Saturday, May 7, 2011

School Board and Committee Meeting Hot Topics for May 9, 2011

First up is a joint FTT/Finance meeting discussing budget proposals and purchasing guidelines.

3.01 Action on Buildings and Grounds Operating and Capital Projects Budget
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This low hanging fruit is ripe for the picking. Of course the district will attempt to dilute the issue with a myriad of minor issues. Standard misdirection. Stay the course; the numbers do not lie. We are overstaffed and over-budgeted.

3.02 Conversion of Buildings and Grounds Operating Budget to Staffing (Utility Worker)
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What are you.... all hopped on goofballs? How does sacrificing ONE YEAR of budget fluff cover the costs of a PERMANENT employee? Just when we think this district couldn't possibly come up with anything more wacky, here comes this nutjob.

4.01 Procedure DJ-R, Purchasing Procedure
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Simply stated, something is wrong when the policy amounts allow the district to purchase a brand spanking new VEHICLE without school board approval. This was a Jim Carrel (in cohorts with Jim McCourt) mistake that needs to be erased. We need to not only SOLICIT but OBTAIN at least 3 bids on anything over $5,000-10,000.

Then we move on to the school board where two of the previous subjects get acted upon in a "same night" decision. Thought we didn't do that? And what's the rush? If the budget isn't "final" until October?

4.03 Use of Fund Balance to Lower 2011-12 Tax Levy
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Why is this even a question? Let's have more in fun balance than policy minimum? You have an opportunity to save struggling taxpayers money? DUH! This is a no-brainer. The only question we have is why not take MORE out of fun balance? After all, we proposed doing so previously with no adverse impact. Many other school districts are doing it.

4.04 2011-2012 Budget Parameters
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ONLY a 3.5% tax levy increase? Are you KIDDING us? Do you READ the newspapers?

[Info] 8.03 Transfer of 2011-12 Budget Dollars for New Staffing and AVID
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Convert $19,000 in budget parameter and $11,000 of the "seasonal hire" budget to hire an FTE? REALLY? Really! We gotta ask the simple question...does the $30K include the cost of fringe benefits? Because it it doesn't, then where's THAT coming from? And if it does...let's assume benefits are 30% of salary cost. That means a $30K employee earns $23K in salary and $7K in benefits. $23K translates to about $11/hr. Who are we going to get for that money?

And more importantly, Budget money is one-year money...people are forever. How are we paying for this person NEXT year? Or is the plan, once hired, to just hide...oooooh...did we say "hide"...we think we meant "slide" him/her into the budget as existing salary/.fringe cost? And what about raises down the road? That will cost us even more. Pull a Nancy Reagan, and just say "NO". We don't take candy from strangers, and we don't convert budget "materials" into people.