! Ask Schools Superintendant Elizabeth Smith about this.

 We’ve pointed out the problems in school sports and the fact that the coaches and assistant coaches may be endangering the players. We’ve pointed out a well-known problem with the aquatics director and his abuse (verbal) of the students–we repeat: a well known fact but he’s still there.Helmet Brain. Traumatic Brain Injury.

We’ve pointed out the questionable practices and concealment well-known in the RCS Sports Association and its code violations and vindictiveness. We’ve pointed out the total lack of transparency in its financial business and other suspect practices. Ask Bill McFerran about this, the financial recordkeeping (if there is any), where the money goes, the tax status of the Association, etc.

We’ve pointed out a number of discrepancies and misleading points in the Superintendant of Schools budget presentation and the impractical notion that a 6.8% increase cannot be sustained by this commuinity and we urge the community to vote down that budget. The contingency budget will keep the RCS districat at the previous year’s levy and even further require $1.5 million in cuts! We provided a list of a number of schools across the state that are biting the bullet and facing the reality that the policy of spending more to get less just doesn’t work nor or ever. The RCS community together with its neighbors in Greene County, in New Baltimore have no other choice than to VOTE NO! on the 2012-13 Budget!

We’ve pointed out the imprudence at this time of expanding the Ravena Public Library; it’s idiotic to consider a move and spending of that magnitude in a time when we need to be pushing AUSTERITY measures. The library board has no answers for such questions as HOW MUCH? WHEN? HOW? And the answers they do have are far from convincing. This is not the time! The library director and the library board must come up with concrete answers to concrete questions. You must not be asked to buy the Brooklyn Bridge (again)!

We are not aware of any figures in terms of library utilization or demographics that could support such a plan. In addition, the library board wants to more than double its space in an age when most libraries are reducing space in response to the trend in digitization and online resources that are replacing print-based newspapers, journals, and books! 1000 books fit easily on a Kindle or Nook but take up hundreds of square feet in a library. In 5 years the trend will only have become more obvious but the library board, to get any money from the state of New York, has to sign a 10-year lease for the new library and that doesn’t include adaptation work costs! It’s idiotic! Vote NO! on that crazy project.

Worse than all of the above is the situation with the teachers and their teachers association. Not only to they bully the Board of Education but Matt Miller, president of the RCS Teachers Association is consistently misleading the voting and taxpaying public to believe that the teachers are dedicated and sacrificing; that they have the students’ interests at heart. We’ve said in the past that they should put their paychecks where their mouths are. What do they do? The offer a LOAN, a half-year “pay freeze,” in response. But here’s the clincher: after the 6 months they get RAISES! Pay increases! It’s a win-win for the teachers. Here’s another fact: the average teacher ( called “instructional staff”) in the RCS district makes more than twice as much ($63,000-70,000 annual salary) as the average non-teacher (non-instructional staff) who makes an average of about $30,000 a year, and the teacher gets several months off every year, gets additonal support for “professional development,” and they still complain that they don’t have enough. Well, we think the taxpayers in this district have had enough. Don’t you?

Student or Teacher? You tell me!

The New Testament (Matthew 7:16)  tells us that we will “Know them by their fruits.” This has come unexpectedly to light in a recent development where a number of RCS high school students left some really nasty comments on this blog. One student actually wrote that her “teachers were there and laughing at the idiocy” of this blog. Since when is honest reporting and presentation of facts to the community and to taxpayers “idiocy.” If you read those comments–we published them on this blog and you can read the comments–you will have to ask yourself “What in hell is going on at that high school.” “What are those teachers doing all day?” “What are they doing with our kids?” You’ll have to read the students’ comments–they’re published on this blog– to understand the seriousness of what’s going on in the schools in your district.

After one of the students went over the top in escalating his abusive conduct, we had to advise him that he would be banned from the blog, that his comments would not be considered, that they would be immediately trashed. In addition, we had to advice the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board of the student’s misconduct. We even had to notify law enforcement of some of the threats the student was making. But that’s what’s going on in the high school. (For more information, read our two posts on the incidents.)

