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Levy committee has provided facts



Published: Fri, April 29, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Levy committee has provided facts

Recently there have been some letters to the editor and postings on Vindy.com that are filled with inaccuracies about the need for the school levy in Canfield. As one of the co-chairs of the Canfield School Levy Committee, I wanted to make sure that we published all of the available facts and information for every available source. These include the Ohio Department of Education website, past and current school budgets, as well as information from similar districts. The information our committee gathered and published clearly documents that the Canfield Local School District is run efficiently, provides high quality educational programs, and spends less than other districts while getting excellent results.

In light of recent opinions offered by others, I feel compelled to counter them with the following facts that we have published: 1) the last levy was passed nine years ago and state funding has decreased significantly since; 2) Federal stimulus money was substituted to supplant state funding for the last two years (the state is not replacing those funds); 3) the Tangible Personal Property Replacement Fund was supposed to be phased out starting in 2013 and the subsequent six years; however, that has been accelerated to be phased out in two years; 4) the funds from this operating levy will assist in meeting the increased operational costs of the district (example: the district paid $2.52 per gallon of diesel fuel in September 2010 and in early April 2011 the cost has increased to $3.64 per gallon; other costs that are part of the operations of the district include the usual and customary financial expenses of other businesses (utilities, materials, employee compensation, supplies, auditing fees, equipment, maintenance, transportation fleet, etc.).

More facts to consider about costs and our community: 1) the 6.8 mill operating levy will cost $13.01 per month for a $100,000 home with the Homestead Exemption or $17.35 per month without the Homestead Exemption; 2) comparative studies conducted by the state and private firms document the cost effectiveness and the high achievement of the school district; 3) strong schools contribute to making a community that people find desirable; 4) the quality of schools help maintain property values for all residents, and most importantly; 5) our children must be offered a competitive curriculum.

Armed with the facts, my fellow levy co-chairs and I we are confident that the residents of Canfield will make the educated and responsible choice to support our schools which will in turn keep Canfield the special community that we are proud to live in.

Bob Ward, Canfield

A perfect day to support schools

National Teacher Appreci- ation Day is Tuesday, May 3. It is also the day that Poland residents vote on two school levies. I cannot think of a better way to let the teachers know how much they are appreciated than by voting yes.

It takes effort by both parents and teachers for Poland schools to be rated Excellent with Distinction and for the high school to be designated a Blue Ribbon School. On May 3 it is up to the parents of the 2,253 students to approve the funding necessary to maintain our great schools. Please take a few minutes out of your day and vote yes for Poland schools.

Julie Liddle, Poland

Preserve McDonald with a vote

Please consider voting yes on the McDonald school levy. Our McDonald schools are at a crossroads with a levy. They can fail and have our homes be worth a big zero or they can continue to give children an excellent education. My children and many of yours have received that education and went on to college or other successful endeavors. When they were educated, the majority of seniors at that time passed every school levy (like now, it was sometimes financially difficult).

The blame game is long passed, who knew, what they knew, when they knew, doesn’t matter. The students and excellent teachers are not responsible; so don’t punish them. Please vote yes on the school levy. It will save our schools and the wonderful village of McDonald.

Thank you and God bless you.

Patricia Fedyski, McDonald

The source of Canfield pride

When asked the simple question, “Why did you move to Canfield?” the number one answer is, “I moved to Canfield to provide my children with the best quality education.”

I, for one, can attest to this as my wife and I moved from Youngstown to Canfield in 1983 when our first child was about to enter kindergarten. Having had three children enrolled in the Canfield school system over the course of a total of 16 years, our lives (other than employment and family) were predominantly consumed by activities surrounding and involving Canfield schools. Whether it was the numerous teacher/parent conferences, school concerts, sports activities, awards events, or academic competitions, Canfield school events were largely responsible for instilling a sense of community pride in all of us. This sense of pride has lasted long after our children’s graduation and continues today.

