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July 23, 2009

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Greg

Thank !I really love to read this post

Mario

Your right Mike, and I sooooo wrong.

Have a good night Mike.

Mario

mike

Oh yeah Mario, what have the schools done in the last few years to trim their budget? Ask Dr. Wittwer how many positions have been cut in the last three years, ask him how much the budgets at the schools are being trimmed to manage the economy, ask which programs have been cut to save money. The schools have done a lot to save you the tax payers money. What have you done for our students lately?

mike

Sorry Mario, but I got to say it, you are the problem with voters today. I don't have time to go to meetings, I don't have time to read the articles about the issues, someone give me a sound bite and I will make my decision based upon that. You ask for the schools to be accountable and want to know where the money is going? The school publishes a financial report every year, it is posted on the web site www.findlaycityschools.org Maybe you are to busy to take the time to read it. try an email to the superintendent or the treasurer. You must have been one of those students in school that expected the teacher to give you all the information without you having to do any of the work. This is a democracy that we live in. In order for it to work we have to participate in it. That means more than just voting, it means getting informed, going to meetings, reading articles in the paper, doing research. Quit your b****ing and go to a meeting, talk to the people in charge and find out what is happening.

Mario

Its time for a new election in November reguarding the school proposal, and I wish the school systems good luck--but I will still vote it down this time also....Mario

Mario

Grant,
Thank-you much for your openness to disscuss the schools problems here in Findlay.
And although I'm not of a cookie cutter mold, I do listen to others and their opinions.
It is not my intentions to chastise others on the Findlay city school votes in November, however their are some things that other citizens of findlay want explained about out school system.
Namely--it has to do with "the spending going wild".
The park system was in need of money awhile back.
They (the park system) passed that levy and they are almost out of control about the way they are money spending after passing that levy.
Not saying Findlay city schools are not in control of our school spending.
However, the school does have a $53,000,000.00 budget for themselves.
And all I want is total acountability. Open book acoundability. I will find out the answers to their budget acountablility in this time of the "great recession".
They should not only show us the money flow is, but also show us where the payback is reguarding education.
Also, expain to us the public what "is our true motives for Findlay students" and where this money is going to come from "if we don't have it".
If it is us that will lay out our money for this project, and with our taxe dollars, please show us how triming the hedges of overpowering government glut and out of control spending will take us (including the school system expendures, and will it take us to the next level of out of control spending (unacountable control).
And in other words, exactally what is the school willing to give up that will bring down this chocking amount of current expendures?
I, myself give up a lot to live in these "tight times".
Show me what the school is giving up in its $53,000,000.00 budget. Nothing but trivial persuits and unfocused needs prevale.

The End, thanks Mario J. Bower

God--I sure glad I got that off my shoulders.

Grant Russel

Mario

the reasoning for this plan was readily available via open forums held at schools, the web-site or a simple phone call or email to Superintendent Wittwer. But that was in the past and the results of the levy vote make in painfully obvious that the levy campaign did not succeed in their efforts to inform the public. (Their fault - not yours.) With the on the ballot in November, they have a chance to get it right this time and you will have an opportunity to have all your questions answered.

I was strongly opposed to the three school plan floated a few years ago. I was very skeptical about this plan at first. However I attended two sessions at Donnell, I talked with Wittwer, I listened, asked questions and eventually became convinced.

I have had a son go through Donnell and have my youngest as a 6th grader there now. (The youngest will loose his last year at Donnell if the plan goes through and will never enjoy the new school if it is built.) I know what Donnell is like. All I have on the line in this issue is the inconvenience of a few years of construction near my house (I live near Donnell), my kids middle school commute changed from a couple of minutes to 20 minutes and higher taxes. I support this plan.

Mario, you seem like a reasonable guy from your posts. You had enough guts enter the arena and run for office. I would be happy to meet you any place at any time and tell you why I support this levy plan.

