Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jimmy McClowry and the VERY Bummer Summer

Poor athletic director McClowry...
Monday July 30th should have been the last of his 30 day vacation.
But no vacation for him!
Instead he was the guest of honor at a school board work-study session looking into athletic fees and athletics and activities budget.

McClowry came out of the chute smoking, even presenting what some considered a thinly veiled "threat" when he noted the extreme turnover of athletic directors statewide and particularly in the Big 8 conference.  He concluded with, "Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at the most tenured AD in the Big 8 conference with 6 years."

Over the course of the 2.5 hour meeting, McClowry...

  • ...saw his proposed (and originally approved) hockey fees reduced from $375 down past the $200 last year fee down to the "Tier 3" level of $85.
  • ...faced a number of questions regarding the inequities in his fee setting logic,
  • ...referred multiple times to the need to "gradually change" fees to keep pace with other districts only to have board member Steve Schroeder (correctly we might add) that going from collecting $53K in fee revenue to $89K (a 68% increase) in fee revenue does not constitute "gradual"
  • ...suffered the public unveiling of the "true" cost of Ashley Field maintenance (which the district has had for nearly 2 years) --in great detail--as $16K, far lower than the $60K the public had been told previously.
  • ...also suffered from another revelation--another closely-held-to-the-vest estimate of $350K to build ANOTHER baseball field.  What we didn't learn was ....WHY.  Hmmm...and Dr. Culver wonders why at the public budget hearing people were concerned about "secret" budget initiatives.
  • ...was forced to reveal a little know fact: that the FFA (Future Farmers of America) club has been (for 50 yrs?) the SOLE benefactor of concessions revenue from football the tune of $33K per year!
  • ...had to reveal that the DECA club is the sole benefactor of almost $30K in revenue generated from the SPHS student "store"...note that it is not the "DECA" store.
  • ...had to reveal that the hockey program is "charged" for ice time and the golf program "charged" for greens fees, while none of the other sports are "charged" for the capital or maintenance cost of THEIR fields//facilities
  • ...came under scrutiny by astute board member Mike Krachey for discrepancies in his data for coach stipends
  • ...also came under scrutiny of board member Steve Schroeder who also astutely observed that we spend more money on both athletic coach stipends and activities advisors than we do on stipends for staff members writing K-12 curriculum.
  • ...had to let it slip that while the district spends a fair amount of money on the Sound of Sun Prairie (SOSP), the district receives NO fee from any of the nearly 100 student participants.  Adding insult to injury, we learned from John Whalen that the SOSP itself charges students a "sliding scale" (increasing from grade 9 to grade 12) of anywhere from $650 to $1000 or more.  Hmmm...isn't that a little like a street dealer giving new customers a little break on the price of the goods to "hook them"?

Yes, folks, it seems that, unlike Judy Moody, Mr. McClowry had a VERY bummer summer.

But lest one think that the hammer came down on Mr. McClowry, the board was quite professional and made it clear that they did not want Mr. McClowry's budget to suffer as a result of their action.