Over this same time period, the country experienced economic upswings and lows. Who could forget the recession during the late 80’s or the out of control inflation in 1990? Yet a stable life in Canfield continued and we all survived, as did our parents during the Great Depression.

I for one feel extremely fortunate to have three successful, happy children who were able to reap the academic and social benefits of the Canfield school system. In retrospect, I can say with certainty that I made the right choice in supporting the Canfield school system, throughout the years, and by making Canfield home for my family and myself over the past 28 years.

Joseph Warino, Canfield

The writer is city manager of Canfield.

Getting the numbers right

Kent State-Salem’s new, vo- cationally oriented insurance studies curriculum sounds like a good way of giving more students at least a glimpse of actuarial fundamentals, which lie in mathematics.

Why is knowledge of insurance fundamentals important? Consider that the debate over Obamacare and all collective bargaining are conducted by medically insured folks who don’t actually know what America’s unique group health insurance is. Lacking technical skills and incentive, politicians and policy makers are unable to draw distinctions between workers, families and the “groups” of group health insurance.

That’s why all health care debate sounds like the blind men of Hindustan at a gabfest, all dead sure of themselves, and all dead wrong about the elephant they’d examined.

That’s why the goal of health care debate must be to reveal the existence of the “groups” of America’s unique group health insurance, and what those “groups” mean.

Jack Labusch, Niles


Comments

1commoncitizen(959 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes on renewels ----NO ON NEW LEVIES!!! This is for ALL schools and government.

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2fran(14 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Fedyski isn't this a similar letter that you wrote in the Trib? The comments made there should also be made here, so that the Vindy readers see whats reall happening in McDonald.

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3fran(14 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Seagull173
Apr-26-11 10:03 AM Agree | Disagree

Maybe voters would be more receptive to a levy if it was smaller (a lot smaller). BOE members resign. Teachers roll back their raises and take a three year freeze. That would pass a levy and make the students the ultimate winners. After all we are all about the students rather than the money are we not?
Seagull173
Apr-26-11 9:57 AM Agree | Disagree
Voters should not support this levy and here's why: 1) We still have the same inept BOE members that have mishandled the taxpayers funds in the past. Why trust them with more taxpayer money. 2) We have administrators BOE members and teachers that have no clue what today's real economic environment is. 3) The board okayed over $250,000 in total for the last two years 2010 and 2009 in raises to the teachers with money they did not have. The teacher's averaged over $2,000 a year in raises. Who gets those kind of raises in today's world. see ****buckeyeinstitute**** for salary information 4) The board could not manage a $6 million dollar budget of which is %85 is payroll and benefits. The point here is that with any type of dedication by a BOE member they should be able to grasp the financial responsibilities that they were entrusted. 5) I don't understand how teachers can accept these raises while student activites, band and art are cut along with facilities management.
Concerned824
Apr-25-11 7:49 PM Agree | Disagree
I agree that the levy should be passed, but what everyone needs to do is to take the blinders & the rose coloered glasses off and look at the whole picture! I feel that the BOE jumped the gun by putting such a high levy on. People look at the problems. We will never get back everything we have lost. At this point right now our homes aren't worth anything & we have nothing to offer our own students, let alone to try an get new ones in. At one point we had a great village & school system, but now we aren't to far behind the other districts the are under some kind of restructering. Sure we are going to get our state monies, and more that what the BOE thought, so then we really don't need a 10.5 levy. I can't afford my taxes to go up anymore, & I'm TRYING to live within my means. Its really bad when gas is $4 a gallon, & look at your water bills, what do you think they will be next time. Then look at the electric & gas bills for your home. We are a 2 income family with car payments, car insurance, a teenage driver, looking at college charges & God forbid the unknown. I really can't even image how a senior on retirement can afford it. Look at the GM & Packard retiries her in the village who don't have health care, & now with Kasich making all the changes. His article in todays Vindy "That 85% of Ohio's students eligible for vouchers."