Grant Russel

Mario

Mike,

You might be right about the exsisting school system being in such array. And I agree it is.
And I would like all to know that I am not opposed to new schools (in the interest of the students).
"The plan," is what I am oppossed to.
A Plan with little consideration to "plan a, plan b and plan c".
And after these plans are presented to the public through surveys and such--which my be right for todays times.
All I've heard about is plan "a".
And thats a little to hard for my pocket book.
Don't give me this crap about how its only maybe $20.00 or a couple of meals a month.
This is about "what cost we can do without" and Nov
3rd is the question mark.
Sorry, don't have time for meetings, and the burden is on the systems to correct it-self
Mario--

mike

Mario,
I don't get it. What else do you want the schools to do to convince you that new schools are needed? Have you been there the last week or so? It is a roasting box where students have had to sit in classrooms in 90+ temperatures while trying to learn. In classes with up to 30 students and one teacher. In classrooms where the numbers have had to be capped because there is no more room for desks or chairs in the classroom. But yet, it is not justified. Give me a break. I can't imagine an adult that had to work in the conditions that we send our children to being happy. At least as an adult we can say that we are getting paid to do a job in these poor conditions. Our children are sent there and expected to make the best of it. Give me a break Mario, wake up and smell the coffee. This city is in need of new schools.

Mario

P.S.

The Courier is much less likely to print any thing from me in the future, in my opinion. I sure I'm a little far to left for their ways of thinking. And although I live a libral life, under the pillow in this community, I test all my democratic provliges to the extent now and then.

When the Courier lopped off it liberal roots a couple of decades ago, seperating newspapers, the Courier has tried to (in my mind) transform everyone else in this city to their points of view. A little consertive.

And when running for City Council in this town, I learned that the courier prints what it wants to print. "Forgive me buts thats the truth".

But I keep trying to have my say even it I feel they would like me to be silent. "What they don't know is I have plenty of libral friends"---ha, ha, ha, ha, ha---

Your friend in Crist always---Mario---

Mario

Since this is after the election and probably now-one will read these future comments I post, I commend the school system for trying to make the city of Findlay a better place by installing new schools in Findlay.

Although the levy did not pass, I encourage all to vote no and against the issue in the future.

Untill the education board and administration, the city of Findlay officials and their interest and Hancock County officials and their interest, all take in consideration of some better plan that will not only benifit this community, but also the situation that most citizens in this community are in-- they would be irresponsible and insensitive to the the people that support this community monitarly.

We must say no to future tax support without good cause and proper justifcation. And place so called tax request "Under the Microscope of proper,tests by fire". A term used to describe test of true diligence and proper justification.

This citizens, should be our true objectives as proper tax responsibile payers.

Love you all that are commited to the cause, Mario J. Bower

Thomas

Just like RiverPlace was supposed to attract businesses and "quality doctors" to the area too, uh Jay?

Jay

I am extremely disappointed by the city of Findlay tonight. Do you not realize how having good looking, newer schools betters the community and even entices companies to come here? Look at Perrysburg...great school and they get more business than us. Even look at Van Buren and Liberty Benton, people are drawn there because of the new schools. Remember, Findlay's student numbers are dropping and the enrollment numbers are going up in the county schools. It would improve home values around the new school areas.

I know the economy is tight, but even in a good economy, the length of this levy would pass through two other recessions at least due to the ebb and flow of economics. Seriously, it was less than 10.00 a month for a 100,000 home. Money is tight for us also, but I was willing to pass up McDonald's for one day out of the month to better our community.

Also, it is disappointing that students who would definitely better succeed with a technical education will be hurt by this also. Nothing left to say, but just sheer disappointment with the people of this community.

michaeljgardner

C'mon Courier, stick a fork in it, it's done!

mike

Make sure you all go out today and vote!!!!

michaeljgardner

James,
Thanks for your reply.

I still think the team missed a lower cost alternative to the one they proposed.

If the savings from utilities and staff reduction was provided in a dollar figure, and it was explained how that savings would benefit the taxpayers, I'll retract that part of my statement.

And truly James, thanks for taking the time to exchange ideas here on this forum.

mike

I whole heartily agree with Mario. It is important to defend our positions and ideas, that is why we live in a Democracy. I plan on voting yes tomorrow, although I have said all along that even though we need new schools, the district has shown a need, has come up with a plan to do it properly, I just don't think the taxpayers can take any more taxes levied on them (you go to love this comment Mario). I hope I am wrong, I hope that the community will rally and see that there is a need for new schools. That this can be a rebuilding point for this community. I just feel like we have yet to recover from those floods two years ago. This is our opportunity to start building Findlay back to what it was, a way to encourage new businesses (can you just hear the dramatic upbeat music in the background right now) to come to our community, and most importantly to show students that education is a cornerstone of this community. Amen, Hallelujah, and God bless.