Speaking of the New Testament and Scripture, have you read our post on the RCS teacher who does not repeat the “one nation under God” in the pledge of allegiance and, when asked by his students Why? tells them that he’s an atheist! Ask Matt Miller, president of the RCS teachers association, the teacher, about this one.

Let’s be clear on one thing: We do not find the fact that the students commented or that they feell they have a voice in what’s happening. Commitment and dedication are important. What we are pointing out as a serious defect is that those students were on the blog all day long, from 9 a.m. through to about 3 p.m. and then from about 5 p.m to about 9 p.m. And the language they used and the thoughts they expressed were, well, not quite what you would expect from teenagers talking to and about adults! The language was filthy, disrespectful, arrogant…and “the teachers were there laughing.”

That’s what you need to be looking at. Where is your money going and for what? They can’t spell, they can’t write a sentence, the state report card shows that the RCS district is failing and it’s not because you are stingy with your cash…let’s be real, there’s a far more insidious and serious problem and you might want to start looking at the company your kids are keeping all day long!

And don’t blame the non-teachers on the Board of Education; they’re fighting tooth and nail for you…they have no special interests except an interest in justice and fairness but they’re hobbled too much of the time by the special interests of the teachers who are on the board.

Teachers Association Bullies

Read our report on the Superintendant’s Budget Presentation and read our recommendations and notes on the candidates. One candidate Edward Reville is married to Howard Engel’s (a board member) sister; Engle is a teacher and his wife is a teacher! It’s literally incestuous if you allow Reville on the board or Alice Whalen or re-elect Engel. You might as well make the RCS CSD Board of Education a department of the NYS Teachers Union, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)!

You need to seriously look at the postings on this blog. Then you really need to ask some really serious questions about what we are saying and you have to ask the people in charge. But for starters, you need to think realistically and not in terms of an ideal world.

Vote NO! on the Budget. Vote NO! on the Library. Vote NO! on the buses for now. Find out who’s running for the Board of Education and who’s married to the teacher, who’s the former teacher, who’s the teacher and get them off the board! Find reputable intelligent moral persons in the community and get them to run as a write-in candidate. Send us their bios and we’ll support them. We have 400-700 readers every day and those readers will pass on what they think is good. Give it a shot; it can’t get any worse than it is now.

If you like what you’ve read on this blog send a link to a friend, a relative, your elected officials. Make your voice heard. You have power but you have to use it to better your life, your community, the future.

STOP THE SCANDAL!

Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Abuse, Adultery, Albany, Anger, Aquatics Coach, Arrogance, Atheism, Atheist Teacher, Bill McFerran, Budget Cuts, Budget Presentation, Burning the Constitution, Capital District, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Community, Daily Mail, David Bartlett, David Soares, Dayelin Roman, Deceit, Double Dipping, Elizabeth Smith, Failing Schools, Fair Play, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, Fox and Chickens, Fraud, Gerald Deluca, Greed, Greene County, Hakim Jones, Hare and Pineapple, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Immorality, Impersonating Minors, Jerry Deluca, Liar, Lies, Matt Miller, Mayor Bruno, Melanie Lekocevic, Misfits, Morality, New Baltimore, New York, News Herald, Perp Patrol, Perv Patrol, Pieter B Coeymans Elementary School, Pledge of Allegiance, Program Cuts, Pulp Fiction Journalism, Pulp Journalist, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, RCS Board of Education, RCS Community Library, RCS Library Budget, RCS School Board, RCS School Superintendant, RCS Sports Association, RCS Teachers Association, School Budget, School Health, School Sports, Secret Meetings, Selkirk, Skunks, Smalbany, Small Town, Snakes, Sports Association, Sports Injuries, Student Supervision, Superintendent of Schools, Swimming Pool, Tax Cap, Taxation, Teacher Negligence, Teachers Association, Times Union, Traumatic Brain Damage, Unsupervised Students, Vote NO!, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

 

Superintendent’s Budget Presentation

We’d like to provide some highlights from the 2012-13 RCS Central School District budget presentation that was done at the May 1, 2012 RCS Board of Education meeting by Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Smith.