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4fran(14 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Do you really think McDonald Schools have a chance? I don't!
Then the school system makes the news about a misused credit card. I really don't see how that village could or even should pass a levy!
Like the comment was made--Take the blinders & rose colored glasses off!

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5mcdres2(30 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

McDonald Levy - I really don't understand how the news media knows that a credit card wasn't used properly and residents are just now finding this out. Questions have been asked of this board time and again and this was NEVER mentioned. Is this supposed to instill confidence that the board is doing their job? It seems that this board is all about lies, threats and hiding the truth from us. Can we believe anything that they are saying?

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6mcdres2(30 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

McDonald Levy - I still can't understand why the board hid this from the community. The letter writer asks us to forget about who knew what and when, but this is just too much! Were they hiding this so that there wasn't any competition in the November 2009 election? Is a seat on the board worth putting the community in a $2.1 million dollar hole?

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7yes(10 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Teachers are not over paid. Neither are doctors or attorneys or wherever the average individual works. We are all underpaid, but we all watch the overpaid work. By this I mean those who watch television. Compared to actors, football players, basketball players, or baseball players and newscasters, we make peanuts.

The fact confronting Canfield, Poland, McDonald, and many school systems is that the TAXPAYERS are the persons paying the salaries. TAXPAYERS are the boss or business owner in a sense. At this time in Ohio we have become top heavy with government employees and less private sector workers. Public servants are no longer servants to the taxpayer, but a burden. All the school systems I have reviewed have paid their teachers some handsome increases along with some really nice administrators increases. Problem is that there are not many TAXPAYERS if any making enough money to fund these increases.

In 2006 my wife’s teaching job was eliminated. After 28 years of service no union could save it, nor could her good employee evaluations. As a result she found a new teaching position and had her salary reduced about 32%. When I look at the pay increases in these school districts, I see salary increases of as much as $19,000 since 2004. Sure those people may be worth it, but can we afford to pay it? Shame on those public servants for even asking the TAXPAYER for pay increases in the current economic time, expecting us to approve it in a TAX increase. We are in hard economic times. Why must the employer (the TAXPAYER) commit to this type of pay increase when we have not had that increase ourselves in most cases? Think about the fixed income individuals that will share the burden of the TAX to pay our public servants that make over $50,000 per year.

When every teacher and administrator takes 32% cut in pay like our household did, most TAXPAYERS would not mind helping out too if needed. Let us all think outside the box and look for other ways to pay our public servants. How about some contributions from those people we watch work everyday or may be just stop watching the actors and sports figures work.

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8UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Just vote NO on all levies and wait for SB5 to take effect. When they declare fiscal emergency, then use it to reduce the cost of employees benefits to balance your budget. SB5 is oh so good for the taxpayer, and all we have to do is vote NO. How much easier can it get. vote No folks because school levies are not about the kids, they are all about the plush pay and cadillac benefits continuations for school employees.

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9Philo(99 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Like hungry sharks, I sense the voters smell blood. Right or wrong, the taxpays perceive the public sector workers as greedy and uncooperative. The fact that there are millions of taxpayers and just thousands of public sector workers, and both sides are energized, tells me that SB 5 ultimately will stand. It also leads me to believe that the public sector is going to have a difficult time getting any kind of levy passed.

If I were a school Superintendent, County Commissioner, or other public official, and all I had to do was implement some type of meaningful cut in pay and benefits, (since we're way past the point where a pay freeze is sufficient) to demonstrate my true sincerity, I'd work to implement that cut in a minute! If for no other reason, I'd do this to blunt criticism from the taxpaying public, who is clearly in the majority.

I understand there are policies in place at the Federal level that are impacting the economy in far worse ways than teacher or police or fireman salaries. These include trade policies as well as tax policies. I get that. Unfortunately, all we can control is our corner of the world. Does anyone actually think we can continue to provide the public sector workers with pay and benefits that are just so much greater than the pay and benefits of the taxpayers who support them? Think about that for a minute.