Mario

Whom ever I may have upset in this forum, I respectfully have listened to you, and respect your thoughts and concerns. This will be my final comment and thought thru out. Good luck on your votes tomorrow pro's, however I have and always will fight a battle with the absoluteness of my beliefs and convictions in spite of my weaknesses and brashness. God bless you all. Mario

james

Thanks to all for this robust, informative debate in this forum. Hopefully, the passion and vigor of this debate will carry over into future debates in forums that reach more of our citizens. That said, debate in any forum is significantly better than no debate at all.

Michael, I believe Eric Anderson gave you at least once example in this forum (heating costs) as to the utilities savings. Further, I'm not certain how, having not attended any of the public forums, you can say the levy proponents have not provided information regarding operational savings. The information has been presented. You have decided (a) to disregard it, and (b) to not take advantage of the various opportunities (besides this forum) to express your opinions and concerns, and to defend your position, in person. Please do not slight the levy team by suggesting they are hiding information or that they have not vetted all of the options. Regardless of the outcome, this team has worked tirelessly over the last several months educating the public and providing opportunities for public discourse, and for that they should be thanked.

michaeljgardner

All,
They could have given us a less expensive option than the same $54 Million it costs to build two new schools but didn't. They could have also told us how much money they'd save in reducing staffing and utilities, but didn't.

It's your money. Vote for whatever you feel is best, but by all means vote!

Mario

Food for thought,
When I decide to remodel my house, I look at each room. I also look for expansion. Several apraisals are in order before I start, and I sure don't consider knocking the house down without good reason.

These Schools being built for this amount of money have not been in the planning stages long acording to another source in the school system. Shhh. Its a secret.

We all know the song and dance. The more the money the higher the stakes. This project is based on lots of money. And when the government is involved, be it local, state or federal there is very seldom the proper acountability that the private sector has.

All they need to do is sell the product, not acount for much else after that.

And if the government runs into cost overruns or payoffs, we all just look the other way and say so what. But yes there is some acountability, and the acountability is shallow and brought into play only when gross miss-conduct is involved.

"Its the government" right look the other way. Be it local, state or federal, all the same.

Just look whats going on with our money right now in government.


D
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ughh, so disheartning Your good friend concerning those tax dollars. Besides Ralph Nader, Mario

Mario

Mike,
I so sorry to hear your decision reguarding this school issue. I thought we were on the same wave length. And may God bless you to Mike. Mario

mike

Mario,

I have enjoyed our discussion on this site. I like to hear different view points and to be able to express them in a manner that helps people understand both view points. While I plan on going and cancelling your vote out tomorrow with mine I do understand the position you take, I just think that this is one of the more important tax issues that we will face in the near future. Good luck to you.

Mario

Hello and greetings to all the non-supporters of this school bond issue,

I wrote to tell you how hard I've been working to tell as many people as I can what a mistake it would be to pass a pricy bond issue like this knowing how many of you are losing homes and can barely afford to send your kids to school during this recession (and frankly I call it a depression). God only knows how long this depression, opps I mean resession will go on, and only god and the fortune tellers know around here know. Actually I had a family member of the school systems call me yesterday and ask me how I was going to vote, and I said I was against it because of the economy right now (not what some will predict it to be)and she said, and I quote this to you from a member of the school system, "Thank god mario, I also will be voting it down. Do you know how much my property taxes went up last year? Two hundred dollars!!! And I can't afford another increase." I felt so sorry for her right now, not knowing and all. And to all you none supporters of this bill, hang in there and we'll give this our best shot tomorrow. THIS IS A MATTER OF AFFORDABILITY, and our property taxes going through the roof. And for all you supporters, vote for this issue because there are many more tax issures right around the corner such probably more important than this. Before its all over we'll all be in a 99.9% tax bracket. God bless you. Mario

james

In response to the "no new taxes" statements and references to Bush 1, I believe those statements were made in the context of federal-level taxes, with a "small federal government" backdrop, and specifically intended to make the point that state and local governments are best-suited to handle state and local issues. The statement was not a blanket "no new taxes, regardless of taxing jurisdiction." In fact, the proposed levy is precisely the type of solution contemplated by the original statement. The levy proposes to use state and local funding for a local issue - outdated, run-down, deficient school buildings. At some point in time, given the position of the current Administration, we may very well see additional federal involvement in local school issues, most pointedly buildings and grounds issues. The levy is a good way to make certain the local citizenry is managing its own affairs.

mike

Jim,

Maybe set up a small yearly tax over the next 28 years so we don't have to pay for it all at once? Sounds like a great idea to me. The need for renovation of those three buildings have been estimated at close to 54 million. Of course we will need additional monies for rent of Millstream and administrative offices, so we better tack on a few more bucks there. How about a nice round 60 mil over 28 years? Let's put it on the ballot!! :)

Jim

Mike,

The outcry would probably still be there because an increase in taxes is still involved. However, I don't think the renovation should cost $54 million. It also could be done in stages to keep cost down. Again, this should have been an ongoing project. Buildings need maintained, otherwise they will fall apart. Are we letting them fall apart in hopes to make new buildings more attractive?