(Editor’s Note: The entire BoE meeting can be viewed in streaming video with annoying pop-up avertisements at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22276965.)

More on an Impossible School Budget

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 27:12

According to the superintendent’s presentation, 72% of the budget is represented by salaries and benefits! Another 8% is for debt payments.

72% Is Salaries and Benefits!

In the current budget, compared to the previous year’s budget, there is a so-called gap of $2,274,272 (two million two hundred seventy four thousand two hundred seventy two dollars) that has to be closed. The way the superintendent proposes closing that gap is by “a combination of budget cuts and levies (tax increases).”

The so-called “gap.”

$2,050,552 in Lost Revenues You Have to Make Up For!

The superintendent mentions also that the district has lost $2,050,552 (two million fity thousand five hundred fifty two dollars) in revenues. 

The teachers have agreed to a 1/2-year pay freeze (total savings theoretically because it’s what they would have received not what they’re giving up! So it’s not a real savings but just a hold on more spending!) is something like $130,000. But it should be noted that the teachers recover this and more after the six months! It’s actually a loan on money they might have received but you are paying it out for real. Go figure!

Here’s the clincher: The budget last year contained some fudge figures to cover “if needed things” (see the slide below), actually fake allocations because they didn’t really exist. Here’s the joke: part of the cuts in personnel would be the jobs of low-income earners (non-instructional staff) whle the teachers (instructional staff) can look forward to pay increases. Is there something wrong with this picture?

There will be a 6.8% increase in the levy for this year. The pie-in-the-sky is that the Cogen Pilot Project will theoretically contribute to revenues next budget year. Do you want to bet your house on that one? If so, I have an extra bridge to sell you. But the superintendent tells us that the future tax levy will be about 2%. OK…and where are those flying pigs roosting in Coeymans today?

The Contingency Budget

If the 2012-13 budget is defeated with its 6.8% increase on May 15th, state law requires that the district revert to a contingency budget that does not allow a levy increase to a rate higher than the previous year (in other words, the levy will be the same as last year). But the RCS CSD will have to trim $1.5 million from the budget. According to the superintendent this would mean “less staff, fewer programs, larger class sizes.”

What will the $1.5 million look like? Well it would eliminate about 16 teachers at $63,000 each or 4 teachers from each school (= a couple more kids in each class. Currently there are an average of 19 children per class; more in some classes (up to 22), fewer in others). Or 30 non-instructional staff (average of $30K per year salary). This might mean that teachers may have to do some work! But think of it this way: one teacher earns more than twice what a non-intructional” employee (secretary, janitor, etc) earns and works only half the year! Now is that right?

Possible Areas for Cuts

It would mean also eliminating the late bus run to cart the kids in the 10th period help period home. Come on! Is a 10th period really necessary? Where are you parents anyway? Can’t parents do some parenting and help their own kids out? How about a parents consortium to meet in the library on a weekend to help out kids in need? Why do they need a 10th period to learn what they should have learned in the first 9 periods????

The full-day kindergarten a.k.a. taxpayer subsidized daycare to free up parents…for what? If full-day kindergarten were to go to half-day, it would eliminate 4 teachers and save more than $275,000! It might also keep some parents home to do some parenting and spend some time with their kids!

More Questions Raised Than Answered!

There are five candidates running for four seats on the RCS CSD Board of Education. Here are some highlights from their public statements:

Alice Whalen: Retired Teacher. Champion of the Teachers and the Teachers Association. Whalen claims to have “institutional knowledge and expertise.” But she also has allegiances to her friends and colleagues, the teachers special interest group. Why not do it this way: Get her off the BoE and call her in as an unpaid consultant when the board needs her “institutional knowledge and expertise.” Get a non-teacher parent or business person to fill her seat.

 Sunilda Swann: A local parent with children in the system. What bothered me with this one was that she opted not to tell the community about her qualifications but went on and on about her “philosophy.” Doesn’t tell us much except…well, it doesn’t tell us much. Swann raised more questions than she managed to answer. Maybe next time? Too vanilla for our tastes.