Public sector pay and benefits will be brought back into line; the easy way or the hard way. If I were a Superintendent or County Commissioner or City Manager I'd try to do something to convince the public I'm at least trying to help them, rather than be dragged kicking and screaming to fiscal solvency.

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10mcdres2(30 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Philo - you make some very valid points!

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11bigwheel(12 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Everyone on here is drinking the Kasich cool-aid. He wants you to believe that the public employees are the reason for our economic problems. When the real problem lies with Kasich's wall street buddies. Do you really think making a teacher with a salary of $40,000 give back say $3,000 or $4,000 in cuts will save YOU THE PRIVATE SECTOR money? Come on really? All it will do is prevent that teacher from buying that new cruze or eating out at our local establishments or whatever you private sector people are selling.

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12ytown1(392 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

@bigwheel

If that is the case then you are guilty of smoking that union weed then, they want you to believe that the sky is falling, when you can still negotiate a fair wage, something that the taxpayers can afford, and you will get an insurance and vacation that measures to what the taxpayer is getting and no more, what is so hard to understand.

As far as give backs on pay and benefits, the private sector has been doing that since 2008 where have you been, on a psychedelic drug infused vacation for a few years?

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13bigwheel(12 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Vacation same as private sector, insurance, pay? Ok, I choose the private sector bankers, accountants, nurses...same education but you want teachers to make what you make at micky dees.

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14Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

If the levies fail there is a good chance they will go on the ballot in August.

Personally, I think no levy should be allowed to be put on any other time than a Primary or General Election. It is in the special elections that they try and ram these things through, hoping that most people are not going to realize there is a special election going on.

The law needs to be changed, because when the voters make a choice of "no" in either a Primary or a General on a levy, it should not have to be overruled by a very small minority of voters in a special election.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

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15ytown1(392 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Not quite the same bigwheel, and most teaching positions do not require a Masters degree either, a made up thing by the unions to pump up the wages, see we are seeing clearly now, the smoke has been lifted, enough with over inflated job titles and the pay to go with them along with the overly generous benefits that also was handed to them on a silver platter.

No private sector job, I am talking of the vast majority of the taxpayers, not the upper 3% that you aspire to match dollar for dollar, could imagine having it as good as the public unions have grabbed for themselves.

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162muchtax(303 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Just vote no! If SB5 goes down then there will be huge layoff in the public sector! These greedy public unions got away with pilaging the taxpayers for way to long and Ytown water just pulled it off again. Just ask Dr wendy webb as she cashes her 111,000 sick time pay or cheif jummy hughes while he takes 600,000 from the DROP program while he decides whether or not he wants to double dip. The only ones that have taken any meaningful concessions is the sherrif dept. SB5 should get rid of the uniform allowances, eveyone in the private sector buys there own clothes, tools, etc. Next should be longevity pay, kind of like the teachers automatic raise whether or not the money is there. Just put on another levi

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17paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

bigwheel,

$40,000? If we could only cap a teacher's pay at $60,000 maybe we taxpayers could start saving some money. That includes administrators. And we have to get teachers to start contributing more toward their golden perks and bennies. There are many teachers making more money than lawyers in the Prosecutor's office - working 9 months a year. Give me a break!

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18ohgirl(6 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Senate Bill 5 is not good for the taxpayer !!!! Public employees do not all make high salaries and the benefits being cut are going to mean that low salaries are going to go even lower with all the money this senate bill 5 is going to take from the public employee. Sign the petition to stop senate bill 5 !!

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19ohgirl(6 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Totally agree with big wheel !! Teachers have to have a Bachelors degree then in four years a masters degree - who pays for all this - the teachers do !! People need to go sit in a class room for a day and realize that a teacher deserves every penny he or she makes !!

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