25% off may get your attention, but I am sure most people realize they still need to put forth 75%. I don't care how great of a deal it is, if I cannot afford the 75% then it is not worth pursuing. That's the number I see, and it is certainly the bigger portion.

mike

Jim,
I wonder if this bond was up asking for the money for the renovation of these three schools if there would be the same outcry? I am sure it would be more like, "54 mills? Why we could build two or three new buildings for that amount, how irresposible of the school district to put our students back into sub par buildings when we could build new."

I also have to disagree on the state portion only being a small portion. By your numbers it is 25% of the cost. When I go shopping and I see items that are 25% off it gets my notice.

Jim

Quality of education does not stem from having the newest buildings on the block. Donnell and Glenwood are perfectly capable of housing students and giving them a good education. Skills I learned at Donnell have stuck with me and they fully prepared me for high school, college, and beyond. I attest that to the education I received, not the building I was taught at.

Are the buildings in need of repair? Yes, they could be fixed up. I could make some assumptions on why they haven't been, but I don't know all the circumstances, so I will leave it at that. Regardless, I don't believe renovation is an irresponsible option. I also don't see it costing $54 million. What is being included in these renovation costs to make it that high?

In no way are these buildings "past their useful life." I haven't seen many educational benefits of having these new schools. Just the assumption that having newer and bigger facilities is better. Foreign language classes would be available then. It requires a new school to do that? Seriously?

Increase in taxes is the strongest opposition against the levy. I can agree with that, carrying that burden for the next 28 years is a serious responsibility. The state providing $18 million is only a small portion of the cost and should not be seen as the ultimate reason to act now. I don't think the true cost of this levy has been realized and it could lead to even more problems down the road. Findlay needs to be able to handle the financial weight, and right now that is questionable for a lot of people.

My personal feelings are ones that might not resonate with a lot of people. I find it very tragic that people are so willing to disregard the historical importance of these schools. What are we going to start destroying next just because the building is old? The court house, post office, Old Main? The disposable society we seem to live in today is appalling.

mike

Sorry Mario, I meant GB 1 my bad. Thanks Mike for the information on how Millstream is paid for , very enlightening.

Mario

For years schools systems push bond issues through the children, and threaten the most vulnerable areas such as sports etc. As they use the children to appeal to the parents they always push them through sucessfully. And if they don't pass, the school systems continue to fund election after election with our money untill it does pass. Many time these are special elections and it is not so their will not be many voters to whitewash with their propaganda. And the schools always win these staged elections, as I believe they will this time. Too bad citizens no longer have a even playing field to make their own decisions. Most decisions are made for them with highly profession advertising that you and I pay for to convince us to vote for something down deep we really don't want. Lets skip and the fancy talk with charts and graphs and comparisons that would even make the strong fall asleep and vote this bond issue in. In the long run the more educated with powers of good money well spent on highly advertised properganda will win out, and we will have no choice because our inner self will always serve the machines of deplomancy.

Mario

Mike,
Please brush up on History 101, it wasn't GW 1 that said it. And hes was in my opinion the greatest president and did keep his word even though I'm a democrat.
Thanks for trying though, Mario.
P.S. Economics 101 may also help you out. As I said earlier most people during this resession can't aford new and better.

Mike Barnhart, FCS Treasurer

In addition to my 4:35 post, the $25 per pupil amounts to about 90K per year so by raising that another $75 per pupil, FCS would be getting another 270K per year to help with the debt service on the Millstream portion of the project.

``

Hi Mike,

As it is now, each Millstream district except Findlay, pays $25 per pupil based on their enrollment for grades 9-12 to cover capital needs. This is their actual 9-12 enrollment, not actual students attending Millstream. This barely covers the cost of the lease for Millstream Tech. Once students begin to attend a new facility at Millstream, the plan is that those districts will pay an additional $50 per pupil for rent, and in the 2nd year and thereafter they will be paying $75 per pupil. Again those are based on their 9-12 enrollment in their district regardless of how many or how few they actually send to Millstream.

