Sunday, July 15, 2012

SP-EYE Turns Five!

What a difference 5 years makes!
Hard to believe...we know...but SP-EYE has been on-line for 5 years today.

Let's set the Wayback Machine to July 15, 2007 and see what was going on back then.

First...the school board composition:

Boylen...Gone! a 1-yr blunder
Carrel...Gone! We had mixed feelings about Jim.
Diedrich...Still going...perhaps going away next spring. 
Havel-Lang...Gone! Death by Boundary fiasco.
McCourt...Gone!  Off eating seabass nightly in San Fran
Stackhouse...Gone!  To court & possibly a bright orange jumpsuit
Whalen...Still with us. Taking a licking but still kicking.

Reminisce with us at our very first post....before we had honed our graphical skills!

SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2007
1. District Administrator Tim Culver's salary is higher than that of Governor Doyle. The combined salaries of the top 4 administrators in the district exceeds one-half MILLION dollars.

check it out:

2. While the rest of the world , including state employees, pays some or all of their health care costs, we, the taxpayers, covered 100% of school district employees' health benefits up until this year. Now they still pay only 2-4% of health care costs. State
employes typically pay 6-8% or more.

3. During the past school year (2006-07) taxpayers paid for over $7000 worth of pizza, subs and other food for administrators and staff, typically charged to "[Department] Supplies"

4. Instead of appointing an individual who narrowly missed election in both 2006 and 2007 to a school board vacancy, the School Board appointed an individual who has lived in Sun Prairie for less than 3 years, and whose career experience is in school administration. Think we got a vote for taxpayers here?

5. It's budget time again! The annual public meeting is in October. Did you know that when the rest of us have a co-worker who loses a family member or celebrates some big event, we all chip in and buy flowers. The School District, however, has a policy that allows it to purchase flowers for its employees on these occasions on the taxpayers' dime.

What's changed...
1. Not much... Dr. Culver still earns more than our Governor.  But now at least Dr. Culver has like 3 more degrees than the governor.  Degrees are worth more...right?

2. Success! Thanks to Act 10, this year ALL employees are paying half of their retirement, 12% of health insurance benefits, and 8% of dental insurance.  Progress is slow...but change has come.

3.  Mostly Success! They still do the pizza thing on occasion, but FAR less than they used to.

4.  Success! This was Boylen.  Despite having an applicant that narrowly missed being elected in April, come June the board selected Boylen after a poorly connected 5-minute telephone interview from some bar in like Eagle River.  Genius.  This year, under new board president Tom Weber's reign, they did it right and selected a very worthy Steve Schroeder.

5. Failure.  The floral memorials for employees and their families still continues at the taxpayer's expense.  Is it a nice thing to do?  Sure.  But it's also wrong for taxpayers to pay from memorials for district employees and their kin.   The state doesn't allow it and neither should the district.  Hard to get 4 board members that will say, "No", though.

What's still to come...
Sp-Eye is staying around until we're no longer needed.  After seeing just the tip of the iceberg with the budget, athletic fees and Ashley Field, we'll be flying cover for you, the people, for some time.