 Judy Sylvester: Yes!~Sylvester is active in many community activities and has grown up children who are the product of the RCS CSD system. Sylvester knows quite a bit about what’s going on where and she may is committed and dedicated to many other areas and can do the BoE a great deal of good. She is unflappable, honest and dedicated. She is knowledgeable and well informed. She’s a definite YES! in our opinion. Seems like Judy’s the only real sincere one in the entire group running!

Married to H. Engel’s Sister!

Edward Reville: Seems like a nice guy but there’ve been some disturbing reports of his associations. While he may bring some business or management expertise to the team, his associations with some Coeymans troublemakers might not be such a good thing. Is his wife a teacher, we wonder? We’ll have to learn more about him. But he does have some suspicious connections with Jerry Deluca and the Bartlett pair and attends their “secret society” meetings. Sounds like a rat to us! He’s connected directly with candidate teacher Howard Engel! How incestuous can it get?

Howard Engel: A teacher married to a teacher! Does it get worse. The positive angle is that he justifies being on the RCS board because he has three kids in the system and he doesn’t teach in this district. I don’t know if I buy that bridge but Hey! He’s a teacher, coach, substitute bus driver, parent, husband, etc. Perhaps he should spend more time on his lesson plans and do more teaching! Now there’s an idea. Besides, he’s related by marriage to another candidate, Edward “Teddy” Reville; that would make the BoE nicely incestuous, wouldn’t it?

With that mix of candidates, we might as well make the Board of Education a department of the RCS teachers association or a unit of the teachers union!!!!

Overall, the Budget Review was not very upbeat. There’s a lot of doom and gloom and a lot of unfairness, particularly when you look at the teachers compared to the guy on the street. Parents and community must carry some load and we have to dump some ballast or the whole ship is going to sink with us on it!

Send a link to this blog to friends, family, newspapers, elected officials! Make your voice heard and leave a comment here.

Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!

We apologize for some of the screenshots. They may be more clear if you view the video (see link above).

 

Library Proposal Still ‘In Press’

Is the RCS Public Library Plan Going to Be Another RCS Swimming Pool? Poor Planning, Too Many Questions, Too Few Answers…Kill It Now Before It Gets Too Far Along and You’re Stuck with an Monkey on Your Backs!

You don’t need another monkey on your back!

Digital Libraries are Here!

In an age of electronic, instantaneous data transmission, an age of iPhones, smartphones, Kindles and Nooks, where even university libraries are digitizing their holdings, subscribing to digital journals available online, and newspapers are transitioning from print media to digital, we have to ask why, when most libraries are conserving resources and space, rationalizing their holdings, why is the RCS district library telling us they need twice as much space to serve a socio-econmically miserable and declining community?

The RCS community library currently occupies about 3300 sq. ft. in the municipal building; the library staff complain it’s not enough and are proposing a plan, actually the plan is moving along, to move to the old Knights of Columbus building on Main Street, Ravena, a space of 8600 sq. ft., more than double what the library now has. That’s a really big upgrade. But it gets scarier so read on.

In the present library location the library pays rent to the village but gets its utilities paid there. In the new location it’s going to have to pay to have the building upgraded, rebuilt in part, and adapted. The library will not only pay rent to the landlord, it will have to enter into a 10-year lease with that landlord in order to qualify for any state money. In addition to paying the rent, the library will have to pay for utilities and other expenses.

Where’s the $$money$$ going to come from?

What we’d like to know is who is the owner of the property the library is going to be leasing? Is it one of the local robber barons or slum lords? If the library is now paying about $1200/month to the town, what’s the lease payment? Is the landlord paying for it all? Part of the renovation work? None of it?

What studies has the library conducted to justify the necessary 2x the current space? Does the library have any utilization statistics for who uses the library, when, for what? How is the library justifying the requirment for more than twice the space?

Why is all of this necessary now, now in a time of fiscal austerity, joblessness, record unemployment, political and economic uncertainty? Does the library directly need to leave the fiction section and return to the non-fiction section? Can anyone afford this kind of spending when the school budget is doomed to failure and everyone across the state, country is cutting? Why more physical space when the trend is in the direction of electronic books?