P.S. Millstream districts are also directly billed for students who attend Millstream based on actual program costs. About 40% of Millstream students are from surrounding districts. The existence of Millstream allows FCS to defray some of the costs of its vocational education by billing the other Millstream districts.

mike

Mario, he may have said it, but he didn't back it up. Even GW 1 knew that new taxes need to be levied when a community is in need.

Michael B. since you are on, could you tell me how the other schools are going to help pay for Millstream? I know that many students attend Millstream that are not Findlay kids. How are these districts going to chip in to pay their fair share of the burden?

Mario

Mike,
You said the magic words "may be the best time to build".
Now is not a good time to build is people do not have the money to build, like most of us. As far as your economic figures, I'm quite well aware the this country is being temporily proped up by China. And when China gets tired to supplying the US with money, we will be right back in the same "do do" all over again. So don't give me the impression that were ok with the economy. This is just the begining. However it is a "wait and see" economy. Not just your glorified expectations of what "may be".
Which brings me to my original argument. "Now is not the time to build new, and I say NEW schools that is projected to be 73 million dollar (excluding cost overuns) and unacountable money that always run with these projects.
Boy that was a mouthful even for me. Read my lips, "NO NEW TAXES" spoken by the greatest president of our time.

Mike Barnhart, FCS Treasurer

Hi Dawn. The $368,307 is the annual payment for the freshman wing that was added onto FHS in 1999. It is a 15 year lease on which FCS takes full ownership in 2014 so FCS will not be paying that indefinitely.

The 88K for administrative offices is for the office space that used to be in the basement of Central (Supt, Asst Supt, Treasurer, Special Ed, Curriculum) but had to be relocated during the flood of 2007. We signed a 2-year agreement with options for an additional 2 years which we expect to utilize. The leasing for administrative offices will need to continue beyond that period unless this levy passes.

If the levy passes it will free up space in Central which can be used for administrative offices (2nd floor, this time) and possibly rental to other interested parties while getting us out from that lease. Yes, the Supt's office would be moved to Central with all the other administrative offices and the Digital Academy.

Similarly, we are leasing space for Millstream Tech, which was displaced by relocating our Washington Elementary students last year to where they are now (what a big improvement for our Washington students!). We are in the 2nd year of that lease for about 80K per year and then we have options for years 3 and 4 which would take the cost up to 103K per year. That lease will also need to continue unless this levy passes.

The passage of this levy will benefit the district by getting it away from about 191K of leasing costs (88K administrative offices and 103K Millstream Tech).

No there is no backup plan to ask for additional monies. This is the best plan because it gives our taxpayers and students the best benefit at the lowest cost...all other plans were too expensive and/or operationally substandard.

Matt

Dawn,

Monday night they are having a levy meeting at Glenwood. Reps will be there to answer those questions, feel free to stop by. Great questions by the way. If you can't make it, I plan on being there and will ask those. I thought I heard awhile back that the admin offices would not be in the basement of Central but possibly the first floor. Not sure of their plans should the levy not pass I would assume they would have to keep renting the Millstream building and admin offices.

mike

Mario,
But there is good news. The economic indicators tell us that we are about to come out of this recession. Numbers in the stock market show these trends, as do housing numbers, other economic indicators, and, hopefully, unemployment numbers later this week. If we are coming to an end of this low economic time, what a time to build. Costs are going to be lower now then they will be once the economy is back on its feet. This may be the best time to build.

Mario

I think that many sponsors of this tax bill are missing the whow point. Local, state and federal government are trying to take ever so much money out of our the taxpayers pockets that WE CANNOT AFFORD. Where are our priorties? We need safety in place so our kids can get to school safe with the help of the police force and protection from fire that our children also need. Reguardless of what you supporters are saying,there is only so much money to go around right now and not everyone has as much money as the supporters of the school initative. Therefore lets regenerate our energy to supporting the maintance end of these problems and forget about the new end. WE DO NOT NEED NEW SCHOOLS RIGHT NOT, we need to adapt to what we already have, and the sound education we have today. Do you idiots actually believe the library needs a new building because of new apeals to the public with the shape their in. A few years ago the library wanted a new building but do you think they will try and justify it right now? I don't think so. Wait till times are better to ask for something new. Nobody has the money to ask for new now except those that have the extra time to generate these support letters. WE ARE IN A RESESSION, DUE TO BE A DEPRESSION. Get your heads out of your....

mike

Dawn, I don't recall ever hearing a plan if the levy did not pass. Maybe they are just thinking positive. I do know that Wittwer (supt.) said that the administrative offices would never return to the basement of Central again. Now if that means moving classrooms there, or continuing to lease I am not sure,but as the school is right now there would have to be some renovations to change the offices in the basment into classrooms and changes in another hallway to create offices. As for Millstream, when Washington had to be moved it took up the space that was needed for Millstream, the choices there seem to be: build, rent or get rid of it.

mike

Michael,
Explain this to me. If the schools are just money grubbers trying to take us at every turn, why not ask for three new middle schools? That would make sense, we have three why change? When you look at the proposal it makes sense that in order to save on staffing, busing and building costs that we cut down to two new schools. As for the cost of remodeling, did you think about what is going to take to bring all three schools up to ADA code? Right now just one of the three building has an elevator to meet the needs of the handicap students. I don't think any of them have handicap bathrooms and two of them have no way for people in wheel chairs to get around. In fact if a student were to be injured and end up in a wheel chair they would have to transfer school. If we are to remodel, not only do we have to improve on the heating and cooling systems, repair the technology inferstucture, but we would have to re-do bathrooms, place in elevators and change many of the elements of the school to bring them up to code. So I don't think the district is blowing smoke when they say the cost to remodel all three is close to the cost of new.

Bill, as for being a role model... I just think it is sad that this community is more apt to create new soccer, baseball fields, and ice rinks then they are to creat new schools. Maybe we should be teaching our kids how to prioritize how our money is spent in our community and that education should be the top priority, not one that is thought of later if we have the money left over.

Dawn

I missed the meetings but have a question about leased buildings.

http://www.findlaycityschools.org/financial/2010Budget.pdf

On page 14 (17 of the PDF file) is Lease of FHS Addition (through 2014) for $368,307 the building used for Millstream?

The administration offices are leased for $85-$88 thousand a year. The levy plans say the Board will move back to Central. Will the Superintendent's offices be at Central?

My question is if the levy doesn't pass then will the schools keep paying the leases indefinitely? Is there a backup plan to ask for money for renovations and to take care of offices and Millstream?

michaeljgardner

Mike,
I couldn't agree more that we need to invest in our kids. The problem I have, is how do you decide the right amount to invest? The levy is for $54 Million. Is that the right amount? If $54 Million is good, would $108 Million be better?

The $54 Million for the levy was established as the cost for two new schools. The levy supporters back-stopped that number by saying that remodeling all three schools would cost almost as much. My issue is that it doesn't look like they tried real hard to come up with a alternate number that did anything other than support what they wanted - two new schools.

In my initial post, I questioned whether a remodeling of two schools instead of building two new should be considered, and used their numbers to show that Central and one of the other schools could be remodeled providing sufficient capacity for students at a cost some $10-$11 Million less than the new school plan.

Do I think remodeling two of the existing schools is the best option? I'm not sure, but since it saves over $10 Million it should be considered.

To address the return on the investment, I think with the new schools it should be fairly easy. How much are we going to save by staff reduction and by reduced utility costs? Will that savings reduce the operating cost to the taxpayers, or will it be spent on something else?

James

Bill, To be clear, I don't believe a facilities/capital improvement levy has been passed for Findlay schools since the mid-1960's. Let me know if you have evidence otherwise as I hate to spread falsehoods.

BillWolfJr

Hey Michael I will take this one.

Mike you are stating the problem and may not even know it. We are NOT investing in the children, we are investing in buildings! If investing in the children was the issue I do not believe the opposition would be so strong, there are many ways to invest in the children. I do not believe they care so much about the building they are in. A quality education comes from quaility teachers, as your wife understands, I am sure. Why is she spending her own money on educational materials? That is a shame with with the wasteful spending the District does. I remember a few years back when a levy was passed for capital improvemnets or something, soon after there was $300.00-$400.00 signs in the front of all the schools Thanking everyone. That really made me mad, as that money had much better uses.

Yes, they are old buildings, yes they are not as efficient as new ones would be, yes they need to be maintained, and yes maybe someday they will need replaced, but not today.

Invest in the children by giving them quality teachers, the tools they need, and the motivation to achieve. This not the job of buildings this the job of Parents, Administrators, Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and Volunteers.