Mr Wolfe and Your Money

Mr Ben Wolfe, president of the library board,  stated that the library board is projecting to 5, 10, 20 years in the future to accommodate the library’s needs. My question is how on earth can they be so certain? I don’t put much stock in empty visions or crystal balls and that’s where Mr Wolf appears to be getting his double-talk. If the RCS district library can see that far in the future and accurately predict what their and the community’s needs will be, they should share their method with the federal government and apply for a Nobel prize in fortune-telling. I don’t buy it!

We’re not done yet. The district library budget goes up on the same referendum as the school budget. In addition, the library’s 2012-12 budget has to accommodate not only the relocation spending spree but also a 3% cost of living increase for its staff, increases in pension allocations, thousands in architectural and engineering fees needed for the rebuilding of the new location, and the list goes on.

When library director Judith Felsten was asked by a resident  $$How Much$$ the library director tells the public, “We’re not sure what the final cost will be?” Your response should be: “Well, when you do, then we can talk.”

Where’s it Coming From?

And where is the money coming from, she answered “fundraising,” (Bad answer! From where, who in the RCS district has any money to give?) and “Contributions in kind (translation: meaning people are expected to contribute their time and skills; a cat-in-a-sack), matching grants (translation: whatever is promised by the grant provider must be matched by the applicant, for example, state gives $100 you have to give $100), NYS Public Library Construction Grant (translation: you get this only if you commit to remaining on the property for at least 10 years, that’s why the 10-year lease).”

When pressed for more information the director was only able to say “We’re total novices…every time something comes up it’s more.” Well, that’s very encouraging.

While we don’t deny the importance of a public library in any community we have some serious doubts about this nutty plan. First of all, any such plan should be supported by numbers that support the need for more than twice the current space, and what those numbers tell the public about how the library is being used. There are no such numbers apparently. So, Good-bye! The general uncertainty of the plan is another hare-raising point; there’s no rhyme or reason to the financial sense of the proposal. It’s all very murky. Too many questions and too few convincing answers.

What is the population in the district doing? What are the needs of the community, the district? What is the socio-economic structure of the community, the district? What is the business climate in the community, the district (pretty awful, from where I’m standing)? What is the real justification for this half-baked, overly enthusiastic, very risky project.

Our advice at this point in time under these circumstances: Vote the Proposal and the Budget down. Vote NO! on the district library budget and expansion plan. It should be put on hold until more reliable facts and figures can be produced and made public!

Alternatively: Demand that the library board cough up some real concrete figures and have them published in the official newspaper for the RCS district for all to read and comment on.

Here is the email address for library director Judith Felston:  felstenj@rcscommunitylibrary.org. Ask your questions directly and please copy us with your questions and her answers. Here’s the e-mail address for RCS Community Library board president Ben Wolfe: president@rcscommunitylibrary.org. Ask him directly about the plan and copy us with your questions and his answers.

But it’s really late to do something like that which should have been done months ago!

Send a link to this blog to friends, family, and elected officials. Write to your newspapers, let your voice be heard before it’s too late!

 

Your library. Keep it simple and cozy!

 

Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
 

Cuts in Staff, Programs Statewide Necessity!

It's up to YOU! Cuts or lose everything!

It’s Up To YOU! You Can’t Have It All and Survive. There have to be program and staff cuts. There’s no other way if we read the writing on the wall and see the reality that other districts across the state are seeing.

School districts across New York state are feeling the crunch and facing the realities:  ‘more with less’ relentlessly and unavoidaboly becomes ‘less with less.‘  Most school districts facing shortfalls in government support of public education are finally waking up: they must face the reality that the upward spiral of services and programs is no longer possible; staff and programs must be cut; there’s no other way.

Here are some links to some published news articles on school districts across New York state that have finally realized that they have to get back to reality and cut, cut, CUT! in order to survive. Even then, the future is uncertain.

If you liked this post, send a link to this blog to a friend! Better still, send it to your state and federal representatives and ask WHY?

You might want to ask your local pulp journalists at the Times Useless, the Daily Mail, and the News Herald why you’re being kept in the dark about this news.

Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!