As for being a role model for our youth, I hope my children are learning from my opposition to this levy that you need to question the real motivations of taxpayer funded entities. I am not a pin number that those in power can just punch in and receive my hard earned money, and they should not be either. I am much better at deciding where my money is spent.

The children of this community deserve the best, I agree but not at the expense of common sense. There is a better way, lets do that!

mike

Michael,
This is where logic does not work in dealing with education "I want to be able to associate results with an investment." We are investing in our children, you can't see the return immediatly, they are not stocks and bonds, but people. The return comes years from now when they are productive members of our community. This is one of those chances to be role models to our young people, so show them that we take education seriously in Findlay and that our students are important enough to spend this money on. We don't blink an eye when it comes to building a new ice rink with ball fields (God know we need more ball fields in Findlay). Children already know sports are important in Findlay, now let's show them how important education is.

michaeljgardner

James,
Thank you for your considerate and thoughtful response. I'm not sure I can address the circular logic comment, buy yes, you're right, I'd be asking anyone putting up a levy to present alternatives and the initial and subsequent costs incurred by those alternatives, whether it's for buildings, operating expenses or teachers salaries. You're correct, I will not be voting on this issue, but I will be paying property taxes and I do think I have a right to voice my opinion on this issue.

Your analogy of the doctor using technology is a good one. But, like Bill Wolf Jr., I want to be able to associate results with an investment. An unskilled doctor with the latest technology is worse than a skilled doctor without the latest and greatest.

As for sitting with Eric and having a beer, so far that sounds good. But I think the point I made about increasing teachers salaries was in response to an argument made that the new buildings would attract new teachers. I responded if you want to attract the teachers, pay them more. Now you want me to advocate both? I don't think so.

You must think I work at Captain D's with all the fish I'm frying :-) Thankfully, it's the weekend and I don't fry on the weekend.

Matt

Michael,

I did read your lengthy post like you suggested and while I concur with you that the education is more important then the facilities, I do however think they are not seperate, they go hand in hand. I know first hand that when the building is not performing the way it should, kids cannot think straight. Imagine sitting in a classroom while it is a stifling 85 degrees in the middle of the winter and the teacher can't open the windows because it would throw off the thermostat for the rest of the school. This happens in Findlay and there is not much they can do because the heating infrastructure is so old. Either way the schools need help, so either we pay for new efficient schools or they will ask for higher operating levy to use the same inefficient heating system in place or they will ask for an improvement levy. Either way we have to do something. I know some people will say well they aren't keeping up with the schools and get someone in there to fix the stuff, but when the school board has to lay people off to sure up the budget then what are they supposed to do? We can't ask the schools to be lean if the buildings and infrastructure aren't. The Findlay city school system is filled with extremely hard working people who love and teach other peoples kids when their own parents don't, they work long hours to make sure the kids get the quality education they deserve. They spend their own money to make sure kids have the tools they need to do their job. I know this because my wife is a teacher in Findlay (not at any of the schools on the levy either) and spends a ton of money to do her job because she cares about those kids. All I am asking is to please consider the people that have to occupy these buildings day in and day out, this is a need, not a want.

We are not attracting new businesses to Findlay with our schools. All of the wealthy people moving to the Findlay area go to LB or VanBuren, why is that? The prospective client doesn't sit in the classes for a day or two to see what kind of education they are going to get, they take a quick walk through the buildings and make their decision based on the fact that, they see a community that not only believes in quality education but they also believe that modern facilities are a wise use of their tax dollars as well. My vote is a yes because the new schools will have lower operating costs, not because my wife is a teacher. What I don't understand is we are talking about 3 buildings replacing 4? The one building we are leasing,(millstream) isn't it smarter to own then rent? Building equity is better then throwing money in someone else's pocket isn't it? I know I don't like my tax dollars going to landlords do you?

mike

What I don't understand is why people keep saying that this is being rushed through. The first I heard of this was five years ago when the district put up a levy for new buildings which did not pass. Then about two years ago we had this flood thing and the schools started talking about how they would like to get the students out of Central and Washington and fix the problems that they had. Last year the Courier reported that the school board was looking into putting a levy up to purchase new schools using the tobacco settlement monies. All spring this year there have been meetings at various schools and community members homes discussing this. I think that if you seriously think that the distict is trying to rush this issue through you must be holed up somewhere catfishing with Mario